A FLEDGLING team is getting their skates on as they prepare to host County Durham’s first ever roller derby match.

Durham Roller Derby, which has been skating together since 2014, is playing its first match in the British Roller Derby Championships, in Newton Aycliffe, on Saturday.

It will be the first time a club in County Durham has hosted a competitive match.

Captain Jess Donkin said: “I’m excited. It’s one of the first times we’ve had the opportunity to play as a team so I’m excited to see how we do.

“We’ve never hosted an event before so it’s been a lot of stress but we’re getting there.”

Roller Derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members skating in the same direction around the track.

Game play consists of a series of short match ups, known as jams, in which one player, known as the jammer, tries to score points by lapping members of the opposing team.

Teams try to stop opposing jammers from getting past them, while trying to help their own jammer score points.

The British Roller Derby Championship is divided into four tiers and Durham will be starting in the Northern division of the fourth tier, playing against teams from Aberdeen, Halifax, Blackpool and Harrogate.

They had to forfeit their first away match in Aberdeen because of injuries but will be playing against the Bruising Banditas, from Halifax, on Saturday.

On the same day they will also be hosting a game between Granite City Roller Derby, from Aberdeen, and Spa Town Roller Girls, from Harrogate.

Vice-captain Helen Pinkney said: “Every team plays so differently so it’s really interesting to watch. It’s a really good atmosphere and it’s really competitive.

“Because it’s fast it’s good to watch even if you don’t understand all the rules.”

The team plays twice a week at the Bobby Robson centre in Ushaw Moor and once a week in Meadowfield.

Player Fiona Hunter added: “We’re very welcoming. I’ve never been into sports and I’m hooked. It’s a really positive sport for women to be involved in. I’ve seen a big change in my body image and my attitude towards it.”

The matches on Saturday will be held at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre. Doors will open from 12.30pm with the first match starting at 1.10pm.Durham’s match will start at 3.10pm.

Tickets are £5 and are available on the door.