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Rolling all over the world Roller derby is played by two teams of 14 players, who both field five members for each two-minute countdown jam, simultaneously skating counterclockwise on a circuit track. see below More inside F0r reports on hockey, football, swimming, basketball and karate... see page 35 NEWS FROM TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL AND YOUR COMMUNITY Skate mates aim to be the world’s best BY PETER FAULKNER STEFANIE Mainey and her partner Olivia Coupe might claim to be ordinary sportswomen, but they compete at the highest level of their sport. They wear crash helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a gum-shield – protection from the battering they get every week on the track. And they compete against women with frightening nicknames like Grievous Bodily Charm, Frightening Bolt and Kitty Decapitate. Welcome to the world of roller derby –which featured in the 1975 film Rollerball, as a violent, bloody pastime for men and women. Stefanie and Olivia, of Hardinge Street, Shadwell, met through the sport and seven years ago they tied the knot. They have since been the perfect match for London Rollergirls, helping them become one of the world’s top rollerball teams. The Rollergirls have just returned from Nashville in the US where they were on something of a mission impossible – to try to stop the seemingly invincible Gotham Girls. It ended in disappointment for Stefanie, 33, and Olivia, 28, whose team are ranked number six in the world. They were outgunned in the semi-final 280-94 by Gotham, who took the title for the fourth consecutive year. Then their hopes of a bronze medal were shattered by the Bay Area Derby Girls All-Stars by 238-148. to find more competition. That is the key, because at present we can only compete in America because we are so far ahead of the English teams and most of the Europeans. “We have come a long way to be ranked fourth in the world. Now we are aiming for the number one spot.” Olivia Coupe photos by Jason Ruffell Stefanie Mainey Stefanie, who is rated the best blocker in Europe, said: “To finish fourth in the world is good, but I am disappointed we didn’t come back with a medal. “We lost to an amazing team in Gotham Girls and also Bay Area Girls, but all of us will learn a lot from our defeats. We set our sights high and came back with nothing, but that will only serve to inspire us and make us better.” Stefanie, account manager for a roller skate company and also England captain and assistant coach, and Olivia were part of the 2011 London Rollergirls team that shocked a sport dominated by America when they came third in the world championships. The achievement was all the more remarkable as the Rollergirls were the first English team invited to take part. Now Rollergirls, which started as a small club at the Mulberry Sports Centre in Stepney seven years ago, are ranked fourth in the world and too good to play any side in this country. But they are not satisfied yet and want to reach the heights of the Gotham Girls. Stefanie said: “To be better we must train harder, improve our coaching and somehow try Landlords, 3 months rent in advance 1-5 Years Guaranteed Rental Scheme * Terms & conditions apply Find out more, Properties Urgently Required in all East London Boroughs & Essex 020 8983 4444 0% Commission Fully Managed Service No Void Period Inspections every 8-12 weeks Your rent is guaranteed each month even if your property is empty! Visit our website for full detailswww.elliotleigh.com 36 NEWS FROM TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL AND YOUR COMMUNITY 17 – 23 NOVEMBER 2014


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