A roller skating mum from Sheffield is set to represent her country – despite fears that she would never compete again after breaking her collarbone.
Erica Packington, aged 37, from Meersbrook, is due to take part in the Roller Derby World Cup just three years after she thought her career was over when she snapped her collarbone in a game and it failed to heal.
The skater, who competes under the name ‘She-RARR’, plays for Sheffield Steel Rollergirls and is to represent Jamaica, where she was born, in the Roller Derby World Cup in Dallas, Texas, in December.
Roller Derby is like rugby on wheels, without a ball.
Erica, who was out of the game for two years, started competing again after treatment from Sheffield physiotherapist Dr Michael Lee at MiTo therapy, based in Millhouses.
She said: “I took a really awkward hit to the right shoulder. I didn’t realise what had happened at first and tried to shake it off but I soon realised it wasn’t right.
“Most collarbones heal within six weeks – but mine didn’t fuse together properly.
“Roller derby is a really physical game – like rugby on wheels without the ball - and my preferred position of jammer involves getting hit a lot. Because the bones shift about in my shoulder without the support of the collarbone, I decided I had to take a step back from the game and referee for a while instead.
“Michael’s support has helped me safely build up the strength of the muscles in my shoulder and my core, so I’m able to really get back into the sport properly.
“I am really looking forward to being in great shape for the World Cup.
“I’m hoping to carry on skating for years to come.”