Bristol Roller Derby was established in 2010, and true to Bristol’s reputation as an epicentre for all that is individual and run by independent people for independent people, it was instantly popular with the early training sessions attracting around 70 skaters. Since then, the league has grown rapidly, and in keeping with the city’s love for forging its own path, in 2012 BRD merged with ADHD – the latter being a league which was established by people who just couldn’t wait for BRDs next intake before starting to play derby.
BRD now has 4 home teams – the first three having been established in early 2011 (Daughters of Anarchy, Project Mayhem and Smash Vandals), with ADHD slotting in neatly in 2012 to give us scope for double-header home games. We also now have two travel teams, with the Harbour Harlots A team being long established (their first bout was in December 2010), and the newly formed Harbour Harlots B team, who since skating their first bout in October 2012 have won 3 out of 3 of their matches. The A team are fighting their way up the rankings, with the B team hot on their heels, meaning the league is always pushing the boundaries to improve our skating.
A men’s team was set up in 2011 and is actively looking for new recruits with a goal to be bouting in 2013 – and to have decided on a name first! We hold monthly co-ed scrimmages, and the boys attend our training sessions as well as having a dedicated men’s session once a week, though all our training is co-ed. Together with a bench crew, Team Zebra (both skating and non-skating) and fresh meat, the league currently stands at just over 100 members. Committee members are voted in to oversee the administration of the league, and the running of the league is split into several “workgroups” with all members expected to do their part with regards to volunteering their time in one or more of those groups. Skaters currently train up to three times a week, and there are also “Drop In Derby” classes that are open to non-members too as BRD like to share the derby love!
A key part of the BRD philosophy is to work with the community that supports us, so every year we vote on a charity to support through our fundraising efforts – the 2012 charity is Survive http://www.survivedv.org.uk/
Joining UKRDA is an exciting new move for the league, and we’re delighted to have been accepted!
The Crash Test Brummies (CTB) men’s roller derby league formed in February 2012 and draws on a pool of skaters from across the Midlands districts, most of which were previously, and remain, active participants with local women’s leagues as coaches, referees, announcers and non-skating officials (including the Central City Rollergirls, Coventry City Roller Dolls, Birmingham Blitz Dames, Evolution Rollergirls and Wolverhampton Honour Rollers).
The Crash Test Brummies main aim is to promote participation in the sport of roller derby, across the gender spectrum, in the local area and at a national/international level through the involvement in competition. Sporting behaviour is at the centre of their ethos and win or lose, they’re full of ‘derby love’ for those who skate with or against them, and whilst they play to win, their primary interest is in playing for the love of derby itself.
Recruitment is ongoing with more skaters coming into the fold, pulling in a diverse range of people, from complete beginners (with the assistance of established local leagues) through ex-roller hockey players and speed skaters to already active derby participants who’re looking for an opportunity to take on a new role, be that as a player, coach, etc.
CTB are also forming strong relationships with other men’s leagues through closed events, scrimmaging, and hosting guest skaters at their practices and so on. Highlighting their rapid progress, it’s worth noting that, a mere 8 months after forming, they’ve already hosted two closed bouts, competed in the 2012 MERDC, won 1 open bout, and have attended various scrimmages with other men’s leagues across the country and have a very full diary for the year ahead! One of the Managing Directors JC/DC said “We consider our historic membership into the UKRDA a privilege, this an exciting time for us, and we look forward to working with the UKRDA towards helping to build a prosperous future for UK roller derby”
Falling over for the first time, passing minimum skills, first scrimmage… all milestones that have been achieved by the Tiger Bay Cubs during the past twelve months.
On the 8th of December the Cubs will be ticking off their next big milestone… their first public bout! But this will not only be a first for each of the Cubs, it’s also a first for the UK. The very first public Junior Roller Derby exhibition bout will take place in Cardiff, with the Tiger Bay Brawlers A Team taking on Glasgow Roller Derby’s Irn Bruisers later that day.
The Tiger Bay Cubs were established in January of 2012 by Tiger Bay Head Coach Judge Redd and skater Edel, with the assistance of the Cardiff Council 5×60 organisation. Many American Roller Derby Clubs have established Junior teams, but only a handful have started in the UK so far. Giving teenagers the opportunity to take part in a sport where there is a place for all body types and fitness levels was just one of the reasons Redd and Edel wanted to start a Junior team.
The dedication of the Cubs and their enthusiasm for everything derby has blown the coaches away. School holidays, birthdays, injuries… none of these things have stopped the Cubs from attending practise and working towards their goal of bouting.
The team is made up of girls from a variety of different Cardiff schools. A lot of the girls didn’t know each other when they first joined but as everyone involved in roller derby knows the bond that is made from hitting one another on track sets the base for awesome off track friendships.
However, when that first whistle goes on bout day these friendships will be put to one side as the skaters line up on track in their intra league teams – Black and Orange. Don’t expect anything but fierce competitive derby from these girls ranging in age from 11-17 on game day each team is out to win.