This ethos – official or otherwise – also manifests itself on the outskirts of town. In an innocuous looking leisure centre familiar to any suburbanite, yellow-and-black tape is being rolled along a floor that usually plays host to five-a-side football. The tape marks out the oval course for a sport best-known to those who have exhausted their Netflix account and are left with the options of a third run through Breaking Bad or of reluctantly watching Whip It, a charming but overly saccharine whizz through the world of roller derby.
Danielle Leggett, or Dr Hooligan, is sitting in the bleachers attentively watching women glide through the hall on roller skates. A gaggle of patient referees are chatting in the corner. For some reason, Muse are shrieking through the PA. “The league was started five years ago on Valentine’s Day in a pub by some Brighton girls who didn’t have a sport but had discovered roller derby,” she says. “They put an ad in the local paper and got a lot of other girls who also didn’t play mainstream sports. No one really knew what they were doing.”
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