Roller Derby club brings a taste of America to Mansfield

The ties between Mansfield and the USA may be tenuous at best, but there’s one sports club that has brought an all-American revamp to the local sports scene.

By Tom Head
Sunday, 1st December 2013, 1:22 pm

Angela Chiappetta, of South Carolina, brought Roller Derby to the town almost two years ago with the ‘Mansfield Misfits’ team. Their contribution to the community has been invaluable, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

They were nominated for the Mansfield Sports Awards last month, and as Angela elaborates on their charity, it’s easy to see why they made the short-list.

“We’ve been involved in food drives at both Mansfield and Sutton, contributed to Oxjam, organised a fancy dress Skate-a-Thon, and even helped fund raise for a local burlesque group,” said Angela.

The Misfits are now hoping that their charitable actions will be rewarded in more practical terms, as they desperately seek a new place to train and host matches.

Though they currently occupy the facilities at Garibaldi College, Angela says the venue isn’t big enough for her expanding club and that they need somewhere ‘the size of six badminton courts’ to constitue a full-size Roller Derby arena.

A factor which could obstruct their quest for a new home is the sports low profile in the country. Yet Angela remains enthused about their future.

“I was at Nottingham Roller Girls before coming here, so there’s definitely local interest. The sport’s popularity is growing rapidly in England,” she added.

Social media has played a huge part in helping Angela assemble the Mansfield Misfits and has seen the club grow into a 25-member strong squad.

There’s perhaps only one thing to clear up, then... How does Roller Derby work?

“There are two teams of five, with a ‘jammer’ in each side. Only the ‘jammers’ can score, and they have stars on their helmets to make them identifiable”, Angela explains.

“Points are scored when the jammer on a ‘scoring pass’ laps a member of the opposition.”