Already this year the Cannon Belles have played against Newcastle's Whippin' Hinnies; Dirty River Roller Grrrls from Turku, Finland; and Birmingham Blitz Dames. The Belles have been growing from strength-to-strength, so this is a game not to be missed!
Doors open at 2pm, with the skate outs starting at 2:30pm. Tickets can be bought online from Brown Paper Tickets for £7, or can be bought on the door if you prefer.
The 'vendor village' will be open for business before the game and at half-time, selling a wide range of ARRG merchandise - including new Limited Edition lines - and of course, cake!
Please join ARRG's Facebook Event for more details on the event and how you can show your support.
As we mentioned yesterday, this week's B&T Roller Derby World Cup coverage is focussing on Europe, specifically Southern Europe.
We start today with new team to the cup, Team Spain.
This interview was conducted in July. Since the interview, Team Spain competed in the European Championship Tournament, placing 2nd-from-bottom (defeating Team Portugal, who we will cover tomorrow).
Violent Femme was happy to answer our questions in a face to face interview in Barcelona. This article is edited from the conversation we had. [This article has been edited on the 24th of October to include Team Spain's fundraising site: http://www.lanzanos.com/proyectos/volando-voy-volando-vengo-dallas-2014/L/EN/ ]
So, Team Spain has quite an international line-up, how are you handling the travel and the language issues?
We have people from London, from Tenerife, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid, Cáceres... One of our players lives in Manchester, some are in the US and Canada… Right now it’s quite even.
[As to the language barrier] It’s derby, so it’s quite an international language. Even in Spanish derby’s early stages it was never a huge problem to have English in the middle – we had to read the rule set in English anyway, and most derby stuff on the Internet is in English.
[On travel] it’s tricky. But actually, you know, our country’s geographical spread is not that good anyway – Tenerife is down by the coast of Africa, and it’s super expensive for us to fly there and for them to come here [Barcelona]. So, I think that’s our biggest handicap – if most of the girls were from Madrid, or Valencia, I guess it would be more manageable.
Right now, what we’ve had is two practices together – one in Barcelona, one in Tenerife – basically because it’s where the most skaters are.
All the flying between Barcelona and Tenerife must place a significant cost on your training, compared to most of the other national teams?
OMG, it’s so expensive. And we’re all so broke. Yeah, there are planes involved [for Team Spain] every single time. It’s just really, really tricky. Because even Lisbon is closer – if we had to travel to Portugal! So, you know, having players from the UK and US and Canada, like we have and had, didn’t pose much of an additional problem.
So, what are your aims coming in to the World Cup?
That’s a good question. We’re aiming to perform to the best of our ability. We’re well aware that we don’t have that much experience, both within the World Cup –we’re new to that—, but also as players. I mean, Tenerife is a really good league, they’re such an amazing set of skaters. However, I think they’ve existed for about four years and their ability to play bouts is really limited due to their geographical location.
Then Barcelona – we have less problems to have bouts, but I wouldn’t say that we’re all that experienced whatsoever. Also, Barcelona is a city where, you know, people come and go.
So, you’ve had a lot of turn over?
Yeah. Most of the selected players from Barcelona have been there pretty much from the get-go.
I do think that we have a chance against the smaller, newer, teams. But I don’t even want to jinx it – ask me again after the European Tournament in September, and I’ll have a better gauge. Hopefully, September will give us a bit of an idea of where we’re standing, what we need to work on.
And any teams you’re particularly looking forward to skating against at the Cup itself?
My personal feeling is that I’d love to play New Zealand. Like, love, love. And [playing] England would be so awesome. I mean, I’m sure that after that, they’d have to put us all out of commission, but it would be so amazing.
I love when you go against a much stronger team, it’s kind of like you see that there is no roof to what you’re doing, so it doesn’t matter how good your team is. When you play against England, or Germany, or France, and you just see them work like that, it’s just so inspiring.
It just shows that you have to keep going. That there’s no comfortable spot, you know? No-one should ever get comfortable, and that’s the fun of it. So, it can inspire people who might be a little shy, or those who have lots of potential but might not display it just out of fear: “I don’t want to hit as hard as I can” – No, you should! You should and you can! And, look, nothing happens, no-one gets hurt… or some people get hurt, but rarely.
