Rocking up to Stockland Green Leisure centre just before 4pm on Saturday I was met by a load of Roller Girls – ready to roll – all fired up from the first screening of Hell on Wheels at the Electric Cinema earlier that afternoon.
While our amazing team of track monkeys did some last minute adjustments to fit the two tracks round Stockland Green’s obstacles, (thanks guys!) many girls had already got their skate on and were whizzing round.
After a brief welcome from the lovely Kiki Kasplat, Fury and I had the honour of leading all the skaters (newbies and advanced alike) for the warm-up fun. So many skaters meant we had to split over the two tracks for a quick 10 min sprint and stretch before the fun (and pain) really began...
‘Skate till you puke,’ a Bleep Test and Pyramid Sprints saw an awesome effort from all skaters, refs too! Ballistic Whistle kicked ass more than once in STYP and the Beep test! Ladies – we all got some work to do – we know we’re better than boys!
Sweaty and panting the skaters took a quick break before the scrimmages got going. Advanced skaters took to one track while the newbies got some Sleazy action – working on stops, and falls – in the other. The shouts from the advanced track soon filled the hall and newbies couldn’t help but stand and watch while the real action got under way.
Not one to miss out - I joined the advanced girls midway through the first half, while the luscious Mr Chester Drawers took over newbies – getting them skating pack drills.
Scrimmages were timed-out for a quick reshuffling of teams, before Black & White hit the track once more.
Black team dominated in the first half, but in the second they struggled against the onslaught from the Whites. It’s such a great moment in a derby girl’s life when you skate with other leagues, and pull together to KICK SOME ASS! Special mention has to go to my fellow White team members, Dolly Minxture and Rushin’ Doll from the Leeds Roller Dolls– you two were AWESOME!
On the Black team Von Bitch from LRG and our own Ms Bee Sting hit hard and played fast, I’m sure I’m not the only girl going home with bruise or two!
Scores weren’t kept, but no-one cared. When the final whistle blew we all cheered and hi-fived, grinning like idiots just for being part of this beautiful game!
Newbies got some scrimmaging action too, under the watchful eye of Roisin Roulette and The Skatrix they got their game on for the last 30 minutes.
For the final cool down we all came together on one track for a mammoth game of ‘Dodge Ball’ before exhausted roller girls (and refs) collapsed into crumpled heaps across the track.
Only one thing could revive us.
And that one thing was PIZZA!!!
I’ve never seen roller girls get their kit off so quickly. Ok, so maybe I have ;). Finding energy from somewhere we sprinted from the hall and booty blocked our way to the front of the line. Not that we needed to rush, thanks to Rob & Shnafu we had a line of pizzas spreading out before us like a glorious, edible Great Wall of China. I swear you could see it from space!
Stuffed, weak kneed and starting to hum a little, I said my goodbyes. Leeds RD’s were off home having seen HoW earlier that day. Plenty more were sticking around for the after party at Subside and some were still to see the film, me included. I headed home for a wee rest. No time for napping though, I spruced myself up and was straight out the door again, for the 11pm screening of Hell on Wheels.
At the Electric cinema I bagsied myself a sofa, and stretching out my aching limbs I snuggled up to Kiki Kasplat. Just as the lights were going down I’m sure I saw Chester put his best yawn-stretch-arm-round-shoulder moves on Mistress of Merch, Ms LornaTik - in a bid for a free t-shirt me thinks!
The film was ace! Funny, moving, inspiring and even a little familiar! We all cheered at the end when the Blitz Dames appear on the map of the world, showing how Roller Derby has become a Global phenomenon.
This is something that EVERY Roller Girl should see. I was proud that the hard work of Blitz Dames Helen Fury & Bee Sting had bought this to Birmingham for the European premiere.
I was proud too of all Roller Girls and Derby Leagues everywhere! Setting up a league, running a league and being a skater is hard work. Things are never going to run 100% smoothly, but today showed me that we all here for the same reasons – because we love the game!
And beer. We all love Beer.
In Subside we joined the other skaters to party the night away - in the name of LOVE and in the name of ROLLER DERBY!
A ‘tired-and-emotional’ Sleazy Rider