Janelle
Janelle "Pana Doll" Ford (below) heads up the Bundaberg City Rollers in the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League, while (left) actress Ellen Page struts her stuff in the movie Whip It! Max Fleet BUNSKT

Bundy girls get set to Whip it!

WHEN Janelle Ford straps on a pair of skates, she transforms from a mild-mannered registered nurse into a high-velocity roller derby assault weapon intent on the destruction of her rivals.

The niche sport of roller derby has reared its head in Bundaberg and aficionados promise the city will never be the same.

Each Sunday afternoon at the ExtremeZone skating rink, a group of enthusiasts dress in fish-net stockings, hotpants, helmets and knee pads and crash into one another as part of the city's roller derby league.

Mrs Ford, better known in roller derby circles by her alias of “Pana Doll”, has teamed with fellow fans Tracey “Distraceful” Strahlau and Jessica “Ruby Dread” to form the Bundaberg City Rollers.

The Rollers will clash in their first official bout against the Gladstone Roller Derby League at ExtremeZone on October 8.

The obscure Texan-born pastime has been popularised by movies such as Drew Barrymore's Whip It! and offers thrills and spills for girls willing to put their bodies on the line.

In the female-dominated contact sport, a team is divided into two categories of players: blockers and jammers. Jammers score points by passing members of the opposing team and the blockers try and stop them.

Mrs Ford said the sport encouraged players to forget their everyday lives, adopt a new roller derby persona and let their hair down on the rink.

“We've attracted a lot of professional people who have brought out their underlying personas and really the chance to get into something a bit different,” she said.

So far, 38 skaters have signed up with the Bundaberg City Rollers and there are plans under way for a junior arm of the association. 



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