Team England Coaches Appointed

UKRDA is delighted to announce the appointment of a Head Coach and Line Up Manager for Team England. Following a rigorous selection process and UKRDA member vote we can now welcome Ballistic Whistle as Head Coach, and Rollin StoneR as Line Up Manager (LUM).

Ballistic Whistle, of London Roller Girls and Southern Discomfort Roller Derby is reprising his role after coaching Team England to an impressive third place finish in the first ever Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup. Inspired by the concentration of talent he sees in English Roller Derby, Ballistic Whistle is aiming to exceed Team England’s bronze medal finish in 2011.

He will be able supported by the Captain of Southern Discomfort and Head Coach of the Royal Windsor Rollergirls Rollin StoneR, who is also stepping back into a familiar role. Drawing on his experience of being LUM for Team England last time around, Rollin StoneR is looking forward to pushing the squad to new heights, and to building the smartest, strongest and most competitive team England can produce.

We wish them all of the best as they lead Team England’s campaign for world cup glory. British Roller Derby has gone from strength to strength since 2011, and we’re excited to see what our national squads can achieve. We are still looking for Head Coach, Assistant Coach and Line Up Manager to lead the Scottish and Welsh squads. If you would like to apply for these positions, applications are open until the end of August. Or, if you know someone who would be good at this, please encourage them to apply. The future of these squads is in the hands of you, the community.

Details on skater try-outs and criteria for Team England will be announced soon. But in the meantime UKRDA would love to hear from you about whether you are planning to try out, please fill in our survey.

 

Rainy City Roller Girls awarded Inspired Facilities funding

The UKRDA would like to congratulate Rainy City Roller Girls, one of its member leagues, on their successful funding application to Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund. Rainy City Roller Girls have been awarded £50,000 for upgrades to their home venue, The Thunderdome, and plan for it become a centre of excellence for roller derby in the UK.

UKRDA were successful in getting the new sport of roller derby recognised in the UK back in February 2011. This opened up the pathways to funding for the sport, from local level up to the national sports councils, and membership to an National Governing Body can demonstrate sound governance to a funding body. UKRDA are thrilled that this has lead to such an impressive award, for a worthy project, for one of its members.

League President and UKRDA Representative, Cleo Fracture, describes the process and their plans for the funding:

The building we now occupy in Oldham had been derelict for 4 years when we moved in. We took to work to transform it into a roller skating venue. Most of the work that went into the initial refurbishment was carried out by our skaters on a voluntary basis, using money we’d raised since 2008 through our bouts and bootcamp events. There’s an article about what we did on our website: http://www.rcrg.co.uk/news-item/the-thunderdome/

We could only go so far on our own, limited means, so when our finance team discovered that we were eligible to apply to be a Sport England Inspired Facility, we jumped at the chance. We are fairly unique in that there are not many Roller Derby leagues that lease their own permanent venue, and the purpose of the Inspired Facilities project is to fund improvements to permanent sports facilities to help them grow and encourage more people into sport.

The application process was lengthy, but we were well-supported by the Sport England support staff who responded quickly to any questions we had, and provided further information when we needed it. We had to be very specific about what we would spend the money on, and how the improvements would help us grow. We had to provide evidence of the need for our project, how we are involved with the local community, and how we affect other businesses in the area. We had to supply accurate reports and figures to prove the long-term sustainability and viability of our club.

We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of our premises. We aim to become a centre of excellence for Roller Derby in the UK; to champion our sport, and make it accessible to more people. These improvements will allow us to increase our capacity, so we can host bigger Roller Derby events, create more exposure for our sport, and grow our club.

Here’s what we’ll be using the funding for:

  • A new skate floor

We plan to lay a new floor in our venue. Currently, we skate on sealed concrete, which works, but is difficult to maintain, and isn’t completely flat. When we renovated the building, we used a scarifying machine to grind the floor as flat as possible before sealing it, but this was never going to be a perfect solution. We are now finding that wear and tear on the floor is causing holes and rivets which are difficult to fix. Installing a purpose built tiled flooring system such as Skate Court, or similar will give us an amazing responsive floor, and make the falls a lot less painful!!

