Blitz Dames Roller Derby Boot Camp

Birmingham Blitz Dames - Birmingham, England's Original All Female Flat Track Roller Derby

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Check your boobs along with the Dames live on Embarrassing Bodies tonight!

A fortnight ago, several intrepid Dames made a trip to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to take part in a rehearsal for tonight’s Embarrassing Bodies Live from the Clinic (Channel 4, 8 pm). They’ll be checking their boobs with Dr Dawn live via skype and we want rollergirls all over the country to check along with us!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women – about 46,000 cases are diagnosed in the UK each year. Your chances of getting breast cancer increase with age, but there’s no reason not to be familiar with your body now. Knowledge is power, after all – and if you know what’s right and what’s wrong for you, and check yourself regularly, you’ll pick up any problems that much sooner.

Violet Attack, Roisin Roulette, Awesome, Queen of Heartless, Saintly Sin, Razor Red and Michebe Mayhem went along to the studio at the Queen Elizabeth to run through the checks they’ll be doing tonight. Alles Klar will also be joining them this evening. The studio is in the old wing of the hospital and Attack reports that getting there is feels like you’re walking through the set of a zombie film. No zombies were hip-checked in the course of the rehearsal.

 Attack was, of course, the person volunteered to have her boobs checked by Dr Dawn, who remembered the Dames from the previous times we’ve been featured on Embarrassing Bodies. Also rehearsing in the studio were ladies from the Made for Life Foundation, Made for Life Foundation some of whom are breast cancer survivors. The Made for Life Foundation supports people with cancer, and recently produced a naked charity calendar featuring women who have had breast cancer.

 So, come on, rollergirls! 1 in 9 women will be affected by breast cancer at some point in their lives. We’re getting our boobs out on TV; all you have to do is check along at home. Get familiar with your boobs and give yourself that little bit more control over your health. And nearly 300 men a year are diagnosed with breast cancer, so if you and your y chromosome merby, ref, NSO or support, you should check along too. Visit the Embarrassing Bodies website to find out more.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Daphne Does Derby: RCRG! bout recap

Back by popular demand, the Blitz Dames Bus was once again called upon to carry the travel team and entourage across the land to their next away game. The bus loaded up in the centre of Birmingham and the Dames set off to Oldham, Manchester, for their bout with Rainy City Roller Girls.

The coach journey is one of my favourite times. I try to see the Dames outside of practice, but I never spend as much time with them as I want. The two hours was spent with much larks and cake. Even the people who ignore the conversation and pretend to hate everyone on the bus with them secretly enjoy it.

The Thunderdome, home of RCRG was like no other venue I’d been to. Miles away from the blue sports court of the Dames’ training venue, it more resembled Toronto’s Bunker. With a sort of derelict charm, the Thunderdome made for a more intimate event, with many people sitting on carpets and cushions in the suicide seats. That was maybe good, because it was freezing in there and spectators had to huddle together for warmth. Whether this was a marketing technique designed for optimum hot chocolate sales from the RCRG tuck shop was uncertain.

The bout itself was impressive. The Rainy City jammers had fantastic agility and the blockers kept the walls tightly. The home team also had several strong hitters, and first hand reports say that falling against the Thunderdome’s concrete floor was a world of pain, though I’m glad to say serious injury was avoided.

Though RCRG took an early lead which they sustained, seasoned Dames jammers Suzette la Flamme and Nina Nunchucks snuck in points here and there. (Nico Warrior also jammed, but she pointed out recently that she skates really low and it makes her look like a gorilla. I was so struck by how true this was today that I found it hard to keep track of how many points she got.) Finally, a great powerjam by Violet Attack ended the game on a high note, despite the score 51-217 to Rainy City.

Since I wanted to skip the after party and go home early, I’d hoped to catch a lift with a couple of Dames that had driven up. Apparently, about four different people were concerned about me getting home and asked the driving Dames if I could ride with them. This is about ninety percent touching and ten percent funny. I really should have asked myself, but as is always the way, I’d gone out to get some chips and when I got back, the game was about to start.

