Garston roller derby star joins campaign to get women into sport

Liverpool Echo Article

A mum-of-one from Garston has been chosen to take part in the This Girl Can campaign which encourages women to get into sport.

Jane Humphreys, was chosen to represent her roller derby team, the Liverpool Roller Birds, after making it into the A team last year and competing on a national level.

The roller skating maestros, known as the Sisters of Mersey, were contacted by Toxteth TV who wanted to include them on the local This Girl Can campaign which aims to celebrate active women.

Jane, who joined the team in 2012, was chosen to represent her team on the campaign and thought it was important to promote women involved in sport.

She said: “They approached us asking if we would like to be part in the This Girl Can campaign and we thought it would be a really good idea to promote what we do here and to promote women in sport.

“They came to our training venue and filmed a practice session and I was chosen to be interviewed about what we do.”

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Jane, who originally started playing on the B team – The Yellow Shovmarines – also wanted to promote the emotional and mental benefits for women who play sport or keep active. She added: “It’s not just about the physical benefits, it’s about the emotional side of things too and it also helps with mental health issues.” Jane started playing for the Liverpool Roller Birds when she wanted to try something different after having a baby. And after joining as a complete beginner, Jane learnt the ropes and soon found herself at try-outs for the team’s A and B squads. She said: “I started in 2012 when my daughter was five months old. I wanted to do something different with my life. I was a mum, so had restrictions around childcare, but I just thought I would give something different a go. “A friend of a friend played for the Sheffield team so I knew about the sport already, and then I happened to move closer to where the Liverpool Roller Birds trained in Garston.”

The sport, which involves a fair amount of pushing and shoving on skates, does take time to learn, and beginners are required to pass a ‘minimal skills’ test before getting involved in any games.

After starting as a total beginner, and now playing in the first team, Jane was the perfect ambassador for This Girl Can, showing how a drive to try something new and a little determination can get woman a long way in sport.

Jane added: “I couldn’t even stand up on skates when I first started. I couldn’t do anything and it took me a long time to learn to skate properly. In total I was learning for about nine months. It took me longer than other people, maybe because I had just had a baby and was quite unfit. Even though I couldn’t do anything when I started, all the girls were really supportive.”