The origins of the Dread Pirate Rollers began in 2011 when two skaters from Mandurah, Soozy Slugworth and Shinobi Sellty, decided that it would be great to have a league closer to home. The feverish search for like minded souls began and after seeking expressions of interest, they held their first training session in a carpark next to an outdoor skate park in May 2011. WA Roller Derby from Perth lent a helping hand by taking us under their wings as we built on our fresh meat skills and continued to seek better training locations, as we upgraded first to a small room at Billy Dower Youth Centre and then to a community hall in Secret Harbour – a space still not big enough to lay a regulation track down! We NSO-ed and volunteered our hearts out at WARD events and dreamt of one day being able to battle it out on the track ourselves.
Things were looking up when The Zone Youth Space opened up later that year which featured an indoor sports court which is the now-renovated, former home of the old ‘Astroskate’ venue in Kwinana. Our first session was held there in November 2011 and was added to the compliment of training locations with WARD. In 2012, the skaters at our training sessions grew and our experience was exponentially increased as we participated in boot camps facilitated by international coaches such as Bonnie D. Stroir and Lulu Demon, and Mo and Lesby from the Rinx Minx Roller Girls. Skaters from DPR represented WARD on their home teams & away travel teams as well as going interstate to skate, learn and volunteer at The Great Southern Slam in Adelaide and Rollercon in Queensland, further expanding their experience and derby love!
The time had come at the end of the year to begin the journey to fielding a team of our own. In 2013 the Dread Pirate Rollers finally hit the track as a fully fledged team as they start a league in their own right and became an independent incorporated not for profit association. We travelled to visit other leagues to test our scrimmage-readiness and we attended boot camps to learn all the things. We now train up to 4 times a week in two different venues, a long way from the covert carpark meeting two years ago! We proudly debuted our representative travel team, The Inconceivables, during the Boom State Clash in September, 2013. While we did not win any games, some of our matches against established teams were very close and the audience loved every minute. The pirates skated hard and showed Australia’s derby community that we could play strong, play strategic and play in a unified team… and most of all? We had so much fun!
In 2014 our travel squad continued to scrimmage and travel afar to further hone our skills. We visited Adelaide to participate in challenge bouts for The Great Southern Slam. We also travelled to Geraldton, Margaret River, Perth and Bunbury to play in bouts, culminating in our representation once again at the Boom State Clash. We finished 6th in the state overall out of 9 teams that were entered.
We held our first home season featuring our two home teams, the Brute Squad and the Shrieking Eels. The Shrieking Eels took out the season with a win of the grand final and we were so glad to be bringing more high quality derby to the southern suburbs of Perth!
In 2015, we took our home season into its second year. Although the Brutes put up a good fight, it was once more the Shrieking Eels who took home the trophy. Our travel team experienced great success, playing teams from Perth, Bunbury, and Margaret River throughout the year. Boom State Clash 2015 was an opportunity for the Inconceivables to show off just how much they’d improved, and they did better than anyone ever predicted. Out of four games over two days, the Inconceivables came in 4th place!
The question now is: what does 2016 have waiting for DPR? Only time will tell!