Team Brasil at Blood and Thunder World Cup 2011
photo copyright: midnight matinee – originally uploaded by Midnight Matinee 24.
Introductory remarks: We feel very honoured today to bring this contribution from Ladies of Helltown’s Beki Band-Aid. Beki Band-Aid is an instrumental force in bringing Roller Derby to her country of Brasil. She provides us with these words about how Brasil helped make Derby history by being at Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto, Canada! Ladies and gentlemen … here she is!
Roller Derby started in Brazil in 2008, after I, Beki, read about the sport on the internet the year before. It took me a while to start because I wasn’t even able to stand on skates, so I went to learn how to skate while I organized my ideas on how to put a league together.
It was more like a distant dream, since no one knew what Roller Derby was, and I didn’t even know where to begin. However, I insisted so much that the Ladies of HellTown was born.
I went through ups and downs, but today we have 13 Brazilian leagues registered in the international roster http://www.derbyroster.com/league.php?country=brazil and that number keeps increasing. I had help from many people abroad – they gave me practice ideas, brochures, helped me through difficult times, put up with me in my many moments of despair. To these people I will be eternally grateful, and they have become part of the history of Brazilian Roller Derby.
It was a practice with our dearest Bonnie D. Stroir in July 2011 that changed everything around here, for the better, of course. We hope more people come down to train us so we can learn more and more.
Unfortunately, things here are a bit more complicated, due to the lack of equipment. We have to import what we use, and that costs a lot of money. There is a lack of practice space and no incentive from government or potential sponsors.
However, we don’t let this keep us down, and we were able to get Team Brasil together - made up of 3 local leagues;
- Ladies of HellTown (Bia #5, Nina #33, Suelen #31, Debas #9);
- Sugar Loathe Derby Girls (Pati #72, Maíra #100);
- Gray City Rebels (Dede #107, Lara #181, Mari#1949) ;as well as the Brazilian girls who live abroad, of course:
- Fernanda Correa – Brazilian Nut #16 – Gotham Girls Roller Derby, NYC, USA.
- Fernanda de Azevedo – Matadora #777 – Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz, Germany.
- Lucia – Brazilian Bombshell #26 – South Bay Derby Mizfitz, CA, USA.
- Bianca – Lobster #7 Capital City Derby Dolls (CCDD), Ottawa, ON
- Fer Ezabella - Ferocity #80 – L.A. Derby Dolls, CA, USA.
and the coaches, Denis (L.o.Hell.T.), Lyon (SLDG), who couldn’t make it but trained the girls very well down here, Juliana (GCR) and the incredible Danielle Flowers (GGRD), who was Team Brazil’s head coach.
It was very sad to see players not able to go because of the lack of sponsorship. But, it’s ok, because next time we’ll be there.
With a lot of heart and few resources, we keep fighting day by day for the growth and recognition of Roller Derby in Brazil.
In Roller Derby, I discovered more than a sport, but a family, a community, a group of people who’ve never seen me in real life but are making an effort to help us. All the money in the world can’t pay for that. On top of that, anywhere you go in the world, if there is a roller derby league, you’ll feel at home.
This is the history of derby in Brazil. It started in São Paulo city, in São Paulo state, and spread throughout the entire country. We are still in the very beginning, but our intention is to improve more and more each day.
Roller Derby in Brazil is no longer a dream, but a sport, and that is the greatest gift I could receive in my life.
Ladies of HellTown
São Paulo, Brazil.
Obrigado Beki! Please read more about Derby and how you can help Brasil by taking a look at www.rollerderbybrasil.com/. Of course you can read more about Beki Band-aid’s league at Ladies of Helltown! Hopefully more to come from World Cup and skating with Gotham Girls in New York!