From flying skates to ferocious body checks, it’s a rollicking good time with Hong Kong’s very own roller derby. Word by Carla Thomas
If you’ve ever strolled through Victoria Park on a Tuesday night, chances are you’ve heard Hong Kong Roller Derby (HKRD) before you’ve seen them. Follow the shouts, grunts, whistling and raucous cheers to the northeast corner of the park, and you’ll stumble onto an asphalt skating rink. It’s covered in kitted out women, maneuvering skillfully on colourful skates. Two of them, with panties on their helmets, loop gracefully around the track, weaving and dodging with dancers’ agility – just before a quick hip check sends one flying to the ground. She gets up, unhurt except for maybe her pride, as her teammates break into applause and shouts of encouragement. This might sound extreme, but it’s also a highly addictive sport that’s earned a cult-like following in Hong Kong, as well as Asia.