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!