Glasgow Roller Derby present a screening of the hotly anticipated movie,Derby Baby at The Arches,Glasgow on Saturday the 21st of July.A very limited number of tickets were available here at the time of writing,at a cost of £8.So you would be advised to act now if you want to see this first of its kind screening in Scotland.
Emmy-winning filmmakers Robin Bond and Dave Wruck take viewers along on their quest to learn why women's flat track roller derby is the fastest growing sport in the world. Derby, Baby! explores the drama, the friendships, and the addictive nature of women’s flat-track roller derby. Featuring interviews with the stars, fans, critics, promoters, and sociologists who discuss derby's organic growth as a unique athletic expression of women’s empowerment, and the "tipping point" that is close at hand.
I have always loved watching tennis - well, ok, maybe just Wimbledon. I love everything about it - the players, their outfits, their skills, their reactions, the will we / won't we get a British player in the final.... (well, will we?). I've got to be honest though and say I've always felt a bit sorry for the ballboys and girls (or BBGs as they are known). They are on alert the whole match, ready to retrieve balls, distribute balls, hand out towels etc etc, and they never seem to get acknowledged. Watching Wimbledon this week it struck me that the role of a BBG isn't too different from that of an NSO - Non Skating Official. They are impartial, they are not allowed to watch the game, they have expert rules knowledge and if they are doing their job properly no-one knows they are there.
Here the similarities end. Wimbledon BBGs apply in their hundreds for a 1 in 3 chance of being chosen for the coveted position. They train for months in a regime that hasn't changed in decades, which constantly challenges and develops their fitness and rules knowledge. They practice drills again and again until they are perfect. A huge amount of time and money is invested in each new generation of BBGs to ensure the consistently top level standard is maintained.
How many leagues can hold up their hands and say they do the same with their NSOs? Before we start admonishing leagues for this let's look at who our NSOs are. Fresh Meat? Baby Zebras? Injured or recovering skaters? Do you see a theme - these people are passing through, serving their time as NSOs for a variety of reasons. How many people are NSOs because that's what they want to be? Being an NSO should be desirable, not just something you do by default or because you're on your way to bigger and better things. How an individual feels about an NSO role can be influenced by how their league feels about NSOs and the value placed upon them - the time taken to train, nurture and develop them.
Unlike Wimbledon, modern flat-track roller derby doesn't have a 135 year history steeped in tradition and an unchanging, failsafe training regime for NSOs. We're new, we adapt, we're free to promote the role of an NSO as an aspirational one. Roller derby is about empowerment - go ahead and empower your NSOs - train them, value them and love them. They are awesome!
To celebrate the awesomeness of roller derby NSOs, over the coming weeks I will be profiling NSOs from various leauges. Feel free to nominate an NSO from your league as a way of saying thanks for doing a great job :-D
The idea for Fierce Valley Roller Cubs was born back in November 2011, with the inception of the Youth Development committee of Fierce Valley Roller Girls. We all have different reasons for getting involved with Youth Development (for me, the clincher was having a high-school age niece desperate to get her skates on) but everyone shares a common goal to get kids on skates and let them discover the world of derby.
We were all aware that there would be lots of hard work involved in setting up a junior derby league, the first in Scotland. Firstly, it was decided that the Cubs would be open to school age kids, both girls and boys, in the hope of training up some refs as well as derby girls. We started by investigating other junior derby leagues around the world and found, as usual in the derby community, people willing to share information and give advice. All excited by the prospect of getting the league up and running, the next step was to start publicising FVRC. We've embraced the world of social media, with a Facebook page, a blog, and Twitter (@FierceValleyCub). We've had lots of interest and positive feedback, hopefully leading to a large number of Cubs signing up when we're ready to go.
The differences between running a "normal" league and junior league were soon apparant, in terms of coaches and the cost of insurance. Every skater that was interested in coaching had to go through PVG checks in order to be cleared to work with children (thankfully, we all were!). The insurance has been our major stumbling block so far: as expected, it's not cheap to cover a room full of kids on roller skates. Fundraising efforts will be required to meet the costs before we can secure a venue and start putting together training plans.
The Cubs have taken part in some events run by our big sister league recently. At April's Craft Emporium, we had a stall dedicated to the Cubs, displaying examples of the neccesary equipment, copies of the rules set and games and treats for the kids. When FVRG took part in the nationwide Roller Derby Torch Relay last month, the first ten laps were skated by one of our first Cubs, Cam Cam Thank You Ma'am. We also took part in the Bike Week launch event for The Helix project in Falkirk, who have taken a keen interest and been very supportive. We loved having Cubs involvement in these events and can't wait until it happens more regularly.
There's still a way to go for FVRC before we've reached our goal of starting a new generation of derby skaters, boys and girls alike, but we remain committed to the task and look forward to the day when we're surrounded by kids, skating rings around us!
For more information, or to register your own mini-skater, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was your biggest initial difficulty?
Lots of roller girls find it hard not to spread the word about their new sport. How have you been spreading the word?
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt/ done this month?
What were the most difficult and the best things?
What's new for the Nessies this month?
We have lots of newbies, some of whom have graduated to the team skate practies - woohooo!
Image courtesy of Granite City Roller Girls
Granite City Roller Girls are recruiting for skaters and officials.If you live in the Aberdeen area and think you might want to give Roller Derby a go,meet people,get fit and be part of an awesome team.Then contact GCRG through their website, or on their Facebook page for more details.
