Referee Guy Calder looks to take on playing role as Hereford Roller Girls set to establish men's side (From Hereford Times)
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Referee Guy Calder looks to take on playing role as Hereford Roller Girls set to establish men's side
REFEREE Guy Calder wants to put down his whistle and join the fast-flowing roller derby action in Hereford.
The 24-year-old from Putson has officiated in Hereford Roller Girls’ (HRG) matches for the past 18 months.
But Calder says he would now like to participate as a player in the action-packed sport.
“I just love it and deciding to referee games is the best thing I have ever done,” said Guy, whose girlfriend Lauren White, plays for Hereford.
“It was a very new thing for me, but it is quite an easy game to pick up and people support you.
“I’ve really been into sport and never skated before.
“But roller derby is really fun and fast paced and is a team sport that encourages you to develop your own skills.”
“It doesn’t matter what size or shape you are and is really inclusive.
“I was the youngest person at a recent session we held for men, so it shows you that anyone can come and play.”
HRG are keen to establish a men’s team and have already held two training sessions for would-be male players at Weobley High School on Mondays from 6pm.
HRG vice-chairman Dee Montague is appealing for more men from Hereford to give the sport a try. “We have had a few men turn up and they were great on their skates,” said Dee.
“We are always asked by men how they can get involved, so we’ve just told them to turn up.
“We will teach the basics and we want a men’s team to be our brother team.
“It would be a nice environment for the men to come into, because everyone is treated equally and there is no politics involved.”
Dee competes in the sport under the name R2-Dee2.
She said skating ability is not important because the club can teach would-be players the basics.
She added: “A lot of people look at our sport and believe that they cannot do it. I couldn’t skate at all when I started. Having enthusiasm to play is important.”
HRG originates from Herefordshire Roller Skating Club and was set up by Zoe Butler in August 2011.
They have grown from five skaters and now have around 30. HRG’s A-team are called the Horror Bulls and they compete against leagues across the country.
They are ranked 125th in a list of the top European derby leagues. The contact sport is played by two teams of five members, who skate around a track. Consisting of short match-ups, called “jams”, both teams designate a scoring player, “the jammer”, who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
There are around 1,250 amateur roller derby leagues around the world, but the sport is dominated by women. The training sessions for men are on Mondays from 6pm to 7.30pm at Weobley High School. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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