CROWDS flocked to watch teams play against each other in a two-day Roller derby tournament in Cwmbran Stadium this weekend.

Riot City Ravens, Newport’s only roller derby team, hosted the tournament, where six sides went head-to-head to compete for the inaugural Chartist Cup.

Roller derby is a contact sport growing in popularity across the world, and involves two teams on roller skates carrying out loops around a track. One member of each team scores points by lapping members of the opposition team, while opponents attempt to stop them.

Taking on the Ravens to challenge for the trophy were Milton Keynes’ Rebel Uprising, the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots, as well as fellow Welsh teams – the Tiger Bay Brawlers hailing from Cardiff, Bridgend Roller Derby from Bridgend, South Wales and North Wales Roller Derby.

After 10 gruelling matches, North Wales Roller Derby lifted the trophy, overcoming Rebel Uprising in Sunday’s final.

Across the two days, more than 300 people filled the hall at Cwmbran Stadium to watch the fast-track contact sport.

Speaking on the first day of the competition, Melanie Pitstop, who helped to arrange the event, said: “Today has so far been amazing. It has taken a long time for us to plan it. We got a grant from the National Lottery that has made this event possible.

“We have got six games taking place today and three tomorrow.

“Roller derby is a sport brought over from the USA. It is essentially a race between two teams who try to score as many points as possible.”

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(Riot City Ravens, in green, taking on the Tiger Bay Brawlers at the Chartist Cup at the Cwmbran Stadium. Picture: Mark Lewis.)

Following the tournament, Alex Miller, a skater and assistant coach for the Ravens, said the tournament was a "huge success".

"We couldn't have hoped for a better weekend, and are really grateful for all the support and involvement of everyone.

"It was the biggest event we've ever hosted, so we're just really happy that everyone had fun, especially all the people who've never seen roller derby before.

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(Riot City Ravens v Tiger Bay Brawlers. Picture. Mark Lewis)

"We had some great feedback from new fans, and families passing by who came to see where all the cheering was coming from.

"We really wanted to have this event free so new people would come and see what all the fuss is about and people could pop in as it suited them over the weekend.

"Our learn to skate course starting in September is almost fully booked now so we're really pleased to bring more people into the sport.

"Riot City are over the moon with the support and participation of the community and volunteers, and the opportunity to raise awareness of the amateur sport of roller derby at the local level." 

The club also posted on Twitter saying: "Where do we even start? Newport's Chartist Cup was a huge hit.

"We saw ten amazing games over the two days; ten amazing games that you all sat and supported in the blistering heat!

"Riot City Ravens can't thank everyone that came to support enough.

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(Crowds getting behind the teams at the Chartist Cup at the Cwmbran Stadium. Picture: Mark Lewis.)

"This was a huge event for us and as a first time tournament for Riot City Ravens, it couldn't have gone any smoother. We couldn't be happier with how this weekend has gone.

"We hope you all had an amazing weekend."

They also thanked The National Lottery Community Fund Wales for funding the event, the first aid team at the tournament and everyone who took part in the tournament, and all those who came down to support them.