“I was a bit surprised you came today,” Thunderkat said as she drove me home.

“Really? Why?”

“I’d have thought you’d have something better to do on your birthday.”

“Like what?”

I’m sure I can’t think of anything

~ Daphne du Gorier #905

(Roller derby is serious bananas and Daphne is the most serious banana)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Daphne Does Derby: Forward! March! bout recap

There’s nothing like bout day, is there?

It’s not even about the skating - that’s a whole experience in itself. But the beauty of having your league come together to celebrate something they love is truly excellent.

Yesterday saw the Blitz Dames bouting their old friends Croydon Roller Derby. It must be said, the Dames were on fine form. Their jammer lineup consisted of Violet Attack who sliced through the pack time and time again; Suzette la Flamme who consistently bumped up the scores and never faltered, even in jams that seemed to last forever; Nico Warrior who has always been sneaky but in this game was an actual ninja, and Nina Nunchucks who was just incredible.

No seriously. Nina was incredible. I used to have mixed feelings towards her because she was my derby mum and I always thought she was giving me tough love from afar, when in reality she’d forgotten that I was her daughter. But yesterday she was everything a roller girl aspires to be. Her crossovers! Her juking! Her leaps. I’m telling you, at one point she jumped the apex and I nearly cried, it was that beautiful.

The Croydon side was no less formidable. Totting fearsome war paint, they kept the Dames on their toes. Led by their coach, Herbie Licious who was wearing extremely wide trousers, they were cleaner skaters and impressively kept four blockers on track for the majority of the game.

Mosquito graced our venue again, sprinting around that track and giving our jammers a run for their money. What she lacks in height she makes up for in skill and confidence. One of the jammers I wasn’t familiar with was Vikispeedia but aside from having a great name, she really did live up to it!

I tried to take more notes on Croydon, but instead all I seem to have written about is Gin Atomic’s tiny, tiny skirt. It was so small, I am not even kidding. I mean, this is derby, most players dress like there’s a clothing shortage, but the skirt deserves a mention of its own. She also was kind enough to show me that if she had fallen over, the skirt would have flipped up to reveal pants that aptly read ‘FAIL’.

Ah, rollergirls. What’s not to love.

Aside from the actual bout and Gin Atomic’s TINY, TINY SKIRT, there was much excitement off track The Blitz Dames were selling scandalously generous slices of incredibly yummy cake. My derby wife bought me one slice and I ate it for the entire four hours that I was there, that’s how big it was. There were also gingerbread dames that sadly all suffered debilitation injuries.

Additionally, Izzy Dauntless who makes jewellery that is sort of good (kind of) was taking orders for league rings with name and league initials on (she’s making me one with ‘Daffy Gu Gu’ on it as we speak) and many an order was placed while her son, the Blitz Dames mascot, ran around roaring at people.

Our next match is against Rainy City Roller Girls in Manchester. We’re hiring a bus, so if you want to ride with us - and who wouldn’t - drop us a message!

~ Daphne du Gorier #905

(Roller derby is serious bananas and Daphne is the most serious banana)

*images by Simon White.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Blitz meet the Barons

On 12th Feb, BBD took a trip, organised by Julia Scissor, to see the Soliull Barons Ice Hockey team play in their league match against Billingham. Although Solihull lost, a great night was had by all and the Dames discovered their new favorite sport! After roller derby of course....

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Daphne Does Tattoo Freeze 2012

What do you get when you mix up the top UK derby teams, tattoos, camper vans and ice-sculpting? A typical rollergirl outing!

Tattoo Freeze is a convention that takes place yearly and hosts a mini roller derby tournament with the eight teams battling it out. The tournament was held in a huge hall with ice sculpting at one end, a stage where live bands played, a BMX ramp and then the track and stands set up for the roller derby.

