It’s just a few days away, and the eight teams taking part in this year’s Tattoo Freeze Invitational have been working hard to prepare.
For many, Tattoo Freeze marks the first game of 2016, so all are hoping to get this year off to a flying start.
The first game will see the Lincolnshire Bombers take on the Preston Roller Girls.
Founded in 2008, the Lincolnshire Bomber Roller Girls are Lincoln’s original roller derby team. Since then they have continued to grow and experience some magical times together, including competing in SKOD 2013, and in the first British Championships.
A spokesperson for the team said: “Our highlight of last year’s Champs was definitely our game against Oxford Roller Derby where, in a close fought and dramatic game, we took the win by just two points!
“We are very excited to be part of Tattoo Freeze and British Champs again in 2016 and look forward to playing against new teams and making new friends along the way.”
And in a touching tribute to Motorhead – which sponsored the league – and their late founder Lemmy, LBRG will be skating out to “Bomber”.
Preston Roller Girls were formed late in 2010 and were Lancashire’s first roller derby league.
A league member said: “During the last year, we have been focusing on expanding the league and developing the skills of our skaters.
“We’ve already got plenty of scrims and bouts lined up for our up and coming skaters, and are looking forward to seeing them take to the track. ”
Last year, Preston took part in the British Championships and secured promotion to Tier 3 of the competition.
Next up will be Nottingham Roller Girls vs Wolverhampton Honour Rollers.
The girls from Nottingham have been training hard in the off-season to develop strong, agile athletes and have their eye on taking this year’s British Championships by storm. But first, they will have to kick off their year with a tough game against Wolves.
A Nottingham Roller Girls spokesperson said: “This will be a great start to the year, and we’ll be showing you what it means to bleed green!”
Currently ranked 85th in Europe, the Wolverhampton Honour Rollers team have also been training hard and have gone from strength to strength in recent years.
Last year saw the team come first in the north east division of the British Championships and place third in the Tier 4 playoffs.
One of the league’s members said: “The team has been eager to get involved with Tattoo Freeze and are delighted to be playing in 2016.”
Third on the bill will be the MRDA-sanctioned game between the Crash Test Brummies and the Super Smash Brollers.
2015 was a transitional year for the Brummies. They saw the departure of a lot of faces that the team had been previously been built around. But they didn’t let that get in their way, turning their attention to getting their newer skaters up to speed and making their reworked squad more cohesive.
A Brummies spokesperson said: “Although our 2016 Tattoo Freeze competing squad sees only seven players in common with our 2015 one, much of the same smash-tastic ideals have kept us constantly smiling through.”
Some of the team’s highlights from last season were finishing mid table in the men’s British Championships, their BEARDi tournament in support of Movember and three players making national training squads in the hopes of being picked to represent their countries at the Men’s World Cup in Calgary this summer.
“We are excited to be again opening our season at Tattoo Freeze this year and would encourage any local lads to look us up if they fancy giving this crazy sport we love a try, our doors are always open. Brummies Smash!”
Born over 4 years ago of love for roller derby, and old school computer games, The Super Smash Brollers are the first men’s roller derby team in Nottingham.
A Brollers spokesperson told us: “Having played in Euros, Champs, friendlies and all over the country, we are always up for a challenge, but now we can add playing at one of the most exclusive game events of the year – Tattoo Freeze!
“Be sure to check out the big hits, fast skates, and shiny new tops brought to you for the first time this season! Keep Brollin’, Brollin’, Brollin’, Brollin’!”
Rounding off this amazing day of roller derby will be the Liverpool Roller Birds vs Big Bucks High Rollers.
Liverpool Roller Birds is the city’s first ever roller derby league! They flew into existence in November 2009, offering women of all shapes, sizes and skating abilities, the opportunity to take up roller derby.
Since their inception, LRD’s A team, the Sisters of Mersey, and B team, the Yellow Shovemarines, have played across the UK and internationally with teams as fantastically diverse as their own.
Last year, the league joined the UKRDA and took part in Tier 3 of the British Championships.
One of the Roller Birds said: “In 2016, we are participating in the British Championships at Tier 2 level and are looking forward to the challenge of new teams and new competition.”
Meanwhile, Big Bucks, hailing from the hilly town of High Wycombe, have seen their team go from strength to strength, culminating last year in making it to the British Champs playoffs and getting promoted to Tier 2.
Although they are looking forward to a successful season, the team knows they will be kicking it off with a great game.
A Big Bucks representative said: “We will be facing off against some tough new opposition in 2016 during Champs and meeting Liverpool Roller Birds, our Tier 2 North rivals, at Tattoo Freeze is going to start things off with a bang!
“A big thank you to our very own painted lady A Cute Injury for organising our involvement at Tattoo Freeze this year. We are sure that she isn’t going to be able to resist adding some new artwork to her extensive collection. The only question is, will she get inked before or after we rumble!!?”
As the Big Bucks hashtag says – #wecanwewill
Not got your Tattoo Freeze roller derby ticket yet? Don’t worry, they are still available from the Tattoo Freeze website.