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.
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 keep on winning were the audacious Team Scotland.
First off to give us the story on Derby in Scotland is Andy Clockwise [who may also be known as Iain Elstone in another world] associated as a referee with Auld Reekie Rollergirls out of the royal city of Edinburgh. Following soon will come the tale of Team Scotland at World Cup in Toronto through the eyes of Blazin’ Phoenix. Thanks as well to Thomas Mathieson for the photograph of Andy Clockwise, and to Andrew Leatherbarrow and Dave McAleavy for the firsthand look of Scottish Roller Derby in action.
Andy Clockwise starts the tale.
Roller Derby in Scotland is ever increasing in popularity. Every major city has a team now and some of the larger towns do, too. Glasgow Roller Girls was formed back in 2007, followed in 2008 by Auld Reekie Roller Girls in Edinburgh. Six other leagues have formed since then, two of which came just this year and will hopefully be bout ready soon!
The leagues have close links, forged stronger by the World Cup. We had practices in different cities over the summer and autumn. It’s wonderful to be a part of the Scottish Roller Derby Scene. It’s like a community of its own. We’re not a big country and so it’s never too far for any of us to travel to bouts.
I’m very proud to be a Referee with the Auld Reekie Roller Girls. I started as fresh meat, barely able to stand on skates in May 2010 and reffed my first bout in August that year. I’m currently out of action due to a non-derby related injury but hope to throw myself back into reffing in the spring.
[Furthermore, ARRG played the New Skids on the Block back in April. We played well, actually. They thrashed us but what a game! We played Montreal in a closed bout. They kindly came up to Edinburgh and I had the pleasure of driving them all back down in a minibus. They are amazing ladies! Everyone, an athlete!]
2011 saw ARRG became the second European league to become WFTDA members, the first in Scotland. Glasgow are currently WFTDA Apprentices along with quite a few other leagues in the UK and Europe. 2012 is going to be very exciting for Scottish, and indeed European Roller Derby.
From here you’ll find some great articles and also links to all the Scottish leagues.
I’m gutted I wasn’t able to come over and spectate. I had to settle for the internet feeds. I saw the Scotland vs. USA game, of course! Our guys are usually cleaner than that, but there was such a lot of pressure on them… heroes, every one of ’em. USA are such a formidable force. Every team that played them will go home, lick their wounds and come back better for it.
[Post World Cup there was a rash of flu spreading all over the world of Derby, seemingly emanating from all those who bouted at the venue.]
So that’s where the damn Flu came from! Practically the whole league has gone down with it. In fact, other Scottish leagues, too! My wife Faerie Nuff and I both had the sniffles but our main complaints are a little more serious. I completely tore my right distal biceps tendon at forearm at the start of November. Faerie Nuff who also refs for ARRG is recovering well from partially torn ligaments and cartilage damage in her knee from 2010. We’re a a right pair just now! Ha ha! I can’t wait to get back on 8 wheels and get my right arm doing what it does best! Leeeeeeead Jammer!
Introduction: In this second installment of Brazil at World Cup, our new friend Mariah Bearings aka Bia #5 shares the excitement and the inside story of Team Brazil striving towards making it to Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup 2011 and finally making it to Toronto. Also, we extend many thanks to world class World Cup photographers Sean Hale / Hale Yeah and Dave Woods Photography for the use of their work. Click to find the first chapter of this story from Derby friend Beki Band-Aid
It was the craziest idea. I had started practicing with the Ladies of HellTown league, in Sao Paulo, for 3 or 4 months, and people started talking about going to Canada to play at the Roller Derby World Cup. Since there were so few people practicing in Brazil, we knew that anyone who wanted to go (and, just as important, could afford it) would probably go. I wanted to go. I had some savings and I had some months to learn enough to be able to play.
