Roller derby team gathers gifts for women escaping domestic violence

Lisa Donohoe (aka Freda Hounds), Sarah Eberhardt (Kittie Karnage), domestic violence worker Ces Rocha, Cheya Edwards (Maielevolent) and Bernadine Brook (Dr Who Who) with some of the luxuries donated at a recent roller derby tournament in Katoomba.

Lisa Donohoe (aka Freda Hounds), Sarah Eberhardt (Kittie Karnage), domestic violence worker Ces Rocha, Cheya Edwards (Maielevolent) and Bernadine Brook (Dr Who Who) with some of the luxuries donated at a recent roller derby tournament in Katoomba.

Chocolates, scented candles, creamy moisturiser – all the things a woman needs to pamper herself were in the boxes delivered by members of the Blue Mountains Roller Derby team to Wimlah Domestic Violence Services last week.

The team recently hosted a round of the 5 x 5 roller derby championships and, taking advantage of a bigger crowd than usual, invited competing teams and spectators to bring along something to give to women fleeing domestic violence.

The response was terrific, said player Bernadine Brook (known in the derby as Dr Who Who).

“We had eight leagues from all over NSW and the ACT. We decided to do a collection for Wimlah [refuge] so we had boxes at the door for pampering-style things for the residents and toys for their kids.”

They learnt that women seeking emergency shelter rarely thought to bring any “nice” products with them.

“When they arrive here in crisis, the self-care is forgotten so pampering goods will give them something to look after themselves with,” said Ms Brook.

Fellow player Sarah Eberhardt (aka Kittie Karnage) said it seemed appropriate that roller derby, which is about empowering women and embraces those of all shapes, sizes and abilities, looked to help women outside their sport.

“It [their sport] is about supporting women to find the strength and courage within themselves,” she said.

Ces Rocha, a domestic violence worker who accepted the boxes of goodies, had no doubt that they would help heal the trauma experienced by too many women.

The roller derby team is always on the lookout for new players or, for non-players, officials and referees. There is also a junior league, of girls and boys from 10 to 17.

“It’s a full contact sport. It’s a really fun, fast-paced game with a lot of strategy,” said Ms Eberhardt.

Get in touch via the Blue Mountains Roller Derby League’s Facebook page.

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