Tag: Suffolk

Tubesock’s Funhouse

Tubesock’s Funhouse! It’s not every day you get to participate in an event with you as the namesake, but if you come up with a crazy idea one of the perks is getting to name it. What started as a vision in my mind turned into a reality thanks to a group skaters, NSO’s, refs, and spectators who threw good sense out the window and agreed to take part in something truly unique and one of a kind, and for that I will always be grateful.

So let’s start at the beginning, how did the thoughts of clowns on skates, a midway, and the popping of balloons work its way into a roller derby event? A couple years ago, as with most great ideas, a conversation started in the pub. We were talking about the Christmas Sur5ival event we had recently attended, and how it was an awesome idea to include an extra skater (the Grinch) on the track to spice up the jams. Of course our conversation soon progressed to adding an extra team, or obstacles, or anything that could make things interesting. Eventually we started talking about something else, but the idea of doing something crazy got stuck in my head and it would be something I would flesh out over the next couple of years.

I feel that idea, of hosting a crazy event stuck with me due to a subconscious pushback against the normalization and increasing competitiveness of roller derby. Before everyone gets up in arms, I want to say these are not bad things. Roller derby is one of the best communities out there and if the rest of the world would take some lessons from us, it would be a much nicer place to live. But I feel that what made roller derby such a unique and niche sport was starting to get lost in the quest for legitimacy and rankings. The kitsch, homemade uniforms, and rebellious streak that initially attracted a lot of us to the sport was taking a back seat to serious competition, sublimated matching uniforms, and various regulating organizations. But as in life, sometimes you need to take a step back, act silly, and remember we do things because we love to do them and they bring us joy.

Fast forward to last Saturday, and what was just a thought in my mind had become a reality. Balloons, bunting, and the bar were in place. The midway was staged with various games of chance, and hell, even the track was flipped so all the action was front and center. Then I started to see people walk in. Clowns with creepy face-paint, check. NSOs and refs in various states of fancy dress, check. Showgirls ready to take their place on the midway, check. Ringmaster with accompanying whip, check. It was awesome sight, a dream brought to life!

Once the action started, everything I had hoped would work out, did. The game managers worked their magic ensuring our skaters were ready to tackle the next crazy challenge. The refs and NSOs were super chill and were not above joining in on the fun. And the skaters, god bless the skaters.

Hey you skater person, tell me if this sounds like fun:

  • Skate against other the team and a group of clowns in a game of King of the Track.
  • Run an entire jam going the opposite direction.
  • Let’s have four jammers on the track at the same time!
  • There’s an obstacle course with some non-standard challenges.
  • Hump your way to victory in a relay race.
  • Do you like dancing? No? well you get to do it in front of everyone.

That’s what the skaters had to deal with, along with a very warm arena with a very slick floor. But they did it, they did it smiling, and accepted every crazy game for what it was! Tubesock Kart turned into a whirling dance of skaters trying to avoid each other’s hits on their balloons. Tubesock’s Most Extreme Elimination Challenge became a showcase of ring tossing and cup stacking prowess. Get These Clowns Outta Here turned into a deadly game of chicken at high speed, and Who Are These Clowns saw my giant, sweaty, sad clown ass jam for two minutes, regretting about minute and a half of it. It was an awesome day with tons of smiles, and even with all these shenanigans, we still had an extremely competitive game of derby that was not decided until the very last round!

At the after party, everyone was buzzing (and bouncing or beer ponging), and remarking how ridiculous some of the games were. Which is exactly what I wanted, a crazy afternoon where the only thing that mattered was the pursuit of happiness just for the sake of it. Tubesock’s Funhouse was a success!

This will most likely be my last skating event before I head back to the states, and I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had since hooking up with Suffolk Roller Derby. As I’m closing out my final weeks with the league, it is becoming more evident that these last four years will be a unique time in my life. It will be really hard to recreate the situation I found myself with SRD. I had a job that was not labor intensive, allowing me to concentrate a lot on derby. There was a budding league in need of a coach and they gave me a chance. And there was a glut of roller derby within a very short distance of each other. It was a perfect storm of awesomeness that has enriched my life with people and experiences I’ll never forget. I’m sad to be leaving, but that’s life and that’s roller derby. People come and go, leagues grow and shrink, and we all carry on because we have to. But every once in a while, we get a chance to do things just for the joy of them. Cherish those moments, as I will cherish my time here in the UK.

