by Faye-tal Blonde
In January 2012 I passed my WTFDA Minimum Skills Assessment with Rainy City Roller Girls. I was now eligible to train with the Tender Hooligans and take part in the weekly scrimmage held every Sunday. Knowing how hardcore the Rainy City skaters are from watching previous bouts, I’ve gotta say I was pretty terrified when I arrived at my first ever scrimmage! But when it was all over, all I wanted to do was do it again.
From the very beginning I wanted to be a jammer. I was inspired watching the likes of Missy Rascal, Cleo Fracture and Randi Razorlegs on the track. So as soon as I had the opportunity, and had plucked up enough courage, I attempted my first jam as a jammer. It was hard, as I was playing with and against some amazing skaters. But somehow, facing an opposition made up of far more experienced skaters than me has just made me stronger each week.
What I love about roller derby is that feeling of knowing, with lots of hard work, that I can get physically and mentally strong. It’s also why I love jamming: It’s a big challenge, but if you’re passionate enough about something then you’ll work hard, and never give up.
Scrimmage provides a safe, supportive place to allow us to practise the skills we learn in our weekly team training session. Week after week, scrimmage has given me the opportunity to learn from the more experienced league members, and armed me with the knowledge and experience I need in order to face my first bout, a Rainy City Roller Girls Intraleague event, May 26th.
After that, the Rainy City Roller Girls’ Tender Hooligans have landed the chance to play the Dublin Roller Girls in Dublin on Saturday June 2nd, and with determination, hard work and commitment, I believe we can win!
I’m preparing in other ways too. On Saturday May 5th the Rainy City Roller Girls are hosting a bootcamp for skaters who are just passed Minimum Skills, but who are new to bouting. I’m attending the bootcamp to improve my jamming skills, and prepare for my first bouts, in a few weeks time. This is a great chance to work with experienced Rainy City A Team skaters who will be teaching vital skills and elements that I can take away and use on bout day. If you are a newly qualified skater from any league, or if you just need some extra help to prepare for a bout coming up, you should definitely consider attending a bootcamp like this.
It is just less than a year ago that I first attended the weekly New Skater Training Session, and since then I’ve never looked back. It was the best decision I ever made, and with such an enthusiastic, determined, supportive and all-round-amazing league like Rainy City I just wouldn’t want to be part of anything else!