WHILST some sports clubs have wound down for the summer, the teams at Furness Roller Derby are still training hard for the upcoming season.

The Furness Firecrackers women’s team and Barrow Infernos men’s team are the only roller derby teams in the South Cumbria.

For those less acquainted with roller derby and have never seen an action packed game for themselves, this full contact sport originated in America and played by two teams of five members roller skating counter-clockwise around a track.

The aim of the game is for one member of each team (the jammer) to make it past the opposing team and score points by lapping members of the opposition.

The rest of the team attempt to hinder the opposing jammer while assisting their own jammer in getting round the track.

The games are divided in to jams which last two minutes unless called off prematurely.

Roller derby has a reputation of being a fast paced technical game where teams must combine offensive and defensive strategy simultaneously.

I met with members of Furness Roller Derby Club to learn more about the sport, before getting padded up and stuck in to one of the clubs fast paced and intense training sessions.

Rebecca Roseblade, Chair of Furness Roller Derby told me more about the history of the club.

She said: “The club was founded in October 2010 by Helen Walker and Helen Nag.

"A few of us went to watch the Manchester women's team.

"We thought it was just great.

"We asked people we knew if they wanted to get involved.

"We started training at the leisure centre and have just grown from there.

"We now have a men's and women's team."

Roller Derby has become increasingly popular outside the US.

The British Roller Derby Championships now has a four tier league system which includes teams from all across the country

Mrs Roseblade spoke about the growth of the UK game, she said: "The game has grown massively.

"There is now a multiple tier league system, the Furness Firecrackers competed in tier two last year.

"Last year the Barrow Infernos played against some major teams such as Manchester who are mad up of the like of England players.

"But we've also played against teams in other countries.

"The Firecrackers went to Madrid in February 2019 and the Infernos went to Eindhoven.

"Three players from the club have gone on to represent England."

Then it was time for me to get my skates on and take part in my first roller derby jam.

At first I felt very unsteady and could only focus on trying not to fall over.

As I lined up with the rest of the team, I felt incredibly out of my depth, but the other players were really supportive.

As the action got underway, everyone sprang in to action.

The game was very fast paced, me and the other jammer were urgently trying to edge our way through the crowd whilst the other players did everything they could to block us.

Maintaining your balance on skates is one thing, but trying to stay on your feet with everyone pushing and shoving around you is something else entirely.

As the pack shifted I saw a gap and went for it.

Darting between two players, I was able to break free from the crowd.

I really enjoyed my first Roller Derby match and would encourage anyone to give it a go.

Furness Roller Derby are holding a recruitment drive on September 22.

Anyone interested should call furnessrollerderby@gmail.com.

Mrs Roseblade said: "We're open to everyone, of all shapes and sizes.

"I love it becuase it's a great way to challenge yourself and each persons challenges will be different"