Duo’s roller derby breaks not really a laughing matter

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IT’S a cracker . .

Two comedy workers from Chorley are recovering after getting just the kind of break they didn’t want.

Friends Brainne Edge and Bethany Black both broke a leg within weeks of each other playing one of the newest sports sweeping the country – roller derby.

The crocked chums, who both come from Withnell, play in Manchester where they now live.

Brainne, 33 and Bethany, 34, are former pupils of Parklands High School, Chorley.

They took up the bone-crunching new sport last year.

Brainne plays for The Furies and Bethany currently assists the team.

Brainne, whose skating name is Rainbow Smite, said: “ I’ve always loved skating since I was little and with the added excitement of it being a full contact sport, you can’t lose really.”

She is currently in a plaster cast awaiting a further operation to correct her badly broken ankle.

“I know it looks like I should have given up, but in truth I’m counting the days until I can get my skates on again and carry on playing with my team,” said Brainne, who is married.

Bethany, who is single, skates under the name Beth Leppard.

She suffered a similar fate last November when she took a tumble during practice and broke her leg in three places.

“I managed to get tripped going at a slow speed and couldn’t fall safely, pretty much nearly snapped my leg off,” said Bethany.

“It’s pinned now with a tibial nail and I’m off skates for a year, but next January I’ll be back harder than ever.”

Brainne is manager of the North West’s Top Improv Troupe – Comedysportz.

She also teaches performance and comedy at Salford University and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

She used to run Chorley Little Theatre where she first got to know Bethany.

Bethany is a professional stand-up comedian who has worked with the likes of Allan Carr, Sarah Millican, Jason Manford and Tim Minchin.

The pair say it’s only a matter of time before people are talking about roller derby.

The country’s first team started in London four years ago and the sport is really set to take off.

Skaters score points by passing as many of the opposing team as they can in a two minute ‘jam’.

“Oh yeah,” added Brainne, “and to stop the other team scoring points, sometimes people get hurt.”

Even though their injuries have meant both women have had to step out of the comedy spot light for a while, they say they still wouldn’t give up roller derby for anything.

Although there are a lot of bruises, the two add that only a very small number of people get hurt at the level they play at – however in Manchester roller derby’s two-year history, their breaks are numbers three and six.

“Yeah, it’s harder to work on crutches, and it will be for a while, but if I’d not done roller derby there’s a lot of very cool people I wouldn’t know, and 2012 would have been far more boring,” said Brainne.

Manchester Roller Derby is based in Openshaw and players travel from all over the area to take part in their ‘Zero’s to Hero’s’ beginners intake every few months.

n For more information, visit www.Manchesterrollerderby.co.uk, or Google your local team.