Tag: training

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

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

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