SRD it was an honor to be your teammate, coach and a member of your family.

Who are we?

-Tubesock Shakur #32

Official Business: Officiating Bootcamp

‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear’ Nelson Mandela

Lots of things about derby scare me – the hardness of mastering new skills (the hardness of the floor), the physicality, derby kisses, it’s addictive nature and also whether my husband will find out just how much I spend on pretty new wheels. As with all things, its best to face fears head on as otherwise you feed the monster. This said, the thing that still gives me the most cold sweats is the extraordinary number of intricate rules the beautiful game comes with. I adore derby, but my golly gosh!

Scary Quadmother, Firth of Force & Queen Beestly NSOing at Inspire Suffolk

So at the beginning of the year when the lovely Caz #4250 spear headed the movement to get as many of our league as much NSO training as possible, I was in. We’ve done pretty well between us all, and it has 100% improved my understanding of the sport and actual game play.

Then, last Saturday, we were offered the opportunity to attend a boot camp with the NSO extraordinaire  Yoshi (DominAsian) – a man with an officiating CV so huge, that the only thing to rival it is his mohawk. As well as being informative and jolly, he feed us American candy whilst filling our porous minds with juicy NSO info. There was also a Ref boot camp running concurrently, hosted by Igor Maniac, and after we’d all finished with the learning, we got to flex our newly acquired skills on an intraleague bout (Stowmartians vs Sugartown Saints). A lovely time was had by all.

Not cheering teammates will always remain the hardest part of team grey, way after my stop watch and mental arithmetic skills become proficient. But I truly believe that learning how to NSO will not only make you a better player, but if everyone in the league can do all roles, way more skatey fun can happen. And that is something far from scary.

-Queen Beestly #26

 

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*See ours amazing officials in action TOMORROW at Inspire Suffolk in Ipswich – they’ll be doing their stuff and running a double header – our Women’s A team vs London Rockin’ Rollers Badasses, and British Champs Tier 2, our Men’s A team vs Mild Discomfort! All details on the event page
*We’re always looking for more NSOs to join our ranks – want to get involved with roller derby but can’t/don’t want to skate? We can train you as an official! Get in touch with us via email or our Facebook page

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

SRD goes to Iceland!

Iceland – land of fire and ice, mountains and lakes, stuffed puffin and fermented shark – welcomes approximately 4 million tourists each year (it says on Wikipedia). Some of these no doubt come for the astounding scenery, the whale-watching or the always-enticing prospect of paying £8 for low % alcohol beer. Last week, however, an intrepid band of tourists from Suffolk came for a different reason. Couples on a romantic break, a family off for an Easter holiday jaunt, a “bunch of moms released for the weekend”: we arrived at Keflavik airport in our little groups with loins girded and ready to experience the land of fire, ice and roller derby…

Quite apart from our tourist excursions to see some of the most incredible geographic sights the Northern Hemisphere has to offer, we were all hugely excited (with a titchy amount of utterly normal pre-bout nerves and trepidation) on Saturday afternoon to get to Hertz Höllin in the small town of Seltjarnarnes, just outside Reykjavik, to take part in Iceland’s first ever roller derby tournament. Coming separately from our apartments, hotels and luxury youth hostels, Team SRD turned up at the sports hall just in time to watch the first game of the tournament: Iceland’s Ragnarök take on British challenge team, Team Unicorn Roller Derby (TURD). It was a well-matched game, with impressive skills shown on both sides resulting in a final score of 176-145. SRD now knew what we’d be up against and we found ourselves hoping that our opponents’ exertions would have tired them out to the point where it would make our game – with only 9 SRD players present – a bit less challenging!

