Introductory remarks: If you were one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to attend the after-party of Blood and Thunder World Cup, you would have seen a lot of sweaty dancing and hijinx from Derby players from all over the Derbysphere. One of the teams who were definitely out to do their best to win the night were the audacious Team Scotland. First off to give us the story on Derby in Scotland was Andy Clockwise associated as a referee with Auld Reekie Roller Girls. Now comes the tale of Team Scotland at Blood and Thunder World Cup in Toronto through the eyes of Blazin’ Phoenix. Many thanks to Hale Yeah / Sean Hale and Dave McAleavy / boutday.com for the generous use of their photos of Team Scotland and World Cup.
World Cup was such a dream. For Scotland to be able to field a team, let alone go, was a miracle. We are such a small nation and have a very small pool in which to draw talent from. It’s a new sport here too, so the odds were stacked against us but we made it.
For me, the greatest thing was the learning experience. I got to see the world leaders of roller derby skate and I learned so much. I have only been skating for a year and a half…that includes learning *how* to skate. I had a stroke at 17 too, so it’s insane to think of me as a member of Team Scotland. The World Cup was an eye opener and something to work toward for the future. It gave me something more to fight for. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go until a few days before I was due to leave as my dad had had a cardiac arrest on the living room floor and I had to do CPR and bring him back. He was in a bad way for a while. Still is, but I’m hoping he’s gonna be okay. He asked me to go, so I did. I booked my flights two days before I was due to go. I was way off my game when I was in Toronto, so next time I come to the World Cup I’m gonna be focused and ready for it. I’m gonna bring it. Did I just say that? You know what I mean though.
We had to pay for the trip ourselves and fundraise as a team. That was stressful. Some girls had to pull out and couldn’t go. Because of this which was sad we lost some good players. We were kindly sponsored by Derby Skins, Anti-Stank and we got our helmets from a local skate company too, Kick Flip Boards, which was cool. The people who helped us get to Toronto and helped while we were there, who had nothing to do with derby, are amazing! I just have to get that out. They put in SO much work!! Without them, we would never have made it.
The whole thing was a whirlwind, a blur, but the best bits if I had to pick them: I do remember not being able to look at Suzy Hotrod when she put her arm round my shoulder and said “hey” during the photo with Team Scotland and Team USA. That’s the first time I realized “Wow, we are actually here standing with Team USA”! Plus I, like every other girl in the derby world, have a crush on Suzy Hotrod so I went a bit goofy and shy.
S inging the National Anthem to the world…how embarrassing! Haha! But so good at the same time. The comraderie of all of the teams there was great. What else? The skating of course. Skating with so many talented girls from other countries was wicked. And the community feeling worldwide that we have in derby is mind blowing.
My worst bits you ask? I can think of only one major thing. I had corneal abrasions in my right eye from the dust and shit on the floor that was floating around in the air when I was skating. Some sharp bits went in my eye and made tiny cuts on my cornea. I had to sit on a six hour flight with no vision and *very* sore eyes. It wasn’t fun. I really don’t want to have that ever happen again. Thinking about it now is making my eyes water. The poor volunteers were constantly sweeping the floor too, but it was just inevitable I think.
T eam Scotland provided entertainment, singing songs such as “ye canny shove yer granny off the bus” whilst we were on the bus full of derby girls from every other country. That was funny. Oh, and by the way, Scotland totally won the after party! [;)]Now I have reached the end of this epic rant. I can’t remember half of what I’ve written, so please forgive me.