LEEDS ROLLER Dolls have embarked on a £8,000 fundraising challenge to allow them to take on some of America’s biggest roller derby teams at a tournament in Florida.
The league’s A team, the Rebel Roses, is currently ranked fifth in the UK and 167th in the world.
Over the last few months the team, who are based at Futsal Arena, have held bootcamps, karaoke nights and are even writing a cookbook to fund the trip, which will see them play teams from Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama in June a bid to increase their worldwide rankings.
Rebel Roses captain Hayley Avron said: “The way global rankings work, a lot of UK and European teams are woefully under-ranked. It’s very hard for European teams to be evaluated fairly unless they go to play higher ranking teams over in the States.
“Last year we decided to just bite the bullet and do it. It’s ambitious, hard work, and we’ll be playing American teams ranked between 40 and 60 places above us.”
A dozen skaters, plus bench staff and a handful of diehard fans will travel to Fort Lauderdale for the Beach Brawl tournament, which will see the Roses play in at least three games over a weekend. But first they will continue in their unbeaten run in the British Championships.
Their first game saw them beat Hull’s Angels Roller Dames by almost 200 points. The next fixture, this Saturday, will see the Roses take on Manchester Roller Derby at Leeds Futsal Arena.
The next fundraising event will be a screening of Drew Barrymore’s roller derby film Whip It at Wharf Chambers on Monday April 13.
For more information or tickets to both events visit www.leedsrollerdolls.com