Skating stars of the future got their first taste of the hustle and bustle of competition when Leeds Roller Dolls hosted its first junior roller derby game on Saturday.
The league began its Doll Factory junior side in autumn 2013, and the match was the first time the young skaters, who age from eight years old to 17, played a game in public.
The Leeds skaters were joined by girls from as far as Wrexham and Loughborough for the game, which is played along the same rules as traditional roller derby, only using positional blocking instead of full contact hits.
Head coach Emma Kerry said: “The girls absolutely loved it and they surpassed our expectations.
“The adult skaters watching in the crowd said they were really impressed by the high standard and skill shown, and were surprised at how similar it was to their own game.”
The game is believed to be the first junior match held in Yorkshire, as the sport grows in popularity. The Doll Factory trains every Tuesday evening and has 30 budding skaters.
Ms Kerry said: “There has only been a handful of junior games in the country so far, but like the women’s game a few years ago, it is really starting to take off.
“It gives the girls a chance to get into a contact sport, and being around the women in the adults league helps them to see that you don’t have to a particular shape or size to excel at a sport, it’s about hard work.”
The event, at Leeds Futsal Arena, was also the last bout of the year for the Roller Dolls B team, the Whip Its. They beat Nottingham Rollergirls 163 points to 152.
To find out more about the Doll Factory, visit www.leedsrollerdolls.com