A guest post, written by journalist - and skater - Alan Muir.
SPORTING history will be made this month when two teams of home-grown heroes go skate to skate on the roller derby track.
Glasgow's very own Mean City Roller Derby will be taking on Falkirk's Bairn City Rollers during an all-action bout in Grangemouth on Saturday, January 25. It will be the first time two men’s roller derby leagues in Scotland have gone head to head - with a rip-roaring day of reckoning in the offing. It's set to be a pulsating and punishing clash - showcasing a sensational sport which is sweeping Scotland.
Players from both leagues have been selected to represent their country's national team - Power of Scotland - at the Men's Roller Derby World Cup in Birmingham this March. And Mean City also boast two of the most experienced skaters currently playing roller derby - Jason Crawford and Jim Whyte - who together have played in more than 40 bouts.
Mean City are keen to start the New Year with a resounding victory over the Bairns' men's team - the Skelpies. Mean City Chairman and founder BruiseDog - aka Jason Crawford - said: "We're delighted to be helping to make history with our good friends and rivals from Bairn City Rollers. The Skelpies will be determined to get one over on Mean City, but we aim to beat the Bairns in their backyard. We hope our army of fans will be out in numbers for this very special, historic occasion. It promises to be an amazing advert for an awesome sport. Roller derby is fast-paced, skilful, athletic and all-action - offering a thrilling day out for all the family. Come and enjoy a sport that really has to be seen to be believed."
Captain and co-founder of the Skelpies, iHorror - aka Anthony Sweeney - said: "We can't wait to make history on January 25 and we want as many people are possible to come along and support their local team. Get your tickets now for what is sure to be a bruising, all-action bout. We will sell you a whole seat, but you won't need it - you'll be perched on the edge of it for the full 60 minutes."
Skelpies vs. Mean City takes place on Saturday, January 25, at 2.30pm in Grangemouth Sports Complex, Abbots Road, Grangemouth. Tickets cost just £4. Visit the Facebook Event for more details.
Mean City Roller Derby - which formed in 2012 - is the first male league in the West of Scotland and is the brother league to the all-female, all-conquering Glasgow Roller Derby. If you would like to join Mean City - male or female - as long as you're over 18 and ready for a new challenge this is your chance. Visit their Facebook Page for more information.
Bairn City Rollers are Scotland's first - and so far only - co-ed roller derby league, meaning they have male and female skaters.
Well it's that time again folks! GCGR are putting on another awesome Rock night!I'd advise you to duck tape your socks down because they are likely to get rocked off!!!...
Returning from the previous rock night we welcome back Laid Back.
With a list as long as both of your arms put together Laid Back are a covers band not to be missed!.. ( Rage against the machine, Guns n Roses, Wheezer, Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, The Killers, The Cult, Foo fighters, Queen, ACDC....I could go on!!!)
Due to unforeseen commitments the Ruckus have had to pull out of Rock night...but not to worry, we have....drum roll Voodoo Vibe!!
Voodoo Vibe are a four piece cover band that play anything from The Rolling stones to The White stripes. If you liked to know more you can give them a like here or check out their web page.
Doors 6.30pm, first band on @ 7.00pm. £6.00 entry. Awesome cake and booze raffle on the night.! See you there!!
Date/Time Date(s) - 01/02/2014 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
On Saturday 14th December, The Jakey Bites hosted their second 'SUR5AL' Tournament at The Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh.
16 teams of 3 females plus 2 males signed up to take part in the tournament, representing many of the Scottish Roller Derby leagues, as well as English teams: Barrow Infernos, Furness Firecrackers, and Blackpool Roller Derby. This year, the event was open to the public. All door takings plus each teams' entry fee was donated to the winner's charity of choice.
The 16 teams were split into 4 groups of 4 teams, with a variety of festive names! Each team played against the other three teams in their group, in 3 sets of 2 minute jams played back-to-back with no time-outs or call-offs. The team who won the most games from their Group then progressed through to the Semi Final.
The day ran extremely smoothly, with Dafty from The Jakeys guiding the teams through their group stages. The NSOs did a fantastic job of telling each team who was up next to play, and the Ref Crews were seamless in their switch-over between games.
Ian McCreadie - an independent photographer - was at The Meadowbank to capture all of the action from the day. He has kindly supplied all of the following images.