We had, by that time, four leagues in the whole country who could send skaters to Canada: the Ladies of Hell Town and Gray City Rebels (dissident skaters from the Ladies) in Sao Paulo, Sugar Loathe Derby Girls in Rio de Janeiro, and Royal Victory Derby Girls in Manaus. We had also two boot camps before the try-outs. The first with Georgia W. Tush (which I could only watch due to a muscular distention), and the next one a couple months later with Bonnie D. Stroir which was a week of hard practice and unbelievable fun. The try-outs took place the following weekend and most of us were exhausted, but we were in Team Brazil anyway. If we didn’t go to the World Cup then who would?
So Team Brazil was born around July. Nanda, aka Brazilian Nuts, from the Gotham Girls, was our MVP and was working hard to get the things done. We had absolutely no experience, so all Brazilian skaters who lived in other countries and wanted to play were automatically in Team Brazil. Some of them had the opportunity to come to Brazil and meet their team mates (Bianca “Lobster” from Canada and Lucia “Bombshell” from US), but the others we were to meet in Toronto. It was crazy and felt like a dream. We had little idea of what we were about to face there but we just kept going.
By September reality hit hard and some of our best skaters had to give up the team mostly because they would not be able to pay for the trip.
We knew this would probably happen since we had no support here in Brazil. Most of the help we had came from the U.S. – helmets, armbands, money donations – but here we were all by ourselves. It was hard on all of us. Not even our head coach would be able to make it anymore. We had to fight to keep our spirits up and be motivated while paying for our visas and tickets and negotiating days off at our jobs.
Good news came on the last minute – OMG WTF would help us and be our coach, another Brazilian skater in the US, Fer, joined Team Brazil, and visas that were taking too long to be liberated worked out. In the middle of this chaos, we hopped on our planes and somehow got there.
We fucking did it. We were there. We know people were amazed seeing us laugh and scream and dance the whole time, even after a 7 to 347 score, but we felt victorious the whole time just for being there. Nothing would take that away from us so we screamed and danced, and gave our blood in every jam, even when we had no idea of what to do or what the hell was going on.
People there probably heard, and it is true, that most of us had never played a bout before Brazil vs Sweden on the first day. Every derby skater knows what it feels like. We were at the same time excited and scared as hell. I was one of the “virgins” and I couldn’t stop talking, moving, punching my team mates, jumping and annoying everybody. The next moment I didn’t want people around me, didn’t want to talk, got pissed just by being touched. Seconds later I was jumping again. It started. They were bigger than us, better skaters, hit harder. We were lost and confused and could not stay out of the penalty box. I don’t even remember the scores. It was glorious. When it ended, we immediately jumped on our team mates and screamed at the top of our lungs as if we had won the cup itself. It felt like we did. If you were there, you saw it.
We got better each game. We lost them all as we expected. We were tired, sore, cold as hell and still couldn’t stay away from the penalty box for too long but we played every game with the same enthusiasm and managed to put on more than 130 points in the second game against France. Our more experienced players were FANTASTIC and were giving their blood (sometimes, literally). We were doing the best we could to help them. I think we did a good job. People were cheering for us, asking for pictures, encouraging, screaming “Brazil!” when we passed.
What more could we expect? Somebody said we played with our hearts and that is true. The heart, for many of us, was the best we could offer our team mates and audience in that moment so we gave it our all.
Coming back to Brazil after all that was as amazing as being there. We knew that our friends and the girls on our league were watching, flooding chats and facebook with comments on every single move, sharing photos, scaring neighbours while screaming like crazy cheering for us from afar. But actually seeing them, drinking beer together, hearing all the stories, all the plans they now have for 2012, is the best part of this crazy adventure.
When I saw how excited they are, how awesome they were in our practice a couple days ago and the boost of enthusiasm the World Cup gave them, I realized how proud I am of being part of Team Brazil in the first Roller Derby World Cup. I am so damn proud. It wasn’t just the girls on team Brazil, it was all the girls and leagues there in Canada with us. I can say from the league I am part of, Ladies of HellTown, that we have tons of plans and 2012 is going to be a hell of a rad year for us. I believe it is like that for all the other leagues, some of them starting right now.
