Team Indigenous roller derby clash

By David Kavanagh | posted on November 7, 2019

ALBANY Roller Derby League’s final game of the year is set to be a special one.

The club has invited Team Indigenous Dreaming, a group of indigenous athletes from across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius and Singapore, to play their first ever Western Australia game in Albany.

ARDL President Natalie Jarvis said the highly anticipated event would cap off an already excellent year for the League and celebrate diversity in the sport.

“We have had a great year with a lot of gameplay across WA, a lot of wins and some losses,” she said.

“Having Team Indigenous come together for the first time in WA to play is amazing.”

The November 16 game will officially begin at 7pm following a Welcome to Country by Elder Vernice Gillies.

It will be followed on Sunday by a free skating workshop and barbecue lunch for teens and Aboriginal young people aged seven to 17.

Team Indigenous Dreaming’s Cassandra Edwards said the two roller derby groups would donate match proceeds to the Baldjamaar Foundation, a local Aboriginal service providing programs for at-risk Indigenous youth.

“Our aim is to create visibility for Indigenous skaters in roller derby and to raise awareness about and support issues that affect our people,” Ms Edwards said.

“It’s so important for us to be able to come together and Albany are a wonderful league who are doing a lot of hard work in the roller derby community for various groups with diverse backgrounds.

“For us, it’s never about the points on the scoreboard but about being together and supporting each other and the community we’re in.”

The Albany showdown will mark the second time Team Indigenous Dreaming’s far-flung members have come together to play.

Their first game was in late 2018 for the sport’s Australian National Championships.

“We are hoping for a big crowd to cheer both teams on and showcase women in sports and more specifically indigenous women in sports,” Ms Jarvis said.

“We strongly believe that you can’t be what you can’t see.”

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