Auckland Roller Derby League (ARDL) is an amateur skater-owned and run flat track roller derby league. Established in July 2011 by a handful of skaters with a vision to provide members with the skills necessary to excel in the sport they love and to raise the level of roller derby throughout New Zealand.
Although the league was still in the early stages, 2012 saw ARDL compete in New Zealand’s National Roller Derby Tournament and take out the number 1 spot in the country. The following year ARDL fought hard and with heart to make it to the final but PCR All Scars were just too strong on the day and ARDL rolled away with number 2.
Since the creation of ARDL the league has competed internationally at The Great Southern Slam, which is the largest Roller Derby tournament outside of the USA. Being a bi-annual tournament ARDL crossed the ditch in both 2012 and 2014 to hit hard against some of the best teams across Australia and New Zealand, walking away with a win and a loss each time.
2015 marked the year of ARDL’s first official team within the league aptly named the ‘Bolts’. The year started with the Bolts coming up against our hardest competition yet in The Bont Invitational. The Bolts put everything they had into each game but unfortunately didn’t walk away with a win. Determined to push on, the team trained harder than ever before and turned the rest of the season round to end on a winning streak in New Zealand.
Before the season started in 2016, ARDL graduated to fully qualified members of WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association). Making the league the third in New Zealand to achieve this. We look forward to supporting other New Zealand leagues in their journey to full membership and look forward to competing on world stage and taking on the best teams in the world.
The Bolts also began their season with the first playoff game in New Zealand’s Top 10 Tournament. This was a year long tournament which saw the girls in blue skate away with the Sheild and 5th place in this New Zealand Tournament Ranking. This wasn’t the only tournament for 2016 however. The girls also participated in the Royal Rumble Tournament in the Gold Coast going up against fierce Australian teams and coming second in their division. Not only did they add a trophy to their collection it also saw them make their way up the WFTDA World Ranking.
What does 2017 hold for NZ Roller Derby? If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground you would’ve heard the World Champs will be upon us towards to the end of the year and ARDL intends to support all of our kiwi skaters who will be representing New Zealand. As for ARDL? Keep your eyes peeled.