There were eight games in total, each lasting only 30 minutes, with a maximum of two time outs and a stricter penalty system: only four minutes in the box was grounds for ejection, rather than the typical seven. So, er, maybe that explains why five Blitz Dames skaters managed to foul out... We're not sloppy, we're spirited!

The teams in attendance were: The Birmingham Blitz Dames, The Auld Reekie Roller Girls, Glasgow Roller Girls, London Rockin' Rollers, The Dolly Rockits, London Batter C Power, Lincolnshire Bomber Roller Girls and the tournament was organised by Central City Roller Girls.

The first game was ARRG against the Dolly Rockits. DRR had some powerful jammers, including Gob Stop 'Er, Truckin' Elle and of course Rogue Runner of Team England fame, but after a close game, ARRG emerged victorious.

Next, the London Rockin' Rollers played Lincolnshire. The Bombers looked very professional in their kit and pulled off some impressive assists, particularly Synyster Motives, but the Rockin' Rollers were the stronger team, with an array of high standard players such as Jack Attack, Von Bitch, and The Mighty Mighty Bash who was playing her final bout for the team. The final score was something something.

Then it was finally time for the Blitz Dames to play CCR! The Dames took a quick lead and were initially showing strong pack work and communication. Violet Attack jammed alternatively and Penny Block experienced her bouting debut with a fantastic hit to Hustle'Her. It was all going well until a few skaters started hitting the four minutes in the box limit and getting ejected. By the end of the match, four of the most experienced skaters had been ejected and the BBD game suffered considerably.

In the final of the first round games, Glasgow played London Batter C. It was the first time most people had seen LRG's C team play and they had a hard time against the more experienced Glasgow team.

The semi finals saw a fast paced game between London Rockin' Rollers and ARRG with the latter losing over only 19 points and sending LRR to the finals.

CCR triumphed over GRG in a very close game where Billy Whizz and Hustle'Her worked as effective jammers, catching the points even though GRG often got lead jammer. GRG had wonderful blocking and waterfalling, but at the end of the thirty minutes, CCR had the higher score and went through to the final.

After ARRG played GRG in a tight All Scottish battle for third place the final had CCR up against London Rockin' Rollers. With the help of Jack Attack, LRR took an early lead and maintained it, staunchly preventing CRR from closing the point gap and taking the Tattoo Freeze trophy for 2012 with a score of 105 – 22.

Although the Dames didn't win, we put up a good fight and enjoyed meeting up with the other teams and watching the other matches. All in all a day of great derby!

See you all next year!

~ Daphne du Gorier #905

(Roller derby is serious bananas and Daphne is the most serious banana)

Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 in Review

Lost in weekly practices, the run up to bouts and the signing up for bootcamps, it's hard to believe the year has passed so quickly. 2011 draws to a close on a very different Blitz Dames than it welcomed it, but while we've made a lot of changes, our spirit remains the same! Here's a rundown of this year's achievements.

Just Awesome proves Outstandingly Awesome
Being off skates for an injury is an unfortunate aspect of derby no player looks forward to. This year the very lovely Just Awesome had to take time off to rest her knee, but in the meantime took on the demanding and stressful role of line-up manager. This requires indepth knowledge of tactics, skaters' abilities and how not to fall apart when faced with fourteen adrenaline-loaded rollergirls.

Claiming New Territory
Halfway through the year we made the transition from spreading our three practices across two venues, to our new home, the Birmingham Futsul Arena. At first we were uncertain of the sports tile floor, but we soon realised that our wheels on the tiles sounded like a helicopter. The only problem is the excess of blue gives one an urge to do the breast stroke while skating in a pace line.

A New Drill Sergent
Previously the strange guy who skated so fast he was often called for a multiplayer block on his own, the Blitz Dames voted Rex Tangle in as their coach and he's stepped up to the challenge admirably. The hardest part no doubt is to get us to shut up and do the damn drill. About six months after he was appointed, I finally figured out what his name is about. Rex Tangle. Rectangle. Get it???