So I’m looking forward to a big challenge. As well, I would really love to win some bouts with Team Spain. That would be amazing. I don’t want to name names, but I think we have some chances – we’re probably not going to place, but we will win something. Maybe some afterparties or something! But in all seriousness, we’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be such an incredible experience. And I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, you know, some friends in Team Scotland, some friends in Team Sweden, some friends in Team England, some friends in Team Portugal, as well.
Given your increased costs especially, how are you raising money for the trip? Crowdfunding seems to be popular now…
Yeah, we’ve just started a crowdfunding page; we’ve been studying different options. But the thing is that it is a little difficult because Spain right now is not in its best moment, economically; people don’t donate. So we’ve been focusing on merch, that’s been probably our biggest funds income.
Well, in my experience, merchandise is always the bigger source of actual funds for most leagues in any case.
Yeah, I mean, I guess it happens with everything. We’re thinking of different options and there are things happening that I don’t want to jinx. But there’s options, like maybe some sponsorship, not that we’ll be getting monetary rewards from it, but we’re working on having this Spanish company pay for our uniforms, for example.
One of the first questions that was asked to us, when we tried out, before we even made any ‘Team Spain’, or anything was: “Could you afford it?” In case there’s no funds. So, that’s one of the things that everyone understood from the beginning. That we might each have to pay for our own ticket.
We also had an open scrimmage in Tenerife, there was some money from that. We’re going to do the same now in Barcelona, so, I mean, maybe you don’t make a lot of money, but you make some.
Finally, several of the national teams seem to have decided to skate under their legal names, rather than their derby names. Others are keeping their skate names. Do you (or Team Spain) have feelings on this?
I think it’s a tendency that’s happening more and more. To give derby some legitimacy, to make the sport more of a sport. I don’t know. I don’t really have thoughts on that. Some days I’m like, “No, I want to be Violent Femme forever!”, and other days I’m like, “I could just be Mia, and just own it”. I’m not a persona, it’s just fun. But I can see why people go under their legal names. Also, I think one of the things that use to make roller derby special is that it was this small gang of ladies with cool nicknames, but when everyone has a cool nickname, then it’s not cool anymore! I do like derby names though, because usually you speak about someone, you know it’s just that one player. I don’t know how true this is anymore, because I think there’s like four or five ‘Violent Femme’s out there.
But, you said that “legal names give some legitimacy” – the counter argument is that this is a kind of retreat from the position that derby is already legitimate, even with skate names.
I think everyone knows [that roller derby is legitimate], though. I guess it’s like one of these tendencies… like everyone started off skating wearing fishnets, and then they realized that sports clothing is a lot more comfortable. I don’t know, this is my personal opinion, but there’s also been a trendification of the sports clothes, if that makes any sense? So there are all these leggings with cool patterns, and there’re sporty but super-fashionable.
And it’s awesome, by all means – I’m a legging-loving lady!—, but the leggings are kind of the new fishnets; and after the leggings it’ll be something more serious and more sporty. With derby there’s always these two currents that kind of criss-cross, between “we’re a serious sport”, and “but we’re so punk!”
Team Spain’s roster is:
We're one week into our series of National Teams interviews, covering all of the teams entering the Blood & Thunder 2014 Roller Derby World Cup.
Last week, we covered the "Africa and Asia-Pacific" set of nations. If you missed the Interviews, you can read them here:
This week, we start our coverage of the European Teams, beginning tomorrow.
Team New Zealand shared the same initial group as Team Scotland in 2011, and despite the unfortunate effects of both having to play Team USA in their placement bouts, eventually fought their way all the way to 8th place. They're returning to the World Cup this time around with a definite intent to improve on that!
Team New Zealand Coach Pieces of Hate took the time to answer our questions, around a month ago. (We've added updates as always to cover changes since the interview took place).