No such luck, sadly. Ragnarök were massively strong competition from the first whistle. SRD jamming heroines Maltese Mayhem #0208 and Hell-Anor Rigby #20 were confronted with tough Icelandic walls and speedy blockers in the first few jams yet still broke through, earning leads and racking up points. Powerful and persistent offence was provided by the ever-offensive Asterisk #8 (she loves a bit of start-line offense). Effective waterfalling, strong hits and fast recycling from SRD blockers meant the Ragnarök jammers did not have an easy ride either. Our small, yet select, crew of blockers ranged from long-time SRD stalwarts, Captain Suffolk Punch #15 and fellow big-hitting blocking veteran Absinthe Minded #42, to rising star Karma Killer #247, making her A-team debut.

No matter the level of experience, though, we pulled together in awesomeness to contain some very nifty Icelandic jammers. Ultimately voted best blocker by the opposition, Bex Luther #91 was hard as nails on track, switching fearsomely between defense and offense, while Mom Squad (Kate Astrophic #81 and Hurricane Ali #13) did their thing with hard hits and booty blocking.

Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune

Guess what, though? However strong and awesome a team may be, there’s only so much 9 players can do in the face of 14 badass Icelanders… we weren’t necessarily outplayed, but we were outnumbered and we got tired. But, you know, we had brilliant support from Bench Coach Floorless #404 and LUM Evil Quad-nevil #1973 and our (too injured to skate but not too injured to fetch water, thankfully) cheerleader Mortricia #516. We didn’t give up (although I considered it at one point; it was so hard!) and bravely fought to a totally – in the opinion of this not remotely impartial participant – respectable final score of 218-126, with Ragnarök thrilled by their second win of the day.

Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune

And then, after a short break for cake, we only went and did it again: SRD, with the addition of Ice Sickle #32 and Rad-ish #67 on loan from Ragnarök and SnakeBite #64 borrowed (stolen? We don’t care: we love her and we saw her first) from the opposition themselves played TURD. With numbers more evenly matched, and finding reserves of strength from somewhere, we took the win 221-206.

It was a fantastic day; always fun to play as a team together against excellent opponents and one of the highlights of a totally unforgettable trip.

Takk and Bless Bless.

(That’s “thanks: bye!”)

-Hurricane Ali #13

Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*You can see more photos from our game against Team Iceland here and here
*You can watch our game against Iceland in full, complete with Icelandic commentary, here!

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

I Like What You Block!

In the months leading up to March 26th I really only had one thing on my mind, SRD’s Rick And Morty inspired event, “Show Me What You Block: Interdimensional Roller Derby”. It was my brain child but wasn’t possible without the help of many people. I’m a man of many ideas but unfortunately I have the attention span of a gnat so it took the constant but gentle prodding of our fearless leader Asterisk (Astrid Coxon) to make sure I kept on top of everything from the merch t-shirts to the vendors.

In the end, everything went so much better than I could have hoped for. Both the rookie and advanced games were really exciting to watch – we managed to do a surprisingly good job at balancing both teams as both games were pretty much neck and neck throughout. Several of our own, newer members played in their first or second games at the event and all did an amazing job. The special merch shirts and patches sold well and continue to sell well on the website (more shirt stock coming soon)! Our very own Tubesock Shakur (Jason Ryan) was a hilarious host as “Ripped Rick”, and the piñatas (made by Tomfoolery (Tom Beasley) and Kerry Byrne) for the winning teams went down fantastically well (although Tubesock nearly took a bat to the face – must use foam bats next time!).

 

I’ve had several great comments from skaters, refs and NSOs saying how fun the event was. It really made the months of planning, prepping and stressing all worth it and will make me much more confident about putting on similar events in the future (maybe with a bit less airhorn).

Thanks to everyone who helped run the event, skated, officiated and cheered on the teams. I had a great day and hope you all did too.

I LIKE WHAT YOU GOT, GOOD JOB!

– Rolling Suplex #316

 

 

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*Didn’t manage to get to Show Me What You Block? Worry not! You can still catch a slice of the action. Both games are available on our YouTube channel – the rookie game here, and the advanced game here {ok, when I get back from Iceland, because I’m having trouble editing this on my phone! – prez}
*And don’t forget about the SWEET MERCH
*Show Me What You Block will be tough to top, but we’ll do our best – we’ve got a whole load of events lined up for the rest of the year, and more to come soon!