We are proud to announce we finally have our own online store, where you can buy merch to support us and look mighty fine at the same time. Coming soon, sweat, blood and tear stained items from our top skaters! (Subject to availability.)

Bouts Hosted
Although this year had its share of away bouts, we also hosted a handful of at home double headers, giving our B team skaters a chance to show their skills. The Bout production team had a lot of new members this year, but they functioned professionally and pulled off several stellar events.

The World Cup
This year there was a little thing known as the Blood and Thunder, First Roller Derby World Cup ever, held in Toronto, Canada. You might have seen that Violet Attack's hot pants were there! Infact, Violet Attack were also there, representing Team England, while Roisin Roulette represented Team Ireland. To celebrate we made an Attack of the Rollergirls tshirts. We offered to make a similar shirt for RR, but she just gave us an unnerving stare and asked if we were feeling lucky.

Pretty good work for a year! Roll on 2012!

~ Daphne du Gorier #905

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Daphne Does Derby: All Ireland Roller Derby Vs Blitz Dames and All Star Challenge

Daphne du Gorier #905 played her first ever bout for the Blitz Dames travel team on Saturday, and it was against the Irish World Cup Squad! Here is her take on the day:

"Today the Birmingham Blitz Dames played host to two fantastic bouts against the All Ireland team representing Ireland in the Roller Derby World Cup. The first was with the Blitz Dames, while the second pitted the Irish team against an All-Star lineup made up of teams from the Midlands, termed the Midlands Massive.

The BBD bout was my first time bouting for the A team, while the second was much anticipated as it gave me a chance to watch some of my roller derby crushes play at close quarters.

The All Ireland team took an early lead which they maintained throughout the game using their formidable blockers to create a solid defence even the nippiest of jammers had problems getting through. The Dames were at a clear disadvantage with two skaters playing on the A team for the first time, Violet Attack only jamming and Roisin Roulette playing for the other team! Despite this, we made AIRD fight for their points. In the second half the dames adjusted their game and Izzy Dauntless and Thunderkat made some great blocks while Suzette la Flamme and Nico Warrior racked up the points in some beautiful passes.

As virgin voyages go, I couldn’t have asked for a better bout. The atmosphere was relaxed and I was confident in the positions and lineups I was being played in.

The game ended with a score of BBD 55 AIRD 244 but the dames felt satisfied with their performance and grateful to AIRD for the opportunity. No sooner had the teams done their laps of honour, the Midlands Massive team started to warm up, and excitement was in the air!

The second bout was one that proved just how much of a spectator sport derby is. As if seeing Violet Attack, Helen Fury, Nuclear Miss-ile, Voodoo Ray, Inky Minx and Kid Block skating on a team together wasn’t enough, we had the tiny but deadly Mosquito jamming like it was going out of fashion, some mind blowing power jams and BB Bombshell slicing through the pack while skating on one foot as her toe guard had come loose.

Getting to watch this bout was a real treat as you get a completely different perspective from when you’re on track. I quickly fell in love with Zola Blood who darted off the jam line like she’d never heard of inertia, and ChemiKill Hazard (who was awarded MVP) also captured my heart. Crow Jane who I had been looking forward to seeing sadly went off with an injury but not before putting up a good fight for the AIRD team. Between these fearsome ladies, Violet Attack and Roisin Roulette, I had a hard time knowing who to cheer for and gave myself a sore throat from all the screaming.

It was a fantastic day from start to finish with a great effort from all the skaters, refs, NSOs and the BBD bout production team. Thank you to everyone who made my first A-team bout such a fantastic experience. Hope to see you all on track some time.

(If I’ve made any mistakes or not linked to profiles where available, let me know and I’ll edit!)"

Blog post taken from where Daphne blogs about all things derby on a regular basis.