Julee Mezzomo and Sharlene Hoffman embrace roller derby alter egos

HARD roller derby skaters Sharlene Hofmann, aka Fast Betty, with Julee Mezzomo, aka XnTrix, use the sport to let off the steam from their everyday life. Photo: Geoff Jones

HARD roller derby skaters Sharlene Hofmann, aka Fast Betty, with Julee Mezzomo, aka XnTrix, use the sport to let off the steam from their everyday life. Photo: Geoff Jones

ROLLER DERBY is an escape from the mundane of everyday life for Sharlene Hofmann.

The Claremont Meadows resident plays for the Hawkesbury-Hills Area Roller Derby, otherwise known as HARD.

Every now and then the mother and small business owner likes to don her team uniform, slip into knee and elbow pads, strap on her skates and helmet, and become a roller derby skater.

Hofmann, aka Fast Betty, is on the cusp of her first bout, and is nervous about getting hit, but excited to compete in the sport.

The Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium will host a round of the 5x5 Roller Derby Championship on Saturday, May 27, with the HARD skaters to start at 7pm.

XnTrix has played for three years, but Fast Betty is yet to taste competition. Picture: Geoff Jones

XnTrix has played for three years, but Fast Betty is yet to taste competition. Picture: Geoff Jones

Hofmann said she joined up because  a friend had played, and had bugged her to join up for about a year.

“I don't have a fear of getting hit. I have a fear of fouling out. There are a lot of rules. You have to think really quickly and know what is going on around you,” she said.

Before taking up roller derby, she said she knew her way around a pair of skates, and plans to be a jammer.

“[Fast Betty] is a name I created which was kind of silly. I named my car fast Betty. It was red. It kinda just stuck with me,” she said.

“I definitely wanted fast in my name because that is what I give to the team I think.”

Jammers skate around the rink as fast as they can to score points, trying to avoid being knocked over by the blockers.

Hofmann said while she was yet to compete in a bout, she had already fallen in love with the sport.

“It is the best thing I've ever done,” she said.

Along with her friend and teammate, Julee Mezzomo, she encourages anyone who wants to try out roller derby to get in contact with HARD via their Facebook page.

You have to think really quickly and know what is going on around you. - Sharlene Hofmann

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