17 January

My Twin is a Roller Derby Skater


Postcard my sister sent me recently (artist Kate Abey)

My twin sister and I are close. Usually whatever the one does the other does too, we had the same hobbies, the same friends, similar degrees and now work in similar careers in marketing.

Smile! No, sparrow face! No? DAMNIT! #sisters #twins #selfie #henparty #sparrowface

A photo posted by Louisa Ellins (@killherinstinct) on

This all changed back in July 2011, my Louisa had moved to Nottingham to start a new life with her now husband a couple of months previously. She doesn’t usually do sad and lonely, she does danger and activity and looked for the most active sport possible. What she found was roller derby, or as I described it at the time ‘you skate really fast in a circle, knocking seven bells out of other women?’

Before I’d even had time to understand the rules, she was a fully paid up member of the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots. The training was punishing at the time, she spent hours working on her speed to achieve 25 laps in 5 minutes (as it was back then, I now hear it’s 27 in five. Crazy rules keep changing!) and be able to squat and do crossovers. 


Our dad, Tom loves to support Louisa at games with his favourite scarf

She was unfit, but as determined as she is, in time she went from a Spark (new starter) to a member of the B team and now a member of the A team and now heads up the PR committee. Sometimes she even jams at open games. (I know that’s the one that skates reeeeeally fast around the track with a star on her head). Louisa over the years has become more and more an irreplaceable part of the team (and I doubt that’s just my opinion) and friendships over the years have grown so close. I am eternally grateful that this group of funny and interesting women have taken my sister for their own. They are there when I cannot be – it’s a 2 hour drive, and my time is limited. We had the most amazing night out though, old friends and new Derby friends for her hen party back in 2013. I don’t believe there could be a more welcoming sport for a person.


Us at an open bout Louisa skated in hosted in our home town by Severn Roller Torrent.

She tries to get me to skate and tries to get me to watch her skate. I rarely do. To be honest, I hate seeing her get hit whether it’s a part of the game or not, I understand it’s not the done thing to jump down to the track and hit someone for hitting my sister. For myself, skating, I just cannot commit – my job takes me around the world and I’m not around so much.

Me taking a quick break on my travels

Me taking a quick break on my travels

All she ever talks about is skating too. Matches and training and countries visited or what she is thinking of doing for campaigns for her PR role. I don’t mind, it’s fine that she’s got something that she is passionate about. Isn’t life about finding something you are passionate about? However as much as it is her passion, it’s not mine although I wish it could be as we would make a scary prospect for anyone to take us on. Our timing, natural internal rhythms, you know we would be the ‘hell team’ for blocking and of course the toast of UK Derby. I’m proud of her for finding her passion in life.

First ever medal! We’re no2! #hellfireharlots#rollerderby #tier2 #britishchamps2015

A photo posted by Louisa Ellins (@killherinstinct) on