Group A Winner: Team 13, representing Fierce Valley Roller Girls and Capital City Roller Derby. Their team skaters were Tiny Tearaway (FVRG); Maz-Manian Devil (FVRG); Fun Ghoul (FVRG); WK Deid (CCRD); HaJuken (CCRD).
Group B Winner: Team 6, representing Granite City Roller Girls and Granite City Brawlermen. Their team skaters were Clinically Wasted (GCRG); Rock 'n Riot (GCRG); Fight Cub (GCRG); Pudz (GCB); and Jaffa Skates (GCB).
Group C Winner: Festive Periods, representing Auld Reekie Roller Girls and MeanCity Roller Derby. Their team skaters were Bint Imperial (ARRG); Crazy Legs (ARRG); Unprotected Bex (ARRG); Tea Virus (MCRD) and Konanberg (MCRD).
Group D Winner: Lamb 2.0, representing Auld Reekie Roller Girls, Dundee Roller Girls, and Capital City Roller Derby. Their team skaters were Ginge (ARRG); Tequila Jammer (CCRD); Milky (DRG); Kiki (ARRG) and Dafty (CCRD).
After a hard-fought semi finals round, Festive Periods and Lamb 2.0 came head-to-head in the finals. Lamb 2.0 claimed the victory, and will be donating the takings from the event to a charity of their choice.
The full line-ups of each team is as follows. Although there were a couple of changes on the day, this should give you an idea of the talent that competed in the tournament.
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The Granite City Roller Girls are recruiting!
We are holding our next Intake Day at the Aberdeen Lads Club (Dill Road) from 14:00 - 16:00 on Saturday 1st February 2014.
Roller derby is the fastest growing sport in the UK and we are looking for new skaters and referees. No previous skating experience is necessary! We have skates and protective equipment all waiting for you to try on before the Derby Bug bites you and you rush off to buy yourself some new gear :)
Joining GCRG is a brilliant way to get fit and meet new people!
Yes this is a women's sport but GCRG are on the look out for referees, so any guys who would like to get involved in the sport should pop along too!
All we ask is that you are over 18 years old, wear non-restrictive clothing, and bring plenty of water. This session is free. Check out our facebook event.See you on the track!!
Course starts Wednesday the 5th 7pm – 9pm
Date(s) - 01/02/2014 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
After a hugely successful first intake, Fierce Valley Roller Cubs is looking for new recruits! Open to girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17, FVRC is the only junior derby league in Scotland, so why not come along and see what it’s all about? The session will be held on Sunday 22nd December, 1.30pm-3pm, in the Mariner Centre, Falkirk. Email email@example.com for more details!
Next up in line in our announcer interviews, Glasgow Roller Derby's Elliot Fress.
How did you get started announcing for Glasgow Roller Derby
Like many life-changing events, it involved a photocopier; some office gossip; and a man named Helliverance... He and I pretend to work in the same building, and one day about three years ago, he cornered me by said copier and asked if it was true that I was previously involved with professional wrestling. This was true - I'm a former manager/commentator for the Scottish Wrestling Alliance. As I was comfortable with crowds and microphones, would I be interested in trying my hand at live Roller Derby commentary with him? A fee was negotiated, and a few weeks later I was at the ARC, making vaguely human noises over the first GRG home teams bout of the season. From then on, I was never to look forward.
Announcers all have different styles, how would you describe your style and how has it evolved since you started?
If I can call it a style, it's irreverence, with ignorance firmly in mind. Derby's complex and unique. Anyone coming to see it fresh is in for a lot of confusion as a lot happens and there's no other sport you can refer to for an easy comparison. It's important to keep that in mind and try to keep the watching newbie in mind when things happen on track. "Why?" is as important as "What?" when you're talking about a sending off, or why a team has slowed everything down during a powerjam, for example. The rest of the time, I just quote dead comedians and joke about skater's names, while I'm sure they're not listening.
I've been training as a skater with Glasgow's Mean City Der-boy team for the last six months. The training and generally spending more time around skaters has given me a lot more material to work with, regarding techniques and tactics; but the bulk of what I do is still aimed at the people struggling to make sense of what they're seeing. As I told a crowd recently, Derby seldom reveals her charms quickly, or all at once. It can take a few bouts for someone to learn where they need to be looking, and a commentator needs to be there to help them along.
