Saturday the 15th of January saw the first EVER roller derby bout take place in South Wales. My beloved league, the Tiger Bay Brawlers, took on the Bristol Harbour Harlots in Newport's sports centre to a sold out crowd of raucous derby fans.
Shall I tell you how it all went down?
First, let's rewind a little. This bout was the culmination of months of hard work by our bout organizing committee, headed up by our own Jen Clawed Van Slamme. There were so many things to organize: venue, insurance, PA, music, announcers, seating, the afterparty ect ect. We were looking at about 300 ticket sales to break even on the venue, and according to the venue owner we would need 400 for 'an atmosphere'. Well, guess how many people we got through the door?
SIX FREAKIN' HUNDRED.
We SOLD OUT at our very first bout!
And my role in all this?
I was commentating!
Yep, me and my big mouth. If there is one thing I love more than derby, it's talking about derby. And talking about derby to a captive audience? Heaven.
Before the bout I didn't have a chance to get nervous...I was stuck in work from 7am, and if there is one thing that will calm your nerves it's people throwing up on you. Repeatedly.
But...once my shift had finished and I was rushing to the venue the nerves started to kick in, BIG time.
I was so scared I wouldn't be able to think of anything to say, or worse, I would just talk utter crap or accidentally swear and my league would hate me and drive me out of the country with big sticks. Big POINTY sticks.
There was one thing I wasn't worried about though: my amazing Brawler travel team. All the hard work we'd been doing with BB and the coaching team during training had really been paying off, and our performances during scrimmage were showing it. I was confident we were going to win. And you know what? We got a lead early on in the game and just ran with it. Our jammers were fast and agile (particularly worthy of note were Crash Bandicute and Billie Pistol) and our blockers were walling up and providing a hard hitting defence (my favorites were Queen LaQueefer and Prisilla Deadly). Bristol put up a good fight and had some really stand out players, particularly Tattooed Terror and Katie Clysmic. I missed their game against Severn Roller Torrent, but weighing what I've heard against their performance on Saturday, I would say they have seriously upped their game, and this experience will allow them to kick it up another notch. Now, there has been some debate about the fairness of having BB in our line up, and I'm going to give my two cents on it. Going up against BB is a pretty terrifying experience, and I should know...it happens to me all the time at scrimmage (in fact, she took great delight in pummeling on Sunday!). But...there is NO better way to learn than to play against people who are awesome, and get your ass kicked a little. Frankly, I think it's the only way to really learn derby - not the actual skating part of it, but the game itself. A smart team is a strong team, and I think that's what really gave us the edge against Bristol - skater for skater, I don't think their skill was much different to ours, but the strategy and game play that BB has taught us has been totally invaluable. So there.
|BB Bombshell herself <3|
And the final score?
So proud <3
To the TT skaters, to BB, to Jen and the bout organizing committee, to everyone who came...THANK YOU FOR BEING SO AMAZING!