Image courtesy of Glasgow Roller Derby
Glasgow Roller Derby kick off their 2012 Home Season on Saturday the 30th of June with a bout between last years winners,the Death Stars, up against the Bad Omens. All four Home Season bouts will take place at The Arc and are priced at £5 each,with a season ticket costing a mere £15.Especially good value ,as not only do you get a bout free,but this first bout will also be a double-header,featuring a Mens Roller Derby clash between Sheffield's mighty Inhuman League and Scotland's very own Jakey Bites.
A quick round-up of some news stories in case you missed out on them.
Photograph by Jimsin Vogel.
First is the story of the Olympic Torch being carried by Granite City Roller Girl,Carolyn Mackenzie at the Aberdeen Voice.An intriguing "by the people for the people" community news site for Aberdeen and the North East.The article also features photography by Dave McAleavy
The Sunday Herald ran a 6 page fashion piece ,written by Susan Swarbrick, on Roller Derby chic,featuring four members of Team Scotland,Viper,Marla Mayhem,Alma Geddon and Danger Mouth.Sadly,permission to use a photograph from the shoot could not be obtained in time.
Image courtesy of Glasgow Roller Derby
Glasgow Roller Derby graduated from the Apprentice Program to become a full member of the WFTDA.Two other UK leagues also join GRD in gaining full member status,Windsor Roller Girls and the Lincolnshire Bombers,bringing the total number of full member leagues in the UK to six.Congratulations all round.
With only nine days to go until Derby Revolution, we caught up with Miss Miyagi, one of the organisers and member of Gent Go-Go Roller Girls, to ask some questions about the event itself.
Registration for Derby Revolution ends on Sunday.
Various people have been comparing Derby Revolution to RollerCon. Do you think this is a good comparison?
The comparison to RollerCon is an obvious one to make; our formula is very much alike: Derby Revolution is four days of non-stop skating, partying, networking, skating some more, basically celebrating the sport and culture of Roller Derby. Like a big bootcamp or event, we offer on-skate classes with world-class skaters, off-skate work-out sessions, seminars, social events and parties. It's a package deal: you learn some new skills, pick up some info on how to run your league, make friends with skaters from all over Europe and at the end of the day get to drink some great Belgian beers (which they don't have in Vegas!).
Differently from RollerCon, however, we try to keep our event rather 'small and cosy': by limiting our tickets to a couple of hundred, we can guarantee that every skater will live the experience to its fullest potential. No endless queues, no frustration over missed classes. Granted, we won't have a giant open-air pool, the weather conditions will be unpredictable at best and Gent simply isn't Vegas, but we still hope to live up to the expectations. After all, RollerCon is the biggest derby event in the States so it's an honour to be compared to such an amazing event!
How would you contrast the purpose of Derby Revolution to that of EROC, the existing pan-European derby meet up?
EROC is an initiative that was born from a growing need for organization within the European roller derby community; before, leagues had only America to look for examples, but it became apparent very quickly that there is quite a distance, both in space and in culture, between the two continents. EROC is a yearly conference for European leagues to gather and exchange ideas on how to organize derby in Europe specifically. So it's truely a conference: serious business and not a whole lot of skating.
Derby Revolution is an ahtletic event first and foremost: most of the time, you'll be on skates, learning rad new tricks and playing fun scrimmages. It's an excellent way to spread derby-knowledge across Europe and make us all better skaters. We will also offer seminars that could concern organizational aspects of the sport, but these are not our main priority. This is an event for skaters to grow individually, meet up with other derby girls, discover some new derby product that will change their lives and, afterwards, spread their freshly acquired knowledge to their leagues.
Why now? Are you planning on making Derby Revolution a regular event?
Why not? Europe is evolving rapidly and is definitely ready for an event such as this. We hope to make the Revolution a yearly event which can democratize derby skills and knowhow. We don't want one team to better than the next, simply because they can afford a great American coach and the other can't. A mass event such as this opens up a lot of information to a lot of skaters, who can then share and spread that knowledge.
With the next World Cup set for 2014, how do you guys feel about a European hosting for it?
The World Cup is not on our minds at the moment. Let's first make this first Revolution a resounding success! It would of course be very exciting to organize an event such as this or the European Cup, but we should consider the pros and cons. After all, it's hard to organize these events and play them at a competitive level at the same time.... to be continued!
On Saturday 30th June from 12:30pm, The Jakey Bites will play their first home-game in Glasgow!
For advanced ticket sales, visit GRD's Home Seasons Facebook Event.
With FVRG growing at such a rapid pace, we have chosen to host our first intra-league bout! This will be an 'invite-only' closed bout, but don't worry - there will be photographers and reporters in the crowd to capture all the action.
The Grease-themed Summer Shovin' will be held in Grangemouth Sports Complex on Saturday 30th June. Doors open at 2:30pm, then from 3:15pm the Rink Ladies and T-Stop Birds will battle it out to be crowned the Homecoming Queens. This will be the debut bout for our new mins-passed skaters, but let's hope they behave otherwise they'll end up in detention!
Although technically a closed bout, a limited number of tickets are available at £3, but only through your friendly Rink Ladies and T-Stop Birds. Due to the venue seating capacity, this will be on a first-come first-served basis so get in quick! Please contact skaters direct if you would like to attend.