Who are your derby heroes?
Glasgow Roller Derby present the second bout in their 2012 Home Season on Saturday the 4th of August at The ARC Sportscentre,Cowcaddens Road,Glasgow. This time around it's the Hell's Belles vs Death Stars.Tickets are available in advance at a cost of £5 or £6 on the day. Afterwards there is not one,but two venues,first a food stop at Pinto's and then drinking and dancing at the Garnethill Multicultural Centre.
There are two upcoming bootcamps to mark in your diaries.
First up is Glasgow Roller Derby's Harder Better Faster Stronger on Saturday the 11th of August.A day dedicated to the skills new skaters need to pass their minimums.You can register your interest here. Please note that all attending skaters must bring their own kit in addition to both black and coloured shirts with name and number. You can read SRD's own Chasing Katy's thoughts on attending a previous GRD Bootcamp here.
Next is the Auld Reekie Roller Girls' event, School Of ARRG Knocks on Saturday the 6th of October.This one is for minimums passed skaters only,on and off skates training,strategy and a whole lot more. More details nearer the time.
Glasgow Roller Derby's Maiden Grrders travel south to take part in The Great Yorkshire Showdown this weekend (Sat the 28th of July) This annual invite only event ,in it's third year, is hosted by the Leeds Roller Dolls and features some well known UK teams battling each other over two sets of heats.The winner of each heat then play in the final to decide the winner. This will be the first time GRD have appeared at the Showdown and they will be in good company,as this is also the first invite for the Middlesborough Milk Rollers. Tickets are available through the Leeds Roller Dolls website at a cost of £10 and the heats look like this....
Heat 1: LRD Whip-Its vs Middlesbrough Milk Rollers Heat 2: SSRG Crucibelles vs Hot Wheel Roller Derby Heat 3: Middlesbrough Milk Rollers vs GRD Maiden Grdrrs Heat 4: Manchester Roller Derby vs Hot Wheel Roller Derby Heat 5: LRD Whip-Its vs GRD Maiden Grdrrs Heat 6: SSRG Crucibelles vs Manchester Roller Derby Final: Group A Winner vs Group B Winner
Image courtesy of ARRG
Auld Reekie Roller Girls present their Festival bouts again this year.Up first on Saturday the 4th of August is Arrg's Twisted Thistles against the Tiger Bay Brawlers.Then on Saturday the 18th of August the Cannon Belles take on Dublin Roller Girls. Tickets for both bouts can be bought in advance at a cost of £5 per bout(plus booking fee)or are £7 on the day.As usual,under 14's go free and there will be a smorgasbord of merchandise,cake and other goodies on offer.
While junior roller derby is becoming well-established in the US, there are surprisingly few junior leagues in the UK. One of the first to launch is Tiger Bay Brawlers, open to girls and boys aged 11-16, and here we speak to one of the junior coaches, Edel.
Why did you start a Junior League?
Personally since I started to play roller derby I have always wanted to start a junior team. Roller derby I believe is one of the few sports which encourages people of all shapes and sizes to learn that their body and mind is valuable and powerful, they just need to understand how to use it. You don’t need to be a certain size you just need to work hard and give yourself a chance. If we can get young people to learn those lessons then just imagine what awesome people they will be in the future!
American junior leagues start at 5 years of age, they are training and nurturing their skaters because it will only benefit their teams in the future. Our coaches and captains are always encouraging us to look to American teams and footage to learn and develop our understanding of derby and if European teams want to compete on the same level as American teams then we need to not only look at their game play and strategies but how they run their leagues and train their players.
When did you decide to form a junior league? Myself and Judge Redd discussed it one day at Rec League late last year. We then got researching and organising from there!
How long did it take to get off the ground? It took about six/eight weeks to get from an idea to our first training session.