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

Only The Brave

After an exhausting game against Killa Hurtz Roller Derby at the end of last year, the conversation turned to cardio fitness, then to running, to how signing up for events was a great motivator, and finally settled on the ‘Only The Brave’ event, a charity mud obstacle run a few months away. By that evening I’d signed up, and over the following weeks peer pressure did its work and a small band of SRD had a new fitness focus!

This decision, at the close of 2016, foreshadowed the Great SRD Fitness Frenzy of 2017, launched in a blaze of good intentions on 1 January and still going strong. As a team we have identified the need to bring strength and endurance to the track, but our valuable practice time tends to be focused on skills and strategy rather than fitness, so it’s been great to find ways to motivate and encourage each other to work out off skates.

Now we have monthly team fitness competitions, through which I’ve learned it’s possible for one person to do nearly 4,000 squats in a month (take a bow, Scary Quadmother), and that there is no more sought-after prize than genuine American Girl Scout Cookies (thanks to our Welfare Officer, Rough Love). We have joined gyms, bought FitBits, and practiced flexing for photos. This has really helped with my own personal fitness drive. Last British Champs season was my first as a main rotation jammer for our women’s team, and on a few occasions I found myself out of gas and out of options, an experience I’m determined to avoid in future.

The five assembled at Thetford Forest on the day were a representative cross section of SRD: new and longstanding members, and covering a reasonable age range! (We were lacking any boys, but they’d had a British Champs game the day before so we’ll let them off). One of our growing challenges as a team is to work out how to deal with our geographical spread; our training sessions are divided between Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, 30 miles apart, and not everyone gets to all sessions, so for me it was great to spend ‘quality time’ with people I don’t always get to skate with.

The run itself was brilliant! The obstacles started fairly gently with some wading and crawling through mud, but ramped up to a full-on muddy water slide with industrial hoses trained on us by masochistic race marshals. There was a fair amount of scaling hay bales involved, an exercise that called for all our teamwork skills, and we worked together as a well-oiled machine by the end of it, though unlike well-oiled machines we worked just as well covered in mud. Suffolk Punch was hard enough to do the whole thing on a still-healing broken ankle, though towards the end we decided discretion was the better part of valour and walked/jogged between obstacles, giving time for chat and butterfly spotting. Nearly the last exercise was a set of monkey bars, and while I surprised myself by managing to complete the whole thing, the downside of this was I missed Firth of Force doing a by-all-accounts spectacular fall into the water behind me.

I had an awesome day, thanks so much for the laughs and company Gemma (Suffolk Punch), Kellie, Lesley (Scary Quadmother) and Cristal (Firth of Force), and hopefully more of SRD will be tempted to join us for the next one! Most importantly, we all raised our target funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and the event as a whole raised over £150,000. This is a critical service for our area, and one that has special meaning for us as they saved the life of Suffolk Punch’s dad last year, getting him to hospital for emergency surgery after a motorbike accident.

All in all a great event, more of the same please!

-Devilbird #666

photo courtesy of Holly Bolus

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*Want to get involved in an obstacle course run? Muddy Races has a wonderful directory full of events across the country! My own personal annual pilgrimage is to the Suffolk Whole Hog/Boss Hog event – hopefully I’ll get a team together to go this year
*If you want some more advice for staying fit for roller derby (or in general!) there are a number of great resources available – some of my favourites are Darebees, Roller Derby Athletics, Flat Mat Yoga, and Iron Octopus Fitness. But mainly I like to mess about with barbells!
*Have you checked out our “Upcoming Bouts” page lately? We’ve got loads of stuff coming up! We also have an officiating bootcamp at the end of April – keep an eye on the event page for more info as tickets go live soon!

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

MVP Write-Up: SRD vs Norfolk Brawds, 24th March 2017

The Women’s A team had the pleasure of hosting the Norfolk Brawds in a closed door bout last Friday night. The last time we played against the Brawd’s A team was in Tier 4 British Champs (2015). They went on to win the tier for our region, and we went home with a laundry list of things to work on. So, what better way to give ourselves a proper challenge than to retest our strategy and skill against the next tier’s competition?

