It’s fairly safe to say that our games at the British Roller Derby Championships Tier 4 playoffs didn’t pan out as we had hoped.
As I sit here with stiff shoulders, achy legs and a bruised bum, it’s easy to feel deflated. An extra handful of points and we would have been promoted to Tier 3. Every single skater fought and played their heart out, but for probably 100 different reasons we didn’t quite make it on the day, and both Killa Hurtz Roller Girls and Surrey Roller Girls played fantastic games. Special shoutout to The Norfolk Brawds for winning both their games with clear leads and taking the title! Best of luck to all three teams as you battle it out in Tier 3 next year.
It got emotional, because our team has heart. I wanted us to win, for me, my teammates, and for everyone who has supported us or worked to make the team better.
It was a brilliant day of derby and an achievement that we even made it to playoffs! Win, lose or draw, is there a better way to spend a Sunday than playing roller derby with some of the best people I know? Sure, winning would have been the icing on the cake (the gooey chocolatey cake of a year we’ve had), but I’m so happy to be part of such a brilliant bunch of people, and proud to say I’m a Belle.
To everyone who came along and cheered for us – you were amazing, and fantastic to see that Belles supporters were unofficially credited as being the loudest by the announcers. It makes such a difference when you’re on the jamline knowing people are rooting for you. Hell Yeah to you!
Huge thank you also to Bedfordshire Roller Girls for hosting such a fantastic, smooth running day, as well as the referees, NSOs and our supporters.
I’ve no doubt that we will come back fighting next year.
It’s been an awesome year
We’ve had an incredible year and it was a fantastic achievement to come top of our group. Particularly when you bear in mind that between 2010 and 2014, it was an achievement if the Belles won one game in a year. The team has progressed so much that it’s been impossible to watch a game we’ve played in Champs this year and use it to judge how we might perform in the next one. It’s been so exciting to watch our league and team grow in strength and numbers over the past 12 months, and I’ve got no doubt that will continue into next year.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to our awesome co-captains, Leitzy Lawless and Dolly Spartan for being strong, supportive leaders and friends. To our team coaches, particularly Shrooms, Reaper, Leitzy Lawless, Dolly Spartan, Cole, DodgeHer, PhizzBang and Murder Urs, and for the hours you put into planning and running training sessions. As well as those who coach our future bouting team members, including Drac Kill’er, Skin of your Keith and Bex Pistol. Many of these people also carry out other roles in the league. Then there are the people that support members, fresh meat, organise finances, and promote the league externally. All of these roles are important for the league to continue to develop and grow. We are stronger together.
Special shoutout to our chair for the past year, Babs Winds’er who worked so hard to manage the league and pull everyone together. On top of a demanding job, and juggling a lot of chair responsibilities and admin, Babs always made time to be there for each and every one of us with positive words when we needed them. Babs has recently stepped down from the league but will always be a Belle. Love you Babs and already missing you. Thank you to Hart Break Her who will take us into 2016 as the new league chair.
For me personally, I’m more determined than ever to be a better skater, to improve my fitness and strength, to work on my gameplay for jamming as well as blocking, and my mental game – to be more focused and determined (that was for you Dolly!). I will actually make it to the gym this week, sign up to more roller derby bootcamps, external scrims and games, and watch a tonne more footage! Picture an epic Rocky montage – except with roller skates.
I’m constantly inspired to be a better skater and a better person by people in our league – thank you to everyone. I feel so lucky to have the Belles in my life.
PS my bum like, really really hurts.
See you at…
A bunch of us will be letting our hair down and supporting our coaches, Shrooms and Reaper as Team England Men’s Roller Derby Team takes part in the 4 Nations tournament over the weekend 28th-29th November in Birmingham! Maybe see you there?
Our next 12 week beginner course starts in January. Find out more about Hertfordshire’s roller derby fresh meat course for beginners.