On the topic of team selection - Team NZ is strongly predominantly composed of skaters from NZ leagues (with only a few from USA,Canada,Australia). I believe that was also the case in 2011. Can you tell me a bit about how your team selection process worked (including getting Coach positions etc)? New Zealand has formed an association to govern the sport here and set some standards. It was also formed to take complete control of the World Cup Team and the selection process. So we had an AGM and defined the positions needed to put the team together and its requirements and that went to vote. After the AGM a job description was set out to all leagues that joined the NZRDA (New Zealand Roller Derby Association) advertising for the position of Head Coach, Team Manager and Two Selectors. Once people applied for these roles, they were then voted in by member leagues. The Selectors (Head Coach being one of them), traveled to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and held try outs over 1 full day at each venue. We also had criteria for overseas based players to send video unedited, complete a skills test and fitness test, pass a written test and strategy test put together by the Head Coach. Each person had to become a member of NZRDA and if not through their own league then as an associate member for a cost of $50, and we charged everyone $50 to try-out for Team NZ too. This covered the cost of flights for the coaches and selectors, Stadium hire and admin fees.
Flying to the USA from anywhere is expensive as a team (as are travel costs just for the training etc). How have you been fundraising and achieving sponsorship? OMG, we are so far behind on fundraising this time round, just mostly because crowd-funding is so saturated, leagues aren't making money like they used to at games, so we're not getting donations, we have a squad of 30 and some feel like not helping unless they know they're going to make the final 20, so it's been really hard. We have done an limited edition merch sale that made around $6K for the team, we've had a couple of donations and we have most members of the league out there figuring out some fundraising ideas that are going to happen in the next few months. We need to raise around $115,000.00 NZD to get there. We may have found someone to make our shirts for free, so that's a bit off the price. And we have a secret squirrel idea smouldering away behind the scenes that could be an international viral success (That will be something people can purchase and is going to be pretty fucken rad) . It's also something that none of the team know about, just me and my assistant! But all will be revealed in the next month or so... [This may be the Roll With Us "personalise our shirts with your messages" initiative Edited to add: no, it's not! According to Hate, it's something that is still secret even now!].
We also have people applying for sport funding, which is hard to get in NZ: unless you can finish in the Top 4 in the world or play an Olympic sport, they're not too interested. Pub charities and sponsorships are what we're hitting up in the next month. I just think this is going to cost each member traveling a lot of money this time round... it's been really hard getting money from people.
Since this interview took place, Team NZ have held a Team New Zealand v Team New Zealand public scrimmage, with added training bootcamp. They are sponsored by, amongst others, Atom Wheels.
The Team New Zealand roster is:
Elicia Nisbet-Smith, Rose City Rollers (Portland, USA) Hannah Jennings, Rose City Rollers (Portland, USA) Perky Nah Nah, Victorian Roller Derby League (Melbourne, Australia) Tank-U, Paradise City Roller Derby (Australia) Ivy K’nivey, Victoria Roller Derby League (Melbourne, Australia) OrKazzMic, Dunedin Derby (NZ) Serious Crash Unit, Otautahi (Christchurch, NZ) Diva DemolisHer, Dunedin Derby (NZ) Nicki Noxious, Rogue Rollers, (Dunedin, NZ) Evil KNeevil, Dead End Derby (Christchurch, NZ) Jem Molition, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Skanda Lass, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Justass, Swamp City Roller Rats (Palmerston North, NZ) Blue Blaze, Swamp City Roller Rats (Palmerston North, NZ) Anna Pave-U’Ova, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Beatrix Skiddo, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Hellvetica, Mount Militia Derby Crew (Mt Maunganui, NZ) Princess Slayer, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Meat Train, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Mel-icious Mayhem, River City Rollers (Wanganui, NZ) Lady Trample, Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, NZ) Fia Fasi Oe?, K-Town Derby Dolls (Kawerau, NZ) Miss Metal Militia, Hellmilton Roller Ghouls (Hamilton, NZ) Miss Crunchbull, Hellmilton Roller Ghouls (Hamilton, NZ) Haki Pao Pao, K-Town Derby Dolls (Kawerau, NZ) WhakinTawh, Taranaki Roller Corps (New Plymouth, NZ) Roni Diamond, Mount Militia Derby Crew (Mt Maunganui, NZ) Skate The Muss, Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, NZ) Terror Satana, Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, NZ) Coup D’eTalia, Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, NZ) *Skaters who played at the 2011 World Cup.
