It’s a sport that’s as tough as they come, with an injury list that can be long.

“I got the name Ankle Grinder because I broke my ankle in my first year of playing,” Isabelle Hermes remembered as she adjusted her protective helmet.

“I broke my wrist last season. I’ve done some damage to my knee,” she went on during a break in training.

This is roller derby, the sport on roller skates where you score points by getting past opposition players, who use their bodies to physically stop you going anywhere.

“I’m a smaller person, so I really have to throw all of my body into it,” Hermes explained.

Ainslee deWet, or “Must Dash”, is an Adelaide public servant by day, and there have been times when she’s come limping into work or with an arm in a sling.

“I had a broken ankle. I have had an AC (shoulder), two ACs, so both shoulders. Last year, I played in the As with AC damage, this year, I damaged it again, but it’s pretty good,” she reassured herself.

Ainslee deWit, Isabelle Hermes and Ashley Wilkinson are key players for Adelaide in the upcoming Great Southern Slam. (ABC News: Steve Opie)

It seems every player has their own injury story, and Ashley Wilkinson or “Truffles” is no different.

“I broke my collarbone in 2013 in Ballarat. That was my first-ever interstate tournament, and then aside from that, I crushed my finger with my own skate,” they said.

“I think that we kind of wear our bruises as badges of honour and kind of a mark to show how much of ourselves we put on the line in games,” Truffles said.

But no matter how long they’re on the sidelines, they always return.

Right now, there’s an extra spring in their steps as they prepare for the Great Southern Slam, the world’s biggest tournament which is held in Adelaide every two years.

Ashley “Truffles” Wilkinson take a break during training for the national roller derby titles.(ABC News: Steve Opie)

It’s not just about bragging rights this year but the added lure of winning a berth to the international championships in Portland, in the American state of Oregon.

Ankle Grinder, Truffles and Must Dash all play for the Adelaide side, and like so many other sports, have a familiar foe as their arch-rival.

“Victoria is incredibly strong. The only team to have ever beaten them in Australia is Adelaide,” Hermes said.

deWet very quickly slips into roller derby speak as she mentally prepares for a long weekend of physicality in her role on the team.

Bodies clash as Adelaide readies itself for the Great Southern Slam championships.(ABC News: Steve Opie)

“I need to get those blockers off my jammer so that they can get the lead jammer status,” she explained.

It’s a long weekend grind in the bid for those elusive world championship spots, and Wilkinson said there’s a simple formula for success.

“You eat well, you sleep well, you rest, you fill your cup socially,” they said.

The Great Southern Slam will be at Adelaide’s Wayville Showgrounds from June 8-10.

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