Three of Newcastle’s junior roller derby competitors have battled their way around the international track to earn a fourth place finish with Australia at the 2018 Junior Roller Derby World Cup.
Chloe Duguid, Ella Ruddy and Owen Squires – better known as CD Rascal, Ironstein and Red R’OWE’ch on the derby track – travelled to Philadelphia to contest the world’s biggest junior title against representatives from Canada, Europe, Great Britain, USA East and USA West.
The travelling Australian representatives opened well in the competition, scoring a victory on the track against Great Britain before falling to USA East and Canada in closely fought contests.
The squad’s fourth game was another defeat at the hands of USA West, but a close final match on the first day saw Australia pip Europe for the fourth seeding heading into second day finals.
The playoff rounds began with a rematch against the European team (fifth seed), which Australia moved past to set up a semi-final challenge against major powerhouse USA West. Defeated there, the Australia juniors moved into a third-fourth match against Canada.
In the team’s final bout Canada proved too strong, with the eventual third placed roster from northern America snatching an early lead that the Australian squad couldn’t recover from.
Team Australia’s Junior Roller Derby (TAJRD) association also officially praised the squad in a post-competition statement, stating they were “so grateful for everyone who supported the team and their families on this roller coaster ride”.
“[The World Cup] was a huge few days for our team; physically, mentally and emotionally,” the TAJRD statement said.
“They were the very best ambassadors for our sport and our country, from opening ceremony to after party and we simply could not be prouder of how hard they’ve worked and how far they’ve come.”
“[The squad is] an inspiring and talented group of young skaters, adult derby has a lot to be worried about.”
Squad jammer Yeah Nah and blocker Stockwell were voted Team Australia’s most valuable players from the tournament.
Newcastle’s roller derby open division, a competition the junior trio will one day represent, currently boasts three teams – Fort Smashleys, Bogey Rollers and the Harbour Hellcats.
The league’s next official bout will see the Rollers go head to head with the Smashleys at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Saturday, August 4.
For more information on the local scene, head to newcastlerollerderby.org.au.