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The rise of Roller Derby

Roller Derby has expanded at a meteoric rate over the past few years. When I first started photographing Roller Derby there was a bout somewhere in the country every few weeks, now, three or four every weekend. It is a testament of not only its rise in popularity, but also the time, dedication and energy expended by individuals and teams all across the country to make things happen.

What started out as an all-female sport has developed rapidly, and now encompasses men’s as well as co-ed teams.

Skaters need a mix of speed, skill, agility, power, awareness and a head for tactics, as the opposition’s play can force a team to go from offence to defensive play and vice-versa in a split second. I have witnessed a rapid increase in the development of skaters as knowledge is passed down to those new to the sport, seeing them progress at a much faster rate than the generation before. All this has help the development and the professionalism of the sport.

On the road

I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and overseas, photographing bouts organised by established leagues that have experienced skaters at both local and national level, to those leagues that are just starting out. I covered the first Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto, Canada, 2011 and the first Men's Roller Derby World Cup (MRDWC) in Birmingham, England, 2014. I have also been fortunate to work with Leeds Roller Dolls, Sheffield Steel Rollergirls, London Rockin’ Rollers, London Rollergirls, Middlesbrough Milk Rollers and Hot Wheel Roller Derby to name but a few.

Derby is a difficult sport to photograph and I have leant a lot over the past few years, honing my technique and gear so that I can bring the best the flat track has to offer. Hopefully I have contributed a little to the development of the sport.

I will be flying out to Dallas, Texas, in December to cover the second Roller Derby World Cup as the official photographer for England Roller Derby.

My photographs have been used in the international, national and local press, across many websites, and I have self-published two volumes of photographs covering the sport from 2009 to 2013.

This website showcases some of the best images I've shot over the past few years. For the latest and full bout shoots see my page on Facebook.

See all the latest shoots on Facebook

In November 2012 I held an exhibition of my favourite images at Banks Street Arts, Sheffield. A short video about it can be seen here.

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