Since that last meeting, our Women’s A team has had many changes. With the addition of our Women’s B team, there have been many A/B team crossovers, many of whom I’ve only had the chance to skate with in practice or on challenge teams. For the first time in longer than I can remember, I had the chance to don my SRD scrim top as a SKATER and not a LUM! I was more than excited to take the track with the likes of Kate Astrophic, Huricane Ali, Asterisk and Hellatrix Deranged. In addition to skating with the up and comers, our roster also welcomed back Great Scott and Indi-Hannah Jones who have made the jump over to the SRD Men’s Champs team this year. On this night, our Bench would be manned by non-other than Peachy – a long time blocker, sometimes reluctant jammer of the men’s team. We looked forward to his leadership and direction as he has a solid understanding of the way the game is played and a gentle calm nature that is perfect for our lovely ladies.

Starting the night with the star on the first jam was the small-but-mighty Devilbird. Solidly the top jammer of the women’s team this year, she’s been putting in work both on and off the track in terms of fitness, and it shows, big time. She’s also encouraging the rest of the ladies to step up their fitness game through friendly competition with league-mates. Another strong skater with jamming skills, Indi-Hannah Jones, did her fair share of jamming. The time she has put in with the men’s team has paid off in her increase of strength on the track. Also… those hips! They’ve got moves. Trying her hand as a game time jammer, Hellatrix Deranged put up a good fight against our opponents. Though going up against strong walls and big hitters, she never gave up. I myself did a bit of jamming as well.

On the blocker front, our walls had their work cut out for them. When on defence, they were attempting to block the opposing jammers every move and when on offence, breaking through those walls proved to be challenging. The three walls were mostly lead by Suffolk Punch and Great Scott who had a supporting cast in Rough Love, Viva Las Vegan and Absinthe Minded.

All in all, this game highlighted to us that when on offence, we need to stick with the “remove, restrict or distract” technique that coach has been drilling into our heads. It will give our jammers the extra bit of space they need to make sweet moves happen through the pack. With some minor tweaking, our defensive walls will be unbreakable. While the game didn’t end in our favor, we had a lot of moments where everything clicked and we executed the strategy we’ve been working on over the last six or so months to a T. Being that the roster we played with was a mix of all levels, we showed great improvement overall and with continued practice, we’ll be the strongest SRD Women’s team that we can be.

It was a blast to be able to play with the ladies of SRD again and I look forward to ending my time in the UK on track with them.

– Malicious Wishes #11

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*Thank you to all the wondeful people at Norfolk Roller Derby who’ve come down to Suffolk to play us – we played the Black Shucks only a few weeks ago, and now we just need the East Anglo Smacksons and the Mustard City Rollers to make the trip, and we’ll have a full set 😉
*Fancy coming down for a friendly game? SRD are available for games on Thursday evenings in Bury St Edmunds, or Friday evenings in Ipswich. Get in touch via our Facebook page for more info!
*Our next public game is TOMORROW when our men’s team face Bristol Vice Quad in British Champs Men’s Tier 2 in London. Hope to see some of you there!

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

Show Me What You Block!

It’s just over a week till SRD’s next event, “Show Me What You Block: Inter-dimensional Roller Derby” (is title long enough for you?).

Many teams have hosted TV/Movie themed events, usually based around Harry Potter, Star Wars or Game Of Thrones, and it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s a great way to raise extra awareness of your league within the roller derby community, and meet other skaters from all over the country.

We wanted to go for a slightly more obscure theme, something that no other team has done, yet pick something that a lot of us love, and “Rick And Morty” is where we chose to go. Judging by how fast the tickets went it was the right decision to make!

I’m aware that alot of people participating in the event have never even heard of Rick and Morty let alone seen it, Its a very popular new animated sci-fi show that follows the dimension hopping adventures of a young boy called Morty and his alcoholic, genius, scientist grandfather Rick Sanchez. You can watch the whole series on Netflix, I’d highly recommend it to everyone (over the age of 18).

Our event will feature two bouts. The first is a rookie co-ed game between the Meeseeks (a race of identical blue creatures created to serve a singular purpose for which they will go to any length to fulfill) and Unity (a collective hivemind and Rick Sanchez’s former lover).

