“I stumbled across Roller Derby after a friend of a friend told us she had started training and after a little research I realised I had to go and see what it was all about, so I went along to a national tournament that just happened to be going on near to where I live and was blown away. The game is fast, hard-hitting, strategic, highly skilled and absolutely full-on. Roller Derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short match ups (jams) in which both teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
Primarily a women’s sport, ‘Derby’ is one of the fastest growing sports in the world with over 60 officially recognised leagues in the UK alone, with players of all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life competing in organised games across the countryThe undefeated Birmingham Blitz Dames have been going for ten years now and I first saw them at the UK playoffs in where they beat all their opponents, resulting in their promotion from Tier 2 to Tier 1 (i.e the 1st Division). I was so impressed with what I saw that I made contact with them the following week and sent the pictures I had shot during one of their games. It wasn’t long before I found myself on their home turf in Birmingham, just a couple of metres from the track, shooting portraits in between bouts in a simple pop-up studio. The players really are serious athletes playing a seriously tough game and I wanted to capture a little of their spirit and attitude as individuals, away from the furore on-track.” Morgan Silk