Pieces Of Hate* Head Coach, Team NZ
Danger Spouse, Richter City Roller Derby (Wellington, NZ) Manager, Team NZ
Fia Fasi Oe? Pirate City Rollers (Auckland, NZ)* Selector, Team NZ Zephyr, Mount Militia Derby Crew (Mt Maunganui, NZ) Selector, Team NZ
Team Australia were something of a dark horse coming into the 2011 World Cup, duking it out against England and Canada for the 2,3,4th places (and taking a strong 4th place in the end).
G-Banger took the time to answer some questions we had about the Team's return to the World Cup for another run at the title...
Team Australia will be holding a "Team Gold v Team Green" bout on the 27th of this month, to promote the team and show everyone how good they are. They are sponsored by many derby-friendly businesses, including Sassfit Australia and Real Athletic Derby. Their gofundme is still running.
The Team Australia training roster is:
Blue Wrenegade 2880 ADRD Colonel KAOS! 601 ADRD Kit Cat Krunch 9 Lives ADRD Chop Chop 117 BCR Susy Pow TOP5 Charm City Bambi von Smash'er 411 CRDL Shaggle Frock 77 CRDL ShortStop 6 CRDL Annabelle Lecter 8 NBR Beth Adder 20 NBR Brutal Deluxe 76 NBR Lil Gee Unit 41 NBR Christy Demons 14 PCRD Freyda Cox 50X SRDL Blockodile Dundee 411 SSRG Cookie Cutter 45 SSRG Dodge&Bolt 58 SSRG Lady Killer 11 SSRG Muzzarati 28 SSRG Polly Crackers 8 SSRG Rose Ruin 12 SSRG Bicepsual 10 VRDL Calamity Maim 4 VRDL G-Banger 10 VRDL Mad Mel Arena 505 VRDL Tiger 782 VRDL Tui Lyon 88 VRDL
Flamin' Galah Bench Coach VRDL Slawta Dawta Bench Manager SSRG Cherry Axe-Wound Tour Manager CRDL
It's time once again at Capital City for another fresh meat intake and they are looking for male skaters that are 18 years old or above, that are looking to try out derby. This is their third fresh meat intake and as previously they will be running two fresh meat taster sessions on consecutive weeks at their training venue in Edinburgh. One on Sunday the 28th of September the other on Sunday the 5th of October.
These session's will last for an hour and there is no need for you to have your own equipment as they can provide you with some for the taster session. They will have coaches and advanced skaters on hand to help you out and give you as much advice as you need.
So if you are interested or know anyone who would be interested then send them over to the Facebook event pages below to find out more information.
Sunday 28th of September https://www.facebook.com/events/536566933142375/
Sunday 5th October https://www.facebook.com/events/149548818547374/
We talked to London Rockin Rollers and Team West Indies skater DisorderLee about her team a few weeks ago via the medium of the Internet. This article is slightly edited from the freeform conversation we had.
So, getting straight to the most unusual thing about Team West Indies - you appear to be the only national team based in a region with no local leagues?
Captain - Rammit - London Rockin' Rollers
Toni Smaxton - Coventry City Derby Dolls Cookie D'oh - London Rockin' Rollers DisorderLee - London Rockin' Rollers Zed.Z.Sputnik - London Rockin' Rollers Kylie Volatile - Birmingham Blitz Dames Sammi L.Smacks'Em - Birmingham Blitz Dames Suzette la Flamme - Birmingham Blitz Dames ENEMY - Bridgend Ida Bomb - Borderland Brawlers Mah-Ko - Chicago Outfit Polly Filla - Croydon She-RARR - Sheffield Steel Victory - Swansea City
The Team ZA roster is:
MICHELLE DOSSON, Booty Queen 000 PHILIPPA VAN WELIE, Pippa 575 ROZANNE DU PREEZ, Betty Bone Crusher ak47 TERI ROBERTS, Gazelle 8 AIMEE PLANK, The Iron Tyrant 917 SAMANTHA SCHOLTZ, Slam-U-Well Jackson 25 JEANETTE VENSKE, Sugarfists 89 EMILIA DOMAGALA, Bug Off 001 CLAIRE HAYWARD, Miss C Malice 22 CANDICE VAN NIEKERK, Ling Vom Bot 33 SZERDI NAGY, Julia Seize-Her 11 LAURIE BAUER, Sookie Smackhouse 7 KELLY WOOLDRIDGE, Electri-Kell 900w LAUREN BARKUME, Pit Bullet 50mm
Reserves: ZANI FOURIE, Red Mist 1981 JOLIZE JACOBS, G.I. JoJo 03 CHRISTL BOUWER, Ming Die-Nasty 888 ASHLEIGH PIENAAR, Ashtrix 225
Coach: NICHOLAS CHALMERS, Coach Nic
Like most of the Roller Derby community, we at the Scottish Roller Derby blog are increasingly excited by the prospect of seeing a whole 30 nations competing at the Blood and Thunder World Cup in December. In fact, we're so excited, we've been following up with all of those national teams to learn a little about their plans and progression towards that important meet up in Dallas.