What difficulties did you face in starting up - safety requirements, venues etc? All schools in Cardiff have lunchtime, after school and holiday sports clubs organised and supported by an organisation called 5x60. I am a secondary school teacher in St. Teilo’s High School. Loraine Rye is the 5x60 officer in my school and was very keen to start a junior roller derby club. Loraine and the 5x60 organisation gave us guidance and support from finding funding for a venue, CRB checks, coaching etc. They also provided us with support in gaining a suitable venue to train in which has proved a huge help to us. We also contacted the JRDA and UKRDA for advice on derby specific issues.
How many coaches do you have, and how did you decide who would coach? We have four junior derby coaches. TBB head coach Judge Redd, TBB head ref Chaz Tizer, TBB freshmeat coach Hello Resshi and myself. When looking at who would coach we looked at people who were not only intetested but able to dedicate the time and energy to the team. We also have a large number of our adult skaters that come along to training and help support the juniors.
How did you spread the word?
5x60 and Loraine Rye were again a huge support when it came to promoting, they facilitated us with links to schools where we held assemblies (on skates!) and distributed posters. 5x60 are run by Cardiff Council and they sent photographers to our first session which were then published in the local paper.
Our PR team are a well oiled machine when it comes to such things and promoted junior training on twitter, tumblr and Facebook.
Do you treat the league as a seperate entity? No, our juniors and their families are Brawlers. We actively encourage juniors and their families to volunteer at home bouts, they travel with us to away bouts, and even spend some Sundays cheering us on in closed door scrims/bouts! We are also looking towards training some parents and guardians to NSO and we have had some mums and dads attend our rec league. The juniors train before the vets and are welcome to stay behind to watch the adults train. This has helped them feel more a part of the league.
How did you prepare for your first training session? Following advice given to us by the JRDA we planned and prepared for the session as we would an adult skater first session/intro to derby – falls, stance, stops etc. All of the coaches registered as Cardiff Council Volunteer coaches and Judge Redd has undertaken a coaching course. It is important to keep the sessions engaging and fun while keeping the content relevant.
Have you continued to recruit skaters since starting up? We are always looking for more junior skaters and take up an opportunities that we can to encourage new skaters to join the team.
How many junior skaters do you have? 12/15 who attend weekly but we are always welcoming new skaters to join.
What do you cover in training? Junior sessions are structured in a similar way to Vet or Freashmeat sessions. The only constrict that juniors have is we unfortunately can only train one hour a week at the moment so we have to pack a lot into that hour! Hopefully as the junior team grows we will be able to afford to train for longer.
What are your plans for the future? As a team we are working towards holding our first junior bout in December 2012 and we are hoping to find some other junior team in the UK to scrimmage with before then. Even a group of three or four skaters from another team who could take part in a pick up scrim with our skaters is something we hope to achieve in the next three – four months. And as I already mentioned we would like to obtain more training time and encourage more skaters to join.
What have you learned from setting up and running a junior league? Setting up the juniors has been a rewarding and challenging experience for me. On a weekly basis I am impressed by the dedication and focus of the skaters and how much they are willing to put in to training. These skaters are the Brawlers of the future and it is incredibly exciting to watch them grow and progress.
Thanks to Edel for the interview and the inspiration! For more information about Tiger Bay Brawlers and the juniors, check out their website.
Do you live in the Perth area and want to get fit,meet new people and be part of an awesome Roller Derby team? Then you need to contact the Fair City Rollers on Facebook.
The creation of the Jakey Bites, Scotland's first men's roller derby team, has created an interesting aspect of roller derby, bringing the boys off the sidelines and onto the track.
I was lucky enough to attend the first Dundee Roller Girls scrim session that included members of the Jakey Bites, who were preparing for their first bout.
Beforehand, some of the girls I had spoken to were a bit apprehensive about it; others were really up for it. Some thought that the boys would cause more damage on track, others thought it would be great fun. And besides, the boys weren't as experienced as a lot of the girls.
