So who are Limerick Roller Derby? We were founded by a handful of enthusiastic skaters (some of whom are still league members) in 2011. From nothing and through hard work, we grew into a WFTDA apprentice league in 2015 and have been full members since September 2016. Six LRD skaters have represented their countries at Roller Derby World Cups.
Any Limerick skaters or tactics the crowd should look out for? All of the Limerick skaters are forces to be reckoned with and every player brings their unique strengths and skills to this game. We hope that together as a unit we will be able to give it our best shot.
What’s the derby scene like in Ireland? It’s a very supportive and tight knit community as pretty much everyone knows each other. We help each other out with volunteers, officials and skaters wherever and whenever possible. This sense of camaraderie helps make being part of derby so special in Ireland.
Do you have any off track plans for your trip? We are definitely interested in checking out the nightlife after the game. If the weather is good, we wouldn’t be opposed to heading to the beach and Brighton Pier. There might even be time for a quick dip.
You hosted the Rockers in 2017. Any recollections of that? It was a challenging game at the time and a very close one as well. Brighton won by 16 points, so we’re definitely not going to underestimate the Rockers. We’re well prepared for this rematch!
Do you have a message for any Limerick fans in today’s crowd? Please shout and clap as loud as you can for us today. We really like a good chant and an audience who enjoys a great game of roller derby. TL
Can you tell us a little about Bristol Roller Derby? BRD was formed in 2010 and we’re the only roller derby league in Bristol. We’re a fully gender inclusive league, meaning we have both men’s and women’s teams, and an all gender team (the BRD All Stars) who are currently in MRDA Tier 1 South in British Champs.
Any particular players or tactics we should look out for from your Bees? We’re really looking forward to the game. It’s our first one in a while because we’ve been taking a wellearned summer break. It’s Tinker and Spicy’s first public game so make sure you give them lots of love when they take to the track. Also, at BRD we love food, hence we are using a specific dish to communicate our tactics to each other. You might hear them at jam starts, so keep your ears peeled!
How core is being all gender to what BRD stands for? Being a gender inclusive league is at the very heart of Bristol Roller Derby. We have skaters that identify as men, women and gender non-conforming. In fact, our captain today (Smash Ketchum) is non-binary, and BRD are very supportive of their transition. You’ve not met Brighton in a B-team game before. Any predictions? Our Beehive is constantly changing with some Bees being promoted to the A-team and new bees coming from drop in, but as a good beehive we work as a team and always aim to look after each other and have fun. The only thing we can predict is a tough game from the Rockerbillies. We’ll be digging deep, getting low and most importantly having fun on track.
Brighton and Bristol seem to share a similar ethos as cities (in areas like green issues, veganism, street art, etc). Do you have any off track plans for your trip down? We’re really looking forward to exploring Brighton before we head back. It’s all the things we love about Bristol – plus the seaside! Do you have a message for any Bristol fans in today’s crowd? WE LIKE SHOUTING! TL
Is playing games in sports halls during a hot summer also an issue? Oh yes. We were supposed to have a training session at the peak of the heatwave. It