NO QUARTERS GIVEN: Bay Rollers battle it out against Lismore’s Northern Rivers Roller Derby side.
NO QUARTERS GIVEN: Bay Rollers battle it out against Lismore’s Northern Rivers Roller Derby side. Peter Moore

Sex slavery: Local women roll towards solution

CAN roller derby save women and empower them?

For Byron Bay roller derby player, Brianna Bowers (aka Raven de Range), the connection between her sport and the not for profit organisation Connecting Hands is clear.

They're both about empowering women.

That's why the Byron Bay roller derby team, the Bay Rollers, will be going skate to skate with the Tweed Valley Vixens in a fundraising bout for the charity.

Connecting Hands is an Australian-based charity that supports young women and children who have been sold and trafficked into sexual slavery in Cambodia.

It was a grim topic and a reality that Ms Bowers came across in a book and it sparked her passion to study social welfare and work in the prevention of human trafficking and rescue of women from it.

"I read a book about human trafficking and that's what made me decide to start uni and get my degree and be able to help further in this field," Ms Bowers said.

"I think it's an area that needs more awareness and more action.

"Roller derby is something else that I'm incredibly passionate about.

"It's incredibly empowering to all the women involved and that's the underlying core to both causes."

Miranda Riley from Bay Rollers said all profits from the Bout for Freedom fund-raiser would go towards Connecting Hands.

She said games in Byron drew 300-400 spectators.

Money will be raised through $10 tickets, a cake stall and sausage sizzle.

As for the game itself, the competition as fierce.

"It will be a fierce as a normal match, particularly because it is our first game of the season and we have something to prove," Ms Riley said.

"We're really keen to get out there and give it everything we've got.

"We've played them a number of times in the North Coast derby coalition and we've beaten them every time, but we are keen to see what they have in store for this year."

Bout for Freedom

What: Roller Derby Charity Fundraiser

The Bay Rollers vs Tweed Valley Vixens

When: Friday March 7. Doors open 7pm

Where: Byron Bay Regional Sports Complex

Tickets: $10 at the door. Children under 12 free



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