Everyone who was there seemed to have a great time, and as a spectator, it was interesting to see the difference between guys and girls on track, what the physical differences between men and women brought to, and took away from, the performances.
An interesting observance made to me by a Jakey not that long ago emphasises this point. He told me that men don't do as much hip checking as women. The fact is, that men don't have "hips" per se, their waists are narrow while their shoulders are wide, so they will go for a shoulder/side hit. But this may be where co-ed derby can help shape merby strategy: men skating with women can see how moves like hip checks can be effective and start incorporating that into training sessions. And with most male skaters not using hip checks, it could become an interesting tactic that can give a men's team an edge.
I asked for the thoughts of some fellow skaters (male and female) and although it was mostly positive, there were some concerns.
Fierce Valley's Frocky Horror said: " Being a Jakey wife I have seen first hand the damage that boys can do to each other, so I wouldn't be happy bouting or scrimming with boys. Having said that at FVRG we trained with our refs and learned to hit with them too. We don't do that now, just right at the start."
During my time at the Fair City Rollers, this was our situation too. Danimal, our league's guy ref, often trained with us, to the point where no one really batted an eyelid when we saw him lacing up his skates.
Dundee Roller Girl Gadget said: "I understand the reservations that some female skaters have about skating with boys. I have done it at DRG before and found it be just as much fun as skating with girls. As it stands now, games are more about tactics than just going out and hitting each other. There is much less hitting than there was when I first started. Legal target zones are always an issue, regardless of sex. If you take Psychomilly for example, she's our tallest skater and struggles with legal target zones, yet is an amazing blocker and hits harder than anyone I know. I think both sides have much to gain from playing co-ed."
Nasty Nessie Cherry Bow added: "I feel that women have reached a point now where we can comfortably compete and play alongside with our male counterparts on the track. Women can hit hard and are fast just as there are women who are slower and more tactical. We come in all shapes and sizes and so do the men! There are female skaters out there who weigh more than a male skater (myself included) who can take a hit and stay put regardless if that hit is from a man or a woman. Equally we can give as well as receive and I know there's a few men out there who have been sent flying by a well placed hit from a female skater. Additionally I think this will bring more men into the sport and we need all the fresh blood we can get to make sure this fantastic sport keeps going and evolving."
She even added that she felt there should be co-ed bouts, which would allow for a "new dimension of play".
However, a lot of the men don't take for granted that their presence at scrims will be welcomed.
Former Jakey Bite and long-time GCRG ref Buffy Boiler explained: "In my opinion co-ed is fine on the proviso that everyone, boys and girls, knows what they're getting into and that there is absolutely no stigma attached to people saying they're not comfortable with doing it. I would never expect to just rock up to a girls league scrim session and be welcomed to play - it would have to be something agreed in advance."
Whether or not there will be co-ed derby bouts remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure...men will be welcomed by many at scrims in the future.
This looks set to be a close and extremely competitive bout. Both teams are in their first competing year, so each are determined to take home a win! It will also be the farewell bout for Banshee Brawl Flanders, so come and show her your support.
Belfast Roller Derby are going all out to embrace the Kiss theme! The bout soundtrack will be belting out all the classics, and prizes will be awarded for best dressed fans. No doubt the skaters will also be donning the modest Kiss attire...
Doors open at 7pm, skate-outs will be performed at 8pm sharp. Tickets can be purchased in advance for £5, or £7 on the night. Keep an eye on the Facebook Event for details of online sales.
Auld Reekie Roller Girls together with Anti Manifesto,hold a fundraiser event on Friday the 20th of July at the Banshee Labyrinth,Niddry Street,Edinburgh.For the sum of £5 you get four punk/hardcore acts...
Fights And Fires,a four piece from Worcester playing rock and roll/hardcore punk. Shields Up,are a 4 piece hardcore band from Edinburgh. Bear Trade, punk band based in Sunderland. Turtle Lamone,Piano driven melodic (sort of but not really) punk.