Female child minders, nurses, teachers and probation officers have taken on a top German roller derby outfit – and won.
The Hot Wheel Roller Derby team, which trains at leisure centre’s in Garforth and Oulton, flew out to Stuttgart to battle it out against world class opposition in their first team trip abroad.
The amateurs, who have only being playing the sport for two years, took on a Stuttgart Valley Roller Girlz team in front of 1,200 screaming fans at the SCHARRena Stuttgart.
Despite a tense atmosphere, the Yorkshire women pulled off a surprise 165-78 victory – to the delight of their lone fan.
Samantha Briggs, team captain and Tingley child minder, said: “The atmosphere was amazing, it was such a good day. We did a few drills to relax and were in such a good positive frame of mind and we weren’t held back by the 1,000 people that didn’t want us to win.”
The 42-year-old, known as Red Mist during roller derby bouts, was one of 13 Yorkshire skaters to make the trip, from a pool of 40 women, aged 19 to 42, involved in the team.
Roller derby is a fast-paced, full contact sport played on a flat oval track.
In order to part-fund the trip, the Leeds skaters, ranked 12th in Europe, raised more than £850 through a race night at Tingley Working Men’s Club, in Bradford Road, Tingley, and other events.
The ladies landed in Stuttgart to face off against a German side filled with a mix of amateur and international players.
Samantha said: “The Germans were 100 per cent expecting to win and so did there fans – they were astonished. It was a real shock for them and an amazing achievement for us.”
The group had just one cheering fan at the Stuttgart game – the father of Leeds skater Sarah Cason, Bruce Cason, who lives in Frankfurt.
Samantha added: “We gave him a Hot Wheel shirt and he was cheering and waving his flag on his own, it was brilliant.”
The Hot Wheel team, which is hoping to attract sponsors, is now hoping to play the Dallas Derby Dolls, from Texas, who could come to the region to play them early next year.
In the meantime the Leeds team will play the Birmingham Blitz Dames on May 19. Visit www.hotwheelrollerderby.moonfruit.com for ticket information.