As the first Roller Derby World Cup approaches,it's time to size up the teams involved,kicking off with Team Ireland.
When you look through all the team rosters,one of the first things to strike you is how much international experience a lot of these teams have.Although this is perhaps less true of the Irish team than some others,they do have a sizeable chunk of their squad regularly playing up and down the UK in some very highly respected leagues.Many readers will recognise quite a few skater names from the roster,including players from Scotland's very own Glasgow Roller Girls.
Agony AnnT,B.A,Belle For Leather,Jessica Rammit,Kitty Cadaver,Lil' Edee,Peppy Nephrine,Tina Gutt-Her And Jam and Zola Blood-Dublin Roller Girls Bad Faith and Sinister Mary Clarence-London Roller Girls Crow Jane,Phantom Gemerald and Rush'N Barron-Cork City Firebirds Holly Sheet-Dolly Rockit Rollers(Leicester) Jessica Mooney-Kernow Rollers(Falmouth) Roisin Roulette-Birmingham Blitz Dames Wile.E Peyote-Rat City Rollergirls(Seattle) Chemikill Hazard and Coco Pox-Glasgow Roller Girls
Team Ireland's Head Coach is Violent Bob of The Dublin Roller Girls,ably assisted by Jessica Mooney of Kernow Rollers and Team Manager is Dirty Knees Lou-Eez from The Dublin Roller Girls.
The teams from Scotland and Ireland have much in common,both are fairly small countries which makes it far easier for skaters to get together to practise and gel as a team than it does in say,Australia or the United States.Although with just under half the squad in teams outwith Ireland,this may or may not prove a difficulty for them. Being small countries means we both have a small number of leagues to draw skaters from,Ireland only has three bouting leagues and seven more in various stages of setting up.Just over half of Irelands skaters are drawn from the bouting teams,three from the newly formed Cork City Firebirds and nine from Ireland's first Roller Derby League,the Dublin Roller Girls,so much of the squad already knows how each other plays.
Like Team Scotland,The Irish squad are planning warm up matches to gel their team together,with one closed bout confirmed so far against Sheffield Steel Roller Girls in October.
The fact that the Ireland squad features two of GRG's skaters should make a Scotland V Ireland bout interesting.Having bouted or scrimmaged against pretty much everyone in the Scotland squad,they have a huge amount of experience of the styles,strengths and weaknesses of the skaters that make up Team Scotland. Team Ireland could well be a force to be reckoned with,their biggest group of skaters have the unity of coming from the same league and they have some frankly stellar players.If they can gel into a team they will do well.
The Maidens left Perth on Saturday morning, with team members both excited and nervous for the bout ahead. And with a number of skaters experiencing their first bout, the nerves were higher than normal.
Once the first whistle went, FCR looked tight, working well together as a team to stop the Wakey side getting points. The main Fear Maidens jammers were Teenie Bash, KPz Nuts and Ninja Knickers, with captain Pistol Panties, Nutshel and Breezy Does It also taking turns.
The rest of the team was made up of Jill Antonic, Terrifying Tink, De-femme-ation, Needles and Dread,Van Damn, Crash Vegas, Val Gore and Tenacious Dee.
Despite the Fear Maidens working well, WWC seemed to have the upper hand from the start. With around half a dozen bouts under theirs belts so far in 2011, compared to the Rollers' one, their experience shone through and they were ahead for the entire contest.
However, for the vast majority of the bout, FCR kept the scores close, working hard to try and gain as many points as possible and they were helped by a 20 point power jam by KPz Nuts right at the end of the first half. They were also hitting hard, sending more than a few Wheeled Cats out of bounds.
Final score: Wakey 169, Fear Maidens 99.
Despite not managing to get the win, the Perth team can be proud that they put up a good fight, played well together and showed their strength.
It's coming to that time of the year again and what do you get the Rollergirl in your life for her Christmas? Well worry not,for here is a handy guide,arranged roughly by rising cost,but bear in mind some of these gifts will require said Rollergirl's co-operation.
Kicking off with cards,Zazzle do some great Derby related cards,anything from retro to funny and a lot in between.
As you know,Rollergirls come home with a lot of cuts and bruises,so how about some novelty plasters available in a wide range,including plasters that look like bacon!.If you look hard enough,you can find plasters from comics,tv franchises etc.
