A Jammer’s Marathon Journey

This Sunday, during our home bout, we are supporting our jammer ‘Lady Foxley’ with her fund raising effort for the Hertfordshire Community Foundation. She is fully signed up to this years London Marathon and shall proudly be wearing their logo on her top.
Come and support her by having a scan on the seca body composition device or by sponsoring her through this link.
Her marathon story begins below…
I started my derby journey around 4 years ago. I wouldn’t say I was extremely fit but I lived an active life, walking the dogs and occasionally running to work. During the fresh meat programme I soon realised that to be a strong derby player that I needed to ‘up’ my off skates training. I invested in a Fitbit and started to use the kettlebell and weights which were rusting in the garden. After passing my minimum skills and moving onto the advanced track I became a charted skater. A blocker! It felt good knowing that all those extra squats and balancing techniques had paid off. I felt stronger and more stable on skates.
 
I was just getting into the swing of blocking when my derby path changed, somehow I became a Jammer! I could no longer rely on body weight and ploughs, but now needed to work on endurance and fitness. So, I invested in some runners and attended my first park run. My first park run was slow and painful. Even though I had run in the past I felt unfit and pretty rubbish. I wasn’t going to let that feeling deter me and I pushed through and went back the following week. After a few weeks and an improvement in my time, I caught the running bug and was now road running on my own, upping the distance each time. It helped that a few other skaters had also taken up running and my competitive streak helped me to push through. Within a few months I was entering runs, 10kms and then my first half marathon at Hampton court, what better place to run your first. After completing the half marathon I ached like hell, and my feet were ruined but, I wanted to go further. So next step Brighton Marathon! Training began. There were days where I loved running and enjoyed every second and then the days when I cried. I ran in sweltering heat and I ran in the snow, the main reason was because I was running for the charity ‘Mind’. I wanted to improve and challenge myself physically and mentally, and do what I could to raise awareness. On the day of the Marathon I was nervous as hell but, some how I managed it. There were highs and lows around the 26.2mile course and as I crossed the line I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. Firstly with pride, but also gutted I didn’t do it quicker. I was so happy I was still able to stand to neck a well deserved beer!
Talking to my family afterwards I swore never again! I had done my bit, my knees ached, my feet were blistered, and Id lost 7 toenails throughout the journey. I’d raised over £700 and raised awareness of a great charity and now it was time to focus on derby.
 
So skip forward a few months post marathon. Roller derby was in off season and I’d taken time out of running due to a metatarsal fracture. A fellow skater (Abbie Sol) decided to share a post about a local charity looking for London marathon runners. I’m not entirely sure why (as my life was crazy busy) but my initial thought was “lets apply!” I wasn’t expecting to hear back so quickly but I had an email congratulating me on my place!! The Reality of the situation I’d just got myself into ‘kicked in’ and I had a small panic. Knowing the time and effort I’d put in before training, how was I going to fit this in alongside derby, work and moving house! All this panic and fear was soon eradicated after I’d been to a marathon meet.
 
I didn’t know much about HCF (Hertfordshire Community Foundation) beforehand, but, after the meet I left feeling motivated and inspired. So proud that there was something I could to to help such a broad spectrum of people within the local community. With 11 weeks to go till the big day I’ve realised this journey is so different from my last. I’ve taken the pressure of myself to run a good time and to focus on enjoying it as we all should do with sport. This is why playing with the Belles and roller derby is such great fun. Hertfordshire roller Derby has been such an important part of my life. I’ve never been part of a team sport before and have loved every part of the leagues’ progression and development on and off the track. It has given me the platform to push myself physically and settle myself mentally.
 
At HRD we pride ourselves on being an inclusive and supportive league. We eagerly welcome anyone wanting to learn how to skate and play Roller Derby. Make sure that you look out for our next fresh meat intake and who knows where your derby journey will take you.

Early bird tickets for our home game are now released!

For those waiting to see a live bout happening on home soil this year the time has come to buy tickets! We’re pleased to announce that you can now secure yourself some prime seating by clicking here.

Our special prices last until the 6th of February and the home game is on Sunday 3rd March 2019. 11 AM – 4 PM!

Earlybird Tickets are £8 for adults and young people aged 13+
Under 12s go free but still need to register for a free ticket.
This will get you entry and an unreserved seat to the Game.
(After February 6th Tickets will be £10 in advance and £12 on the door)

You can also buy VIP tickets.
VIP tickets reserve you (and up to two children) the best seats in the house and you get a slice of cake too!

Earlybird VIP tickets are £12:00, after 6th February they will be £15:00.
The price is the same for bringing children as under 12s go free but this is a great way to make sure that you have reserved seats (and cake) which is very helpful when bringing small children.

Please make sure that you use the drop down menu when ordering tickets so we know how many seats to reserve (includes children).

***Please note***
When you buy your tickets you will be added to a guest list on the door. You will not be sent physical tickets. If you would like to bring proof of purchase with you, either print off your confirmation email or even better, show us the confirmation email on your phone.

My own Roller Derby story…

My roller derby story began in the same way that I hear it does for many people – I watched the classic 2009 Ellen Page film “Whip it!”. Ever since, it has been a background obsession of mine, just waiting to break out and be realised. Fast forward 9ish years and my mum told me that she found a Roller Derby league a measly 20 minutes from my house! AND they had a beginner’s Fresh Meat course in a months’ time.

