FAQ/ About

This is a new documentary created by Poppy Jeffery, a third year journalism student at Bournemouth University.

The documentary focuses on why the sport of roller derby, which has boomed in popularity in the UK, has affected so many peoples lives in a positive and transformative way.

What is derby?

The sport, which is a mainly female sport (there are some male teams), is played on a track on quad roller skates. It is a full contact sport where two teams have to compete to overtake the other team’s players. There are two jammers, one on each team, who are the only people who can score points. The rest of the team consists of blockers (who stop the other team’s jammer passing) and a pivot (who can swap with the jammer).

What is the documentary’s focus? 

It will be exploring personal stories of transformation through derby. This may be a person who has overcome personal fears or demons, met a partner through derby or even had an amazing weight loss transformation. Through visiting different derby teams in the UK, Life Rolls On will provide an insight into those affected positively by playing roller derby.

Where can I watch it?

The full documentary will be posted on the blog, youtube and other platforms in late January.

How can I get involved?

Contact Poppy at poppy_jeffery@fastmail.co.uk or drop us a tweet @LifeRollsOnDoc



Interview- Hallowheels #31

Why is derby so empowering?

I went up to York to meet Sephy, who has had a major life change since starting derby and has overcome her anxiety. I asked her why she thought derby was empowering as a sport.


Going to York #traveltime

The first set of interviews I had arranged was with the York Minxters who train up in a leisure centre just outside York.

For me, being a born and bred Southerner, this was the most Northern place I had travelled to, and I was excited to see if Yorkshire tea lives up to the hype!

I woke up at 5am and packed my camera, microphone set, tripod and spare camera into a bag along with snacks and headed up to Pokesdown Station to catch a replacement bus. For me, this was too early but I was hopeful for the day ahead.

After a good hour, I reached the train and soon I arrived at Waterloo. After a quick dash across London, I got to Kings Cross and boarded a very nice Virgin train to Manchester, via York. This gave me my first opportunity to relax and set up.

Disaster stuck.

I had booked out a camera and lens, but unfortunately the lens didn’t fit on the camera body. So my lovely Canon was rendered completely useless- I panicked.

Thankfully I had brought with me my trusty video camera, a Nikon Coolpix camera, which takes 1080p video and would be able to hold up to a day’s filming. This was lucky! I had my Dictaphone with me so would be okay for sound quality, but I was just grateful to have my spare with me.

Lesson learnt!

I then grabbed some spare batteries and made my way to the leisure centre, arriving there an hour early to set up. I got really itchy feet however, watching the roller disco before their practice, and I was literally wishing I had bought my skates with me!

Soon the team arrived and I settled down with a ‘brew’ (by this point I was beginning to attempt to understand the strange Northern terms) and set up my camera for the interviews.

Interviews went well and soon their training began and I captured as much footage as possible before the batteries and spare batteries were exhausted.

I soon made my way home and arrived back in Pokesdown at just gone 1am.

Total travel time: 11 hours

Total panics: 1

Interviews completed: 3

Going to Windsor #traveltime

My first trip of this project was to see my team- Dorset Roller Girls, take on Royal Windsor Roller Girls at a bout up in Windsor.

Watching derby, for me, has always been exciting and I love to travel to watch bouts anyway so this was going to be a great day out!

I woke up at 9am and drove round to pick up a friend who had never seen derby played before, as I decided it was my duty to educate her.

We left Bournemouth at just past half 9 and arrived in central Windsor at around midday.

I think the hardest part was driving past the entrance to Legoland…

But we arrived and had some lunch next to Windsor Castle to kill some time, before the bout began at 4pm.

This time, I had bought my spare camera, a Nikon Coolpix, due to not being able to book out any kit cameras at short notice due to me not hearing about the match until the day before. I also borrowed a tripod from a friend.

We arrived at the leisure centre, bought some cakes (cake is a vital companion to derby) and set up in the ‘suicide seats’ (the floor next to the track in which players end up in if they’re knocked off the track), which gave us a front row view.

Dorset and Windsor both performed very well and I got all the footage that I needed, planning to use this within the intro sequence of my film.

Travel time: 5 hours

Panics: 0

Footage gained: 30 minutes