How do you prepare for bouts and how much work do you have to do on the fly?
The more sterile prep is reviewing the rules in the week running up to a bout and trying to get familiar (in a nice way, I mean) with the line-ups before a bout starts. Just about everything I watch, think or hear goes through a filter to see if it can one day be usable in a Derby context. If I hear a song lyric a skater's name can be slipped into, then it gets filed away. While it's underway, a good bout can almost describe itself. But, if you're faced with a 50-odd minute time-out - you better be able to talk some shite to distract folk from heading for their bus!
Skaters have skate heroes, do you have any announcer heroes?
This is the "Bulldog" question, yes? I've been lucky enough to work with the man and be stunned by his play-by-play commentary. Knowing the limits of the rhythms of my own speech and my diction, though, it would serve nobody for me to try to emulate him. I'm happiest working with anyone who can hear what I'm saying more than half the time, and are prepared to have the occasional spot of harmless fun.
Which has been your favourite bout to call and what are you looking forward to calling in the future?
Hard to pick a favourite bout, but generally any time a scoreline stays close for the bulk of the game makes it easier to stay invested. For that reason, I look forward to GRD going back up against Berlin and Stockholm after this past season's nail-biters.
On Sunday 15th December, Fierce Valley Roller Girls are hosting a frightfully festive roller derby bout in Grangemouth Sports Complex.
The skaters will come up against each other in a FVRG vs. FVRG Christmas Special, with a classic Tim Burton theme: The Fightmare Before Christmas.
Since the venue is rather 'intimate', we recommend buying your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Remember to sign-up for a Kids Pass to allow those aged 14 and under to get in for free! Tickets are available from Brown Paper Tickets at £5 per ticket (+ admin fee), or £7 on the door.
Doors will open at 3pm for a 3:30pm start. As always, there will be a selection of handmade crafts, home-baking and team merchandise for sale - perfect for any last-minute Christmas presents!
Join the Facebook Event to keep up-to-date with further event details.
On Saturday 7th December, Fierce Valley Roller Girls will be hosting a Christmas Craft Fair in the Masonic Hall, Falkirk Town Centre. Doors open at 12noon and shoppers are welcome to visit until 4pm.
There will be a wide-selection of handmade local crafts for sale - perfect for last-minute Christmas gifts! Confirmed stalls will include sweets in hand-painted jars from All the Noms; quirky accessories from Hummahazey; handmade jewellery from Kurious Trinkets; as well as a range of greetings cards and knitwear.
All this shopping will be hard work, so home-baking, teas, coffees, and a pot of soup kindly donated by Voodoo Lounge Falkirk will also be available. If you're feeling lucky, you can try your hand at the tombola or raffle prize draw!
Please see the Facebook Event for more details.
Feminism and roller derby – two great life passions will be combined for many Scottish skaters on Saturday 7th Dec! As many of the country’s leagues commence their ‘off season’, this is a great way to mark the end of what has been a monumental year for all Scottish leagues in one way or another.
The ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ charity bout is the brain child of Glasgow Roller Derby’s Maiden Grrders skater, Trucks Norris. The bout will raise awareness of the 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women campaign; a global phenomenon which runs from 25th Nov to 10th Dec. Organisations across the world will organise events during this period to raise awareness of violence against women.
All proceeds of this bout will go toward local Glasgow organisation ‘Womens Support Project’, a feminist voluntary organisation which works to raise awareness of the extent, causes and effect of male violence against women. It also works to provide improved services to those affected by violence, and highlights the links between different forms of male violence and promoting interagency responses to the abuse of women and children.
The bout will take place at the Arc Sport Centre in Glasgow, and will feature skaters from Glasgow Roller Derby, Granite City, Fierce Valley, Dundee, Lothian Derby Dolls and Auld Reekie. The bout also takes place on the same day as Team Scotland Try-Out 2, so if you do find yourself at a loose end then show your support for this great cause and go see some killer roller derby into the bargain!
Sat 7th Dec, doors at 12.30pm https://www.facebook.com/events/212345205605145/
This bout is the brainchild of former Womens Support Project Worker Trucks Norris (above)