Whilst one of the prevailing narratives in Roller Derby is that the sport is the "fastest growing female sport in the world", it's worth noting that even when this was unarguably true, growth is always unevenly distributed. In order to keep growing, a league needs enough skaters to form good bouting team, in order to get those games which build visibility and retain ambitious players. If you're a smaller team, this can be challenging!
Dumfriesshire's Doonhame Roller Derby have found that collaborating with other leagues is a profitable way to enable more derby, more of the time, and help grow both themselves and their collaborators.
The more long-term collaboration is with fellow-West-of-Scotland league, Ayrshire Roller Derby - the resulting "Doonshire" train together and have even played a closed bout, with perhaps more fixtures in the future. Doonhame's Suze MacBruise told us, "Ayrshire Roller Derby are in a very similar situation to us: they had a big shake up when they lost their regular training hall, moving them to actually training in Kilmarnock rather than Ayr. We find that, with smaller towns like ourselves and Ayrshire, that we almost get up to full team numbers, and then when the slightest thing happens we're pushed back to training again."
But it's another collaboration which is providing a bigger event, as Doonhame are joining forces with Durham City Rolling Angels to take over Newcastle's Walker Activity Dome for a special Triple Header event for Halloween. Whilst Durham might not be the obvious collaboration, Suze told us "we also have always got on really well with DCRA, and myself and [Durham's] Clairely Psycho hatched this plan to get a game together... we got far too excited and now it has turned out to be this marvellous Halloween event, focusing on players stuck in the 'twilight zone', who've played too many games for a cherry popper, but are not quite confident enough to play advanced."
As well as an opening Cherry Popper bout, the remaining bouts will both be previously-unseen collaborations:
- Doonhame and Durham forming the "Doom Angels" to take on an exhibition team of low/intermediate skaters
- Newcastle's Tyne and Fear joining with Teeside Skate Invaders (as the "Tyne Invaders") to take on an advanced, open/coed exhibition team.
Durham and Doonhame's Halloween Triple Scrim is on Saturday October 28th , with tickets for skaters who wish to play in any of the games available from EventBrite (link). The same link also allows spectators to get a ticket to see all the lovely games.
The event is also in need of lovely NSOs and Referees in order to support all three bouts: if anyone is interested in joining the Officiating team, they should look here.
The event Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/events/111674759544178/ for updates.