Socks are always handy,over the knee and thigh high socks especially,try somewhere like Sock Dreams.
Rollergirls love to accessorise,stickers,badges and even Derby jewellery,Etsy do some great stuff.
Skate tools,in all likelihood,your beloved Rollergirl already has one of these,unless she's just starting out in Derby, or you know she is looking for a replacement,this is probably one to avoid.Cheaper tools only cost a few pounds and run well into double figures for more expensive ones.
There is a massive choice when it comes to books and dvd's,put Whip It aside unless you know it's wanted as chances are she has already seen it.Some to recommend... Rollergirl-Totally-True-Tales-Track,Blood On The Flat Track,Hell On Wheels,Knock Down Knits Amazon is your friend for this sort of thing.
Toe Stops,this is one you need to consult on,as skaters have preferences for make and length,Gumball is a popular make amongst others
Mouth Guards are a very personal thing and this one will require co-operation from your Rollergirl,expect to pay well into double figures for a decent one.
Clothing varies wildly in cost and design and there's a lot out there,try Pivotstar or Dress Derby amongst many,many others. Big name league t-shirts are always an option,many UK and US leagues do mail order t-shirts,if ordering from abroad,check they do actually ship outside the country of origin as not all do.
I'm guessing many people reading this will have experienced the pain that is bearing removal,in my house this was traditionally accompanied by much shouting/swearing/objects being thrown.That was until the happy day my folks bought her a Powerdyne Bearings Puller.This makes removal and refitting of bearings a swear free operation of mere minutes.The Powerdyne one is pretty much midrange,you can pay less,or you can pay more for other makes.
Gear Bags,some Rollergirls favour the hard shelled wheeled case that you can get from anywhere that sells luggage,you get extra points if you find one in team colours.Or you could go down the more custom made route with something like the Zuca Sports Bag.
Getting into more expensive territory,there are also things like safety pads,helmets,bearings,wheels and even skates,but all these as gift ideas, require co-operation from your Rollergirl.She will already have preferences for these kinds of things,but also in all probability will have a wishlist too.Wheels,custom helmets and skates in particular can get really expensive and few skaters manage to skate in the gear they would have if money was no object,so a gift of a really good set of wheels or pair of skates will go down exceptionally well.
Remember to leave plenty of time for postage if you are ordering from the USA or anywhere else abroad and that items like badges and Derby jewellery can often be found at stalls at bouts,cut out the middle man and support local Derby business by buying direct wherever you can.
The recently launched Inside Line magazine has caught the attention of many a rollergirl.Happily, Scottish Roller Derby managed to get a chance to catch up with Jessica Rammit,rollergirl and founder of the UK's first dedicated Roller Derby publication,to chat about founding the mag,the future of UK Derby and who will win the World Cup!
SRD-How did the Magazine start?
JR-I subscribe to Five on Five and Blood and Thunder magazine and although I love them and think they are great derby magazines, I thought there was a difference to the UK scene that was more DIY than the USA that wasn't represented in them. The name came to me one night and I daydreamed about making a magazine for awhile, then I met a friend of a friend who set up her own magazine, Fat Quarter, and thought it was a sign and started my research.
SRD-Who are the founders?
JR-I am! :) I had a lot of help and support from various people, namely Assaultin Peppa from Five on Five and Black Dahlia from Blood and Thunder Magazine who answered all my annoying questions about how they did things and they gave me loads of valuable advice. After telling Danny "Jay Pegg" Bourne it took off a bit too as he is a walking derby encyclopaedia and told me about the fanzines that had been made previously by Sky Rockitt from LRG and Marie Danielle from LRG. I also got a tip from either Black Dahlia or Assaultin (sorry my memory is slightly foggy today) about a certain "Lexi Lightspeed" who had been enquiring about a UK mag and so I sent her a line and she was a major helper with ideas (and a total bad ass illustrator). Belinda from LRG rec league got in touch and she setup the website for the magazine and will be the Web Editor.
SRD-Why do a Derby magazine?
JR-I love roller derby and I love magazines so this is like a dream come true :)
SRD-Are you a skater,what is your background in Derby?
