Cleary rises rapidly in roller derby ranks

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

ROLLER DERBY

CHRIS­TINE ‘ Boss in Boots’ Cleary has made a rapid rise up the roller derby ranks since start­ing the sport in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Turn­ing up to Air­lie Beach Trash­bags fresh meat train­ing ear­lier this year not know­ing how to skate, Cleary cred­its it with be­ing one of the best de­ci­sions she ever made.

“I have made firm friend­ships, am get­ting fit­ter and get to have a lot of fun do­ing it,” she said.

Af­ter fol­low­ing the in­ten­sive fresh meat pro­gram and with ex­tra as­sis­tance from the coaches, Bossy, as she is af­fec­tion­ately known par­tic­i­pated in her first bout in July.

“I was so ex­cited to be picked for the travel team and had the op­por­tu­nity to meet so many new friends who are just as pas­sion­ate about the sport as I am. I had at­tended sev­eral games be­fore­hand and as­sisted as a non-skat­ing of­fi­cial (NSO),” she said.

“This gave me the amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to get amongst the ac­tion from a front row seat, and learn so much from a rules stand­point. I would highly rec­om­mend to any­one think­ing about it to come down and check it out.” On Satur­day, Clearly had an­other first, ref­er­ee­ing her first two games in Townsville at their dou­ble header bout.

Pre­dom­i­nantly the ref­er­ees are male as most women elect to play, but ref­er­ee­ing is a re­ally valu­able way to par­tic­i­pate in roller derby with­out the big hits.

“The Ze­bra Herd (as roller derby ref­er­ees are known) are a very tight knit and sup­port­ive group. Un­der the guid­ance of Towns Vil­lains Roller Derby ex­pert ref­er­ees I of­fi­ci­ated my first bouts this week­end,” she said.

“They have been so sup­port­ive of the Air­lie Beach Trash­bags, coach­ing us and ref­er­ee­ing for us, so I was re­ally glad that I was able to give some­thing back and go up there and ref­eree for them in re­turn.”

Guys and girls in­ter­ested in join­ing roller derby should come down to fresh meat train­ing on Sun­day, Au­gust 25 at the Whit­sun­day PCYC from 10am-12pm.

They can have a go on skates un­der the watch­ful eye of the Trash­bags coaches and skaters.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit the group’s Face­book page at www.face­book.com/Air­lieBeachTrashbags.

SHE'S THE BOSS: Chris­tine ‘Boss in Boots’ Cleary (ref­eree's uni­form) has made an in­cred­i­ble trans­for­ma­tion from non-skater to an im­por­tant mem­ber of the Air­lie Beach Trash­bags roller derby term and a roller derby ref­eree.

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