Skater says roller derby ideal antidote for depression

READY TO ROLL: Clarence Valley Roller Derby League skaters Susan Polsen and Virllissa Adams have a roll around the Grafton skate park. Photo: Adam Hourigan/The Daily Examiner
READY TO ROLL: Clarence Valley Roller Derby League skaters Susan Polsen and Virllissa Adams have a roll around the Grafton skate park. Photo: Adam Hourigan/The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

IF INJECTING more excitement into your life is your New Year's resolution, then pulling on tiny shorts over your tights and skating around a rink crashing into others is one way to turn a mundane lifestyle on its head.

Grafton mother Susan Polsen started playing roller derby at the end of 2013 and said the sport had proven a great way to deal with her depression.

"When you suffer mentally the never-ending repeat of life gets you down," she said.

"Since taking up derby I can't wait until training day. You get excited in your body."

Ms Polsen said she forgets all her worries when she dons her skates and helmet at Grafton Sports Centre.

"It's great for women who have image issues because it caters for all shapes and sizes. Nobody is excluded, you feel great," she said.

"Dress as wacky as you want, they don't care. Every one has a desire to be a little bit crazy but you can't do that in public. This is a place where you can go a bit wild because everyone is doing the same thing."

The single mother and Caringa family support worker got into roller derby after injuring her arm. She was unable to go to the gym but wanted to maintain her fitness.

"I used to do roller-skating at a rink in town. I got on the skates and thought 'oh my god, I'm a kid again'," she said.

Ms Polsen said roller derby was a physically demanding sport.

"It is a contact sport, and there are a lot of people with wheels on their feet," she said.

"You have to learn to skate and learn to fall so you don't injure yourself."

Roller Derby

  • Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five players, all skating in the same direction around a track.
  • Game play consists of a series of short match-ups.
  • Both teams designate a scoring player who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
  • For information on roller derby phone Shelly Quinn on 0434 060 886.

Topics:  roller derby

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