Because there are so many teams, we've grouped them together into regions, roughly geographically, which we'll be devoting a week each to. We're starting with the "Africa and Asia-Pacific" region, and with one of the new entrants to the World Cup - Team Japan!
(This interview is in both Japanese and English. I apologise to Japanese readers for my poor Japanese. 「私の日本語が下手です。すみません。」The interview was conducted about a month ago, and I've inserted some updates accordingly.)
Team Captain Hiroe Somekawa 「染川 ヒロエ」(who skates as Thunder BELL) was kind enough to answer our questions.
1) On your website, I see that you have really started in June! How are things progressing?
日本代表チームの ウェブサイトは 6月から 始めた と言う. ドのように進んでいます?
はい、私達は今年の6月に日本チームを結成したばかりです。 きっと参加国の中で一番最後に結成されたチームですね。 日本人選手はまだ非常に人数が少ないので、私達は8月31日まで選手の募集をしています。 そして日本の男性選手(Ninjapanの選手達)が協力をしてくれて、現在は男女混合で練習を行っています。
Yes, we just formed a team for Japan in June of this year. We think team Japan is probably the last team that was formed out of the participating countries. Japan has fewer number of female derby players, so we are recruiting Team Japan members until August 31. And we are getting a lot of cooperation from male players of Japan (Ninjapan players) and practicing in mixed-gender with them now.
2) There are many teams in Japan, but they seem to have many Americans in them (Kokeshi Roller Dolls, and the others from Okinawa, for example). How are you recruiting skaters for Team Japan? Will you be requiring Japanese nationals?
日本に多くのチームでますでも多くのアメリカの スケーターデスやら。 など オ機縄のKokeshi Roller Dolls).ドのように 日本代表チームの スケーターを募集している。 日本人要求したいるか.
確かに日本には多くのチームがありますが、その99%はアメリカ人の選手です。 現在、日本人選手はTokyo Roller Girlsリーグにだけ在籍します。 初心者を合わせても、全員で15人程度です。 私達はインターネーット等で日本国外に住んでいる日本人選手を探して連絡を取り、 4名のアメリカ在住者が日本チームに参加する事になりました。
Exactly, there are a lot of teams in Japan. But 99% of players are Americans. Actually, Japanese Nationals players are in only Tokyo Roller Girls league now. There are about 15 people in all Japanese Nationals including fresh meat. We were looking for Japanese players who live outside of Japan in Internet and referral from derby sisters, and made contact with them. And Team Japan has four players who live outside of Japan now. [These skaters are from El Paso Roller Derby, San Diego Derby Dolls and Green Mountain Derby Dames.] 3) Most of Roller Derby is conducted in English. Does language cause problems for Roller Derby in Japan?
ローラーダービー イギリスごで 実施すっている は 問題ですか.