For me, I made 3 points in the World Cup and I am so very proud of it! I can’t wait until our next practice, can’t wait for our first game on Brazilian ground, and I am really happy to have my very first bout recorded on DVD and in so many photos. I have so many people to thank that I’ll have to do it in private or this post will be even bigger than it is now. I hope everybody who played or watched or worked in the World Cup had as much fun as we had and I am looking forward to the next one.
Derby love from Team Brazil and the Ladies Of HellTown for players and fans of Roller Derby all over the world!
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;
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!
World Cup Team Canada. Capture the silver. Capture our hearts.
Why don’t you put some skates on and be your own hero?
So began our own sojourn and no doubt the kickstart of many into the world of Derby. Who would have imagined that it would culminate in the glorious venture that would be the Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup 2011?
So many thanks to the good people at Blood and Thunder magazine, editor Black Dahlia and media goodguy Ziv Kruger for allowing me to be part of the Photo Crew for one amazing experience. Four days of Derby from all around the world in our backyard. Congratukations Toronto Roller Derby. You made Derby history.
World Cup is on ! Wednesday, the day before World Cup and the Blood and Thunder crew were allowed their first peek into the inner sanctum of The Bunker – it would mark our first return to the venue since the conclusion of the Toronto Roller Derby season with its doubleheader against the Hammer league. Getting to The Bunker up in Parc Downsview Park was its own trial and tribulation trundling all our gear up and down and through all of Creation but we made it just in time to see Team USA on the way out after practice. Number 55 was still left behind waiting for her ride back to the hotel. Even Team USA takes the shuttle bus. Caught up with the B&T media advisor Ziv Kruger [sitting beside Black Dahlia herself] to the World Cup event, and received a master lesson in shooting and photography and workflow. That may sound tech but it’s part of the process of learning! Team France were very elegant in their new uniforms and managed to say something out of our French vocabulary. Then Brazil took to track two, while our friend Crazylegs – who we first saw play out of Queen City Lake Effect Furies – was captaining Team Argentina! on track one. Very interesting things happened.Now onto World Cup! Day One! It’s here! breathe.
Over a long, tiring and busy weekend The Hangar up at Downsview Park hosted the Team Canada-East Coast try outs. With a number around 60 participants, the first cut of skaters includes:
Killson [Forest City Derby Girls]
Semi Precious [RIdeau Valley Roller Girls]
Soul Rekker [Rideau Valley Roller Girls]
Windigo [HRD Brawlers]
Motorhead Molly [Tri-City Roller Girls, Inc.]
Brim Stone [Toronto Roller Derby]
Bambi [Toronto Roller Derby]
Dust Bunny [Toronto Roller Derby]
Dyna Hurt-cha [Toronto Roller Derby]
Rebel Rock It [Toronto Roller Derby]
Rainbow Fight [709 Derby Girls]
Lee Way Wreck’Em! [GTA Rollergirls!]
from a surprised and excited Lee Way Wreck’Em:
“I actually considered sleeping in when I heard what the fitness test consisted of (and I’m very glad I changed my attitude to going for the experience of it all)! I don’t do much outside of derby so the fitness test wasn’t easy. Push ups, sit ups, running…it was a challenge for sure. It was, oddly, still fun. I think it was because I was surrounded by a lot of other derby players who were in the same boat.
“For one of the tests I was beside Semi Precious [Rideau Valley] and we swore to push each other past a certain level; early bits of teamwork popped up despite the competitive nature of tryouts which I think speaks to the nature of the sport. It’s safe to say everyone was tired midway through the on skates portion but we all gave everything we had.
“Pauly brings a lot of coaching experience to the table. He has a hard job of being the first coach in Canada to pick a team to represent the country. The next difficult job will be getting everyone together to practice because of the size of the country and the cost involved.”
GTA Rollergirls is certainly proud of 5by5! and congratulations to everybody who tried out and to those who made it!