Stafford Women’s Team
Our last uniform was hot pink and black; we may be tough and play sport, but we are still girls, plus the magenta did wonders for our skin tone.
We are the Stafford Women’s Roller Hockey Team based on Brisbane’s north side, and we compete in a men’s league. Our current team has been playing together for about two years but the female presence in our club dates back to the 90s, I should know – I was one of them.
We compete in a men’s league because there is no other women’s teams to play. In despite of playing out of our league, our team is a place where we hold each other up; we win and lose together (mainly lose) we celebrate and rage together, but what we do most together, is laugh.
The Stafford girl’s side is peppered with unique women from all walks of life, countries and skating disciplines. Anna Russell and her UK influence keep us unpredictable and robust. Nicole Harradine is our goal scorer, when they least expect it her presence is known. Chontel – Shorty – Griffiths is the best skater in the world (I may be bias), she stays upright and strong, and the men can’t match her ability. Pie (also known as Jess Davis) is our backbone. She is calm and smart, and is the definition of defence. Cristi Garces is our Argentinean; little, loud and makes a mean chicken empanada – her loyalty binds us. Alex Fisher is two timing us with a derby team, but we don’t mind; she is transitioning to hockey well, and we love her dragon tattoo – it makes us look tougher.
We all have varying experience and ability but one thing is constant and that is our support for each other. We train at Stafford rink two nights a week under the supervision of Rob Carter; we do shooting drills, push ups, passing exercises, push ups, skating drills, push ups and if we miss the cage … push ups.
We train and play against men and male juniors, we are sometimes out muscled and that is something we have learnt to accept. We adapt our game structure to compete with our smarts rather than our physical strength. That is the beauty of this sport, there is more skill in timing, position and team work therefore we can be competitive. Our connection is tight; we take a united front against a seemingly superior opposition. Sometimes we succeed but even when we lose, we learn. We push each other for constant improvement and playing against stronger competition only gives us the extra glory should we do well. The men we play, they show us no mercy but acknowledge our efforts; they have learnt that from time to time they will be beaten by a girl.