日本に居るほとんどのスケーターはアメリカ人なので、通常は特に問題なく試合が行われていますが、 私達日本人スケーターにとって、英語で行われている状況は非常に厳しいものです。 しかし、Tokyo Roller Girlsリーグの全てのアメリカ人選手達は、英語が理解出来ない私達日本人選手に ジェスチャーを使いながらとても親切にローラーダービーのルールや作戦を教えてくれています。 私達は彼女達に本当に感謝しています。しかし、やはり実際はまだ、日本人がローラーダービーをやりたくても 英語を理解出来ないとローラーダービーをする事が難しいです。 特にルールブックは、内容がとても複雑なので、私達はそれを理解するのがとても大変です。 日本語のルールブックが発表されたら、日本人選手も増えると思います。
Usually the game has been held without any particular problem because most derby players who live in Japan are Americans. But for Japanese skaters like us, the situation that derby is carried out in English is really hard. However, the American players of all of Tokyo Roller Girls league are very kindly telling us the strategy and rules of roller derby while using gestures for us who doesn't understand English. We are really grateful to them. Actually, even if some Japanese girl want to play roller derby, they can't do it without understanding English. The rule book has such very complex contents in particular, it's really hard to understand it for us. We think that Japanese players will be increased if an official Japanese rule book was announced.
4) How are you raising money and finding sponsors?
寄付金については、私達はGofundmeで世界中からの寄付を集めようとしましたが、 日本のPaypalでは寄付を受け取る事が出来ないそうです。 なので現在、違う方法を考えています。現在の日本では、 シンプルに日本チームのオリジナル商品を販売し、それを資金にする方法しか無さそうです。 これから商品作りを始めてオンラインショップを立ち上げる予定です。
About donations, we tried to collect donations from all over the world in Gofundme. But we could not receive a donation via Paypal in Japan by Japanese law. So now, I am thinking a different way. We can have only simple way for gather money. That is selling team Japan merchandise. We are planning to launch an online shop for the first time, and are creating products now. About sponsors, I was able to meet with manufacturers who will become our sponsor at RollerCon. We will visit to companies to found our sponsors in Japan. 5) As a relatively unknown team, what are your aims going into the World Cup?
チーム 若い ですは 私の目的が 何 World Cupに します？
私達のワールドカップでの最大の目標は 今後日本中にスポーツとしてのローラーダービー、 更にその背景にある文化(カルチャー)としてのローラーダービーを広める為に 世界に認識されるチームへの成長を遂げることです。 そして....トーナメントで3回くらいは勝ちたいな、とも思っています。笑
Our biggest goal at the World Cup is that team Japan grow to be gained world recognition for roller derby. If we can do it, we can spread Roller Derby in Japan. We would like to spread Roller Derby as a sport, and the great culture also. And... we wish that we get at least three wins at the World Cup tournament if possible(!)
Since our interview, Team Japan has gained a sponsor in Atom Wheels, and begun regular practices.
Team Japan's Roster is:
Slamurai #7 HELL OH KITTY #13 AYAMI #17 NOBUE #30 Chee Fighter #31 YUMI #52 AYA #54 Axel Managarmr #75 Ninja Plz #143 Secret Asian Slam #303 MARK #229 MIHO #555 chikai #719 Oscar Little Wild #831 Thunder BELL #950 Vagichael Jakson # 5umo Mocha Panic # pa29
Their gofundme (running since the last week in September) is: http://gofundme.com/ewvvng
The next couple of weeks are an exciting time for fans of Glasgow Roller Derby, with all three travel teams set to bout in the next month!
Tomorrow, GRD's A-team, the Irn Bruisers, will take on Middlesbrough Milk Rollers in what is sure to be an exciting bout (the Maidens and MMR have are closely in UKRDA's UK rankings, but Flat Track Stats predicts a GRD home win).
Then, only two weeks later (leaving a gap for Team Scotland's Bootcamp on the 20th), Glasgow B, the Maiden Grrders, will take on London Rollergirls' imposing C team, Batter C Power.
While this fixture is not yet listed on Flat Track Stats, their predictor expects a very close bout, with only a 10% score difference between win and loss. Tickets will be only £5 online, so it's definitely worth buying ahead of time!
Finally, on the 4th of October, we are informed that Glasgow C-team, the Canny Gingers, will be taking part in a double-header with Mean City Roller Derby. Their opponents will be Bairn City Rollers' Central Belters. It is probably true to say that the Gingers would like very much to take home a win from this match up, but the Central Belters will not go easy on them. (FTS gives the home team the advantage, based on stats, but since both teams will probably have an altered composition, there's still all to play for.)
All of these bouts are, of course, listed on our Scottish Bouts page here on the blog.