The second is an intermediate/advanced coed game between The Council Of Ricks (the Council was created when Ricks from other dimensions decided to form a way for Ricks to protect one another from their enemies across reality), and the Mortys of The Multiverse (for every Rick there is a Morty).

The winning team from each game will get to destroy a piñata effigy of our Cromulon overlords and feast on the sugary bounty contained inside.

As well as two awesome games of roller derby we will be having a mini sci-fi con style market featuring stalls selling retro toys and comic TV and film merch. Demon Xtreme skate shop will be holding a roller derby SALE And Press Start Gaming Lounge will be hosting room scale Virtual Reality Gaming which is a truly mind blowing experience if you’ve never tried it.

SRD merchandise will also be for sale, along side a bake sale and most importantly a raffle with a myriad of awesome prizes. Please be aware that this is a cash only event so bring all of your paper and coin moneys to avoid disappointment.

We will also be having a cosplay competition so if you think you could make a perfect Gearhead or a spot on Squanchy then dress up and you might win an awesome prize!

Finally, we will be holding one of our world famous SRD after parties with buffet and karaoke at the Golden Hind pub just down the road.

For £5, what better way to spend Mothe-rick Sunday then watch people on roller skaters knock each other over? See you all there.

– Rolling Suplex #316, Events Manager

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*Thank you to the wonderfully talented Sarah “Miss Behave” Stimpson, “Holly GoFightly” McGregor, and Media & Marketing Manager Georgia “Pixie Guts” Goddard for their stunning work on the artwork and marketing materials for this event
*A limited number of Rick&Morty inspired “Interdimensional Roller Derby” grey t-shirts will be available for purchase on the day of the event

Look forward to seeing you all!
Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

photo courtesy of nearthecoast.com

Official Business: New Challenges

Apparently I like a challenge. This is something I have only realised recently, and only in relation to a specific thing.

That specific thing is roller derby. Ever since first seeing my little sister play back in November 2012 I have been hooked. People who know me are probably bored at hearing the words “first and foremost I am a fan”. But that does not make that statement any less true. And this is my driving force. It’s driven me to strap wheels to my feet and learn how to skate. Which was a challenge in itself. Especially when that involved meeting new people, being a shy person (honest) that was difficult. But those new people are some of the best people in the world. Because they’re derby people. And these specific derby people are who go to makeup my league Suffolk Roller Derby.

Officials from SRDs first intraleague games in 2016

Being part of SRD has given me so much. From helping me when I was struggling with mental health issues to getting me to feel more and more confident learning the skills needed to become a fully fledged roller derby player.

So of course I wanted to give something back. Volunteering as an NSO (Non Skating Official) is my way of doing that. NSOs are a vital ingredient in the world of roller derby, without them a game just cannot happen. They are responsible for keeping track of timings, scorekeeping, and penalties.

I have been NSOing since February last year, so my experience is not that great. This year I decided that I wanted to improve my knowledge surrounding this aspect of the sport I love. After a brief conversation with Asterisk, our league president, the idea of an SRD NSO group was born, lovingly referred to by me as the Suffolk’N’Awesome NSOs. Shortly following this I was then given the scary responsibility of sorting out NSOs for SRD’s first closed door challenge team bout on the 24th February. My new challenge.

NSO training session at Inspire Suffolk

This was not as simple as just getting volunteers and giving them a role, this involved training. Not the easiest of tasks when I only had limited experience of a couple of the roles myself. But with help from some SRD league mates who had NSO experience I was able to put together a training session that was held the week before the game.

Then came game day itself. I was so nervous but excited. The event went well and everyone seemed to have fun. Reflecting on both the training session and game day there are many areas that can be improved, but those are things that I need to improve, my knowledge, my confidence. But this will come with time and practice.

Scary Quadmother, Firth of Force & Queen Beestly NSOing at Inspire Suffolk

As I write this it’s been almost a week since the game. And it was a success, and that success has very little to do with me. That success came from my league mates that volunteered when I asked them to. Those league mates that showed enthusiasm to learn something new. Those league mates that gave up two weeks on skates to learn and to officiate. Those league mates that make me so proud to be part of this league. My league. My roller derby family.

We are SRD and we are AWESOME!