  • Heating

Our building currently has no heating, so it gets pretty cold in the wintertime. This is Ok for our training sessions, but we cannot hold any public events from November until the end of February, as it’s too cold for the audience. So we’ll be using some of the funding money to install a heating system, which will be used during public events.

  • Audience Seating

Currently we can seat around 150 people to our games, but this is on plastic chairs and floor cushions. We have standing room for a further 70, giving us a capacity of around 220 maximum. We want to buy some portable tiered bleacher seating, which will allow us to increase our capacity, and to seat people more comfortably, and with a better view of the game.

  • Toilets

We have only 3 toilets in the building, which can be a problem on bout day for all our spectators, and so we want to install a further 5 toilets.

  • New hire skates and protective gear

We’re investing in some new skates and safety equipment to replenish our stock of hire kit. We have a weekly New Skater session every Monday, where anyone over 18 can come and learn to skate, with a view to joining our league. Our stock levels are low, and some is nearing the end of its usable life.

 

We currently have around 60 skaters on our books, and 3 bouting teams who compete both in the UK and Europe. With the help of this funding we hope to increase this number significantly over the coming months. Roller Derby is experiencing something of an explosion in interest, and our events are usually packed out with spectators. People come from all over the country to attend our bouts, and our training events. There is a strong Roller Derby community in the UK, and hundreds of skaters looking to play and train with us.

We are delighted to have been awarded this funding, and hope to make every penny count towards championing our sport. The fact that Sport England has recognised Roller Derby as a sport worth investing in says a lot about where we’re at right now. I hope that this will encourage more Roller Derby leagues to apply for funding, and be successful. You can find out more at www.sportengland.org/inspiredfacilities

Cleo Fracture
League President
Rainy City Roller Girls
www.rcrg.co.uk

 

UKRDA Women’s National Squads Survey – NOW OPEN!

Intending to try out for Team England, Scotland or Wales? Let us know! Unsure about trying out? Or have an opinion of Squad Selection? We want to know! Calling ALL UK Rollergirls! We want your opinions!

On 1 August 2013 UKRDA are launching a survey togather opinion from the UK roller derby community on skater selection for Women’s Team England, Scotland & Wales. It will only take 5 minutes to complete, please follow this link to take part:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1n1IqUH8pIS5lGKNoBagjT8Qe2wGe_zOq5W77jr4oy2c/viewform

The recently formed UKRDA National Squads Oversight Board is currently working hard to process applications for Coaching positions UK National Squads. Once the Coaching Committees are in place their first job will be to work on defining the selection criteria, locations, timings and format for women’s national team try-outs.  UKRDA will be supporting the coaching teams and ratifying these policies with UKRDA Member leagues.  UKRDA are looking to canvass opinion from the wider UK roller derby community in order to inform all of these decisions.

We realise a lot of you are waiting for news on where and when trials will be. At the moment we can’t officially announce any dates because there is still a lot of planning to do with the Coaching Committees when they are appointed.  To keep you all in the loop this is what we’re currently thinking:

• August – September 2013 – Appoint Coaching Committees for National Teams
• September – October 2013- Publish skater selection criteria and details of the first round of open try-outs, and open an online sign-up process (as far in advance of trials as possible)
• October – December 2013- Hold first round of initial open try-outs (in multiple locations)
• January – March 2014 – Hold further try-outs if required
• April 2014 – Announce the National squads
• April – November 2014 – Squad Training
• December 2014 – WORLD CUP in Dallas, Texas

*All dates are indicative only and are subject to change – once coaches are in place key dates will be scheduled and announced officially.

We invite ALL female UK roller derby skaters to fill in the attached survey. As well helping us gauge what the level of demand is likely to be for try outs across the UK we’re really interested in the reasons people are unsure or have decided against trying out so that we can identify ways to encourage more participation.

Expressing an interest in trying out or joining the mailing list for notifications does not commit you to anything at this stage. Information about how to sign-up for try-outs will be announced shortly.

Please take a few minutes to fill this in and pass onto your teammates too. We really want your opinion!

The survey will be open for the whole of August 2013 closing at midnight on 31st August 2013.