September came around very quickly and I went to the first training session. My head was spinning with thoughts about how I’d made a terrible mistake, I couldn’t roller skate and I’d never even seen a game of Roller Derby, let alone played it before! However, those thoughts were very short lived. I was greeted with such warmth from the members of the league, and the other members of the Fresh Meat course. I instantly felt welcomed! It also made me slightly less nervous to see how terrified the other girls were.

We got kitted up… several times… who knew that knee pads had a left and a right. I sure didn’t. Then we were ready to skate. I say skate… It was more like just rolling and hoping not to fall on our bums.

Over the weeks, we were taught all sorts of skills and tricks that I’d never imagined I’d be able to even attempt let alone kind of be able to do… With a lot more practice needed for sure.

I’ve made some incredible friendships with the other Freshies, as well as with some of the other members of the league. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging. I’ve truly never been in such a diverse and welcoming community of people.

Looking back over the last few months I can’t believe how far I’ve come, I’m much more confident on my skates, and feel comfortable attempting skills that I’d never thought I’d be able to do. I’ve learnt that I’m tougher than I ever realised and if I set my mind to something I can not only do it but absolutely smash it.

Looking forward, I’m really excited to be a full-time member of the league and train with the intermediate group. I’m looking forward to the step up in training and pushing myself to be as strong and as confident as I can be on my skates. I’m also really excited to learn more about this sport and be more immersed in the world of derby.

With even more Fresh Meat courses starting up in 2019 there’s plenty of chances for you to sign up too! I’ll see you on track. X

Gifts for the Roller Derby lover in your life

Roller derby can feel like another language if you’re not part of a league. But anyone with a derby lover in their life knows that a derby related gift is the ultimate winner on Christmas morning. So whether you’re looking for something to add to their stocking, or a little more wow factor, HRD have you covered.

 

A Bout Day IOU certificate

To most of us, derby is a way of life and balancing that with the family and friend commitments can be a source of stress and guilt. So why not give the derby lover in your life a get out of jail free card for when bout day (game day) lands on your birthday, a family Christening, your anniversary. Trust us, this happens more often than you’d expect!

 

Stocking fillers, £10 and under

Stocking to lower ticket items can be safer, as some skaters would really rather choose their own boots, wheels or a helmet depending on their level or style. You certainly don’t have to break the bank to make a roller derby fan smile – check out all these items, all under £10 each that will make them smile.

 

  • Arnica cream (for the bruises)
  • Deep heat (for the muscle aches)
  • Ibuprofen (for everything!)
  • Hockey tape
  • Protein bars
  • Number armbands (check these out for £5.50)
  • Helmet stickers (check out Jammer Candy for stickers for every interest and roller girl out there!)
  • Essential skate tool T-tool (like this one from Skate Hut, £4.95)
  • Spare laces (approx £3, like these from Skate Hut)

Alternatively, create the ultimate derby stocking and jam pack it with all of the above!

 

Tickets to the Belle’s home game on 3 March, 2019!

What more could they want than to see a bout live and support another league? Our own home game will be coming up in March so there won’t be long to wait once gifts are given!

If you’re not based near Hertfordshire, check out the UK Roller Derby Association website to find your local league and get in touch to ask when their next home bout is.

 

Bones Bearing Removal Tool, £14.95

Bearings are the little fiddly bits that keep your wheels on (a bit like a nut for a bolt). This handy little tool will fit in their kit bag and make changing their wheels oh-so-easy.

 

Witch’s Brew Odour Blocker, £10.95

If you’ve ever smelled a derby lover after training, you’ll understand why this is a good idea. And if you haven’t, then thank your lucky stars and take it from us – they’ll love freshening up her kit with this citrusy little number.

 

Personalised bum bag, £14

Having a bum bag with your derby name and number (that’s skater number, not mobile number!) on it is really helpful on bout days. Skaters can leave their valuables safely on the bench without the worry they’ll get lost, squashed or skated over.

 

A BIG water bottle, £varied

Derby is a tough sport and staying hydrated is so imported. Make they are looking after themselves on track with a super size (preferably holding 1 litre) water bottle.

 

Check out these leak-proof, BPA free, stainless steel Chilly’s Bottles (£35 for the 750ml option) that keep drinks cold for the ultimate track-side refreshment.

 

Gift voucher for a sport massage, £30-50

Surely this needs no explanation?

 

Pre-hab session with a sports or physiotherapist, £50+

Most people think physio is for after you have an injury. However, a pre-hab session will help the skater in your life understand where their weaknesses are and how to build up strength safely and prevent injury. This helps you improve your balance and ultimately skate and play better. This is worth its weight in gold.

 

Roller Derby the Game, £80

Apparently suitable for ages 12 and up, this is a pricey option but would allow all their family and friends to join in their passion for derby on Christmas Day!

 

Still not sure?

Our top piece of advice is to ask. As tempting as it may be to buy replacements for knee pads being held on buy duct tape, buying kit is very personal – it can depend on your size, the position you play, your skill level and plain old personal preference what a skater buys. So unless you know them better than you know yourself, there’s no harm in simply asking them what they need or buying a voucher for somewhere like Double Threat Skates (in London) or an online retailer like Skate Hut to cover your bases.