-Caz #4250

…gumshield courtesy of Sisu

P.S. I need to take the opportunity here to thank Kevin ‘Yoshi’ Stanton, Astrid ‘Asterisk’ Coxon and Julie ‘Dragon’s Den’ Dennis. All have been vital in cultivating the above success with me.

tattoo by Lauren Barfield Lady Lucifer #616)

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*
Official Business is the start of a new blog series where we’ll be looking at the “behind the scenes” of roller derby – as Caz says, roller derby can’t happen without our wonderful officials, but they are all too often the unsung heroes of the derby world!
*We’re always looking for more NSOs to join our ranks – want to get involved with roller derby but can’t/don’t want to skate? We can train you as an official! Get in touch with us via email or our Facebook page
*We’ll be hosting an Officiating bootcamp this year – keep your eyes on our Facebook page for more info soon
*header image courtesy of Des Fisher at nearthecoast.com

See you soon, sports fans!
-Asterisk* #8

Captain’s Blog: Women’s Champs vs Lincolnshire Bombers, 18th Feb 2017

It was a slightly grey but promising morning that we set out to Newark for the first game on our Women’s Tier 4 East British Championships calendar.

This will be the third year we have competed in the tournament, coming third in our group in both 2015 and 2016. As the organising for this year began I knew we would again have a very different mix of teams to face in competition this season. I also knew that we would have a different mix of our own skaters competing this year, with a lot of new faces added to our charter, this first game was always going to be an interesting test.

We arrived at the showground, and as soon as the track was ready I set out to test the floor. I’m always quite focused on game day morning, and not happy until I’ve skated a few laps, to assess any potential wheel changes and reassure the rest of my teammates about the skating surface. All was good, so we prepared to warm up and face the opposition!

photo courtesy of Peter Worth

As soon as the game started, we knew that the Bombers were a totally different team to who we played (and won against 136-132) last year. The last time we played in June was one of the most nail-biting games I have ever skated in, and was won on the final scoring pass of the final jam. It was clear that Lincolnshire had not taken that very close loss lightly last year and had been working hard and certainly looked hungry for the win on their home turf. They seemed to have got bigger, stronger and more together and our offensive strategy definitely had its work cut out. The first half saw some strong consistent jamming from established A-teamers Devilbird and Miss Behave and some great potential on show from Hell-anor Rigby and Mortricia, but those Lincolnshire walls were tough! Some excellently timed offence from Holly GoFightly and Hellatrix Deranged created a few holes, but at halftime the score stood at 154-78.

photo courtesy of Holly Bolus

The break gave us an opportunity to re-group, adapt our strategy and learn from the first 30mins. We came out into the second half strong, with the addition of Maltese Mayhem, another of our A-Team veterans to the jammer rotation. Some great defensive blocking by Hurricane Ali and Pixie Guts helped slow down the opposition jammer. However the overall strength of both the Bombers’ walls and jammers could not be contained. Despite a final rush of points for Suffolk resulting from a few power jams, we could not close the points gaps and the Bombers took the win.

Results

TeamFinal ScoreOutcome
LBRG255Win
SRD175Loss

Overall I am immensely proud of our performance and the skaters and supporters who have helped us get to this point. There were a lot of nerves the morning of the game, but every skater brought their all to the track when the whistles blew. Roller Derby is an ever evolving game, and the flip of the scorelines from the same match up just a few months ago proves that. This is why I love the sport, the constant drive to tweak and adapt skills and strategy, brains and brawn that go hand in hand to make a successful team. We live for the challenge and the team and I are chomping at the bit for our next game – bring it on!

– Suffolk Punch – Women’s A Team Captain

photo courtesy of John Hesse

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*You can find more photos from the day here and here
*As always, a massive THANK YOU to everyone who came to Newark to support – in the form of reffing, NSOing, selling merch, updating social media, and the all important CHEER SQUAD!
*Our next Women’s Champs game is coming up on the 11th of March – we’ll be in Swindon facing up against Oxford Wheels of Gory!

See you soon, sports fans!
-Asterisk* #8

Coach’s Corner: 21st Jan 2017 double header

Proud is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about Suffolk Roller Derby following last weekend’s set of bouts. From the organizing of the bout, the production team working behind the scenes and the skaters on the track, it was an all-out effort from the members of SRD and I’m honored to call myself your coach and teammate!

