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Archive - Monday, 30 October 2006
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Bee's on a roll with US craze
MOTHER, wife and marketing professional Bee Bentley has a secret...
Bee Bentley is Iva Issues when it comes to Roller Derby.
In her spare time she becomes Iva Issues, a diva rock chick on rollerskates who competes in a retro sport called Roller Derby.
Bee, 36, from Studley, has been skating for 30 years and is recruiting other women to take up the sport so a Birmingham league can be formed.
Roller Derby, a team game for women on four-wheel roller skates, is popular in America, where there are more than 200 teams.
Created in the 1930s, the sport has petered out and gone through various revivals. Today, it acknowledges burlesque and rock 'n' roll.
"One of Roller Derby's charms is its improbable blend of real athleticism with high camp. The draw is part sex appeal, part sport, part freak show," said Bee, an American who has lived in England for eight years.
The game involves two teams of five with jammers, blockers and pivots in each team. Blockers try to stop the jammers from scoring points by lapping them, while the pivots set the pace.
Bee said there was "an element of combat," because Roller Derby is a contact sport.
She has already come up with a name for the West Midlands League - The Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames - and hopes it will take off so she no longer has to travel to London to play. The UK's first league was started in the capital earlier this year.
Urging other women to get involved, she said: "Roller Derby has brought me out of my shell a bit. It's great fun, great fitness and an opportunity to meet some great people and become part of the Roller Derby sisterhood."
She said her husband was supportive because he thinks it's great she has a passion and her 11-year-old son thinks it's "cool" to have a roller skating mum.
The league is recruiting women to skate and men and women to referee and coach. Training will be provided and weekly practices and competition bouts will take place at the NIA Community Centre, Birmingham.
For more details, call Bee on 0791 3817230.