JR-I am a skater, and have been skating since an early age. I started playing roller derby in June/July 2010 with Croydon Roller Derby and have recently transferred over to LRR, I've got another two months of probation and then hopefully I'll be on a bouting team :)
SRD-It's a really bold move launching a magazine at any time,but particularly so during a recession,how difficult does this make the day to day running of the magazine?
JR-I have backed the magazine myself so it is a bit of a pinch but I'm really loving it so it's worth it. Hopefully more companies will advertise in the magazine as it gains popularity so I can pay my contributors but until then it's a total labour of love. I also work a full time job and train so it's a lot of juggling and multi tasking but so far, so good!
SRD-Are you aiming the magazine purely at skaters,or are you aiming for fans too? And how do skaters who want to contribute get involved?
JR-All the articles, photographs and illustrations in Issue 1 were provided by skaters, refs, fans, and myself. I am a firm believer in grass roots and that was what attracted me to derby, I want this magazine to be by the skaters (and refs and fans and derby widows) and for the skaters (and refs and fans and derby widows).
Ideally once it has been around for a year or two (fingers crossed) then it will be something non derby people buy and read and then get hooked and get involved with their own local league!
If you want to contribute please send me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
SRD-Tell us a little about what we can expect to see in the magazine both now and in the future and what aspects of derby do you cover.?
JR-You can expect it to be full of illustrations, photography and articles that interest and appeal to a roller derby lover. I want to cover all aspects - a couple of articles I have been sent for Issue 2 are spot on as they cover issues that skaters have to deal with off track like schoolwork, and being a Mum!
SRD-What has the response been to the magazine since it's launch?
JR-Really positive! I was totally blown away by the positive response, after spending months of researching and planning and designing it was finally out there and it hadn't sunk in. Belinda set the website live and all of a sudden my inbox started going crazy - we sold nearly 100 copies in the first 24 hours!! I was gobsmacked. Assaultin Peppa gave me some really great feedback the other day after receiving her complimentary copy and I'm going to frame that email and put it up on the wall.
SRD-How do you see the future of Inside Line?,where do you want to be in a years time?... in five years time?
JR-The future is bright! In a years time I'd like the magazine to be well established and a great resource for the UK roller derby scene. In five years time - ouff! I'm not sure about that one ;) but if you need an answer then I'd say we'd be branching out into Europe as well.
SRD-In the UK Roller Derby leagues have sprung up in almost every city and major town,UK Derby is probably getting close to saturation point in terms of the number of leagues ...where can Derby go in UK from where we are now?
JR-I think that the saturation is a massive positive driving factor that will help UK roller derby to develop - it's hard to get a bad ass team together if you've only got 7 members who train regularly... If there's 20 of you then it can only mean training gets better and harder and your team/league will grow and become a force to be dealt with on track. Uk Derby is getting out there! I just finished watching the LRG vs NSOTB WFTDA eastern regionals bout and I'm buzzing - this means so much for roller derby becoming international, it's a day for the history books.
SRD-London Roller Girls are knocking at the door of the USA,there are WFTDA member and apprentice leagues in the UK that are not too far behind,as Derby gets bigger it will attract sponsorship and maybe television coverage,how can Derby maintain it's DIY, 'by skaters for skaters' attitude in the face of that sort of commercialism?
JR-Use the commercialism to our advantage - don't succumb to a dodgy deal whereby your league has to let their values suffer. Mission statements and the league structure should be set in stone. If your league adheres to that then there should be no problems. Let's face it - sponsorship will mean we can focus more on the sport and worry less about how we fund our practices.
SRD-he first Roller Derby World Cup is coming up in December,who do you think will win and who do you secretly hope will win.
JR-I'm going and so excited to see all teams play!! I'm originally Canadian so I'm gonna support them and I met a lot of Team Finland and Team Sweden at May Day in Hell, in Helsinki so I will also be shouting them on - and, of course, Team England, Team Scotland and All Ireland Roller Derby. Yeah I'm a bit of a ho as a fan ;)
I think that a win will be a toss up between USA and Canada for sheer experience on track but I secretly hope that the underdog wins, like a team from Europe or South America.
Scottish Roller Derby would like to thank Jessica Rammit of Inside Line Magazine for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview. If you want to know more have a look at the Inside Line website where you can find out how to subscribe and get involved.
Many thanks to Aoanla for the work he puts in doing these reviews,the featured pic is also by him,from his blog Ante Ortus A Novus Ars