The Men’s team started their 2017 campaign with a tough game against the Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder’s Thugly Ducklings. This was a marked step up in competition for SRD as they prepare for national competition in British Champs. The blockers were able to slow down some of the best jammers in the country, and the jammers were able to breakout and score on a very tough cube wall defense. Super proud of our new addition, Jay Low, who has fit right in with the men’s team, and showed he was a true dual threat, taking on blocking and jamming duties! Also proud to know that no matter the competition, Great Scott and Indi-Hannah Jones will step up and make an impact. They are not honorary Men’s skaters – they are an integral part of the Men’s team!

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Terry

The game was close for the most part, but the Thugly Ducklings were able to pull away towards the end. But a couple of awesome moments that stand out. Floorless taking a leap of faith and apex jumping about 20 feet, it shocked the team, the crowd, and I think himself! We got to see a human being be flipped head over heels, courtesy of myself, and Guy Pie had an amazing game, flying all over the place and taking jammers out!

The women’s A team took to the track against a very competitive Roller Derby Leicester. But representing SRD this day was a very different team from the one that finished last season. The majority of the team had been pulled from the Blue Bees (Suffolk women’s B team) and were getting their first taste of Champs level competition, but by watching them play, you wouldn’t have guessed it. Lead by their captain, Suffolk Punch, and the always hard hitting Lady Lucifer, the Women’s team came out on fire against RDL, getting an early lead and stretching it out. Making her jamming and SRD debut was Mortricia, normally a double threat skater, she took on full time jamming duties and made an awesome impression on both her team and the competition! But leading the charge for the jammers was the strong and fast Devilbird. No matter what RDL threw at her, Devilbird was able to get lead and score points most every jam!

Having the lead for the majority of the game, the women’s A team suffered a couple of key losses during the bout. Kate Astrophic and Lady Lucifer both had injuries that required them to sit out and that opened the door for RDL to take the lead later on. But the team soldiered on, and everyone wearing blue stepped up and closed the gap to setup the most exciting 10 minutes witnessed in Inspire. Struggling with a lack of timeouts and skaters, the team had to make up over 25 points in 2 jams. Cue “Bring it home” Brenda, otherwise known as Maltese Mayhem. With a blocking squad of Pixie Guts, Rough Love, Asterisk, being led by Suffolk Punch, they were able to stonewall the opposing jammer and allow Maltese Mayhem to score 19 unanswered points. Now down by 6, the next jam found Devilbird lined up against RDL’s best jammer. Suffolk Punch was now flanked by Holly GoFightly, Hurricane Ali, and Viva Lass Vegan, and they needed to get Devilbird out, but limit the opposing jammers scoring opportunities. Both jammers were able to get out quickly, but earning lead was our Devilbird! The opposing jammer after one pass got stuck behind our amazing blockers, forcing a star pass to their pivot, limiting their ability to score points. Meanwhile Devilbird was able to make multiple passes racking up the points, but unknown at the time was whether the differential between the two jammers was enough to give SRD the win. She was forced to call off the jam, and following the final whistle, an official review, and the signing of the score sheet, we got our answer. SRD had scored 16 points to RDL’s 8, giving them a 2 point lead and the win!!!

All this excitement wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the members of SRD stepping up in other areas besides the track. We had skaters selling baked goods, repairing the track, NSO’ing, Reffing, announcing, minding the door, so on and so forth! Leagues are not run on hopes and dreams, but by the members of their leagues stepping up where needed and selflessly volunteering their time to make roller derby happen!

If this first weekend was any indication of things to come, 2017 is going to be a bright year for SRD!

Who are we!?

-Tubesock Shakur #32

Photo courtesy of John Hesse

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*There was a write up of the day in the Ipswich Star
*SRD vs Thugly Ducklings game footage (apologies for a few missing jams towards the end – technical difficulties!)
*SRD vs RDL game footage
*RDL are running an officials bootcamp soon! Tell them we sent you 😉
*Our next home event is “Show Me What You Block”! Watch this space for skater tickets

See you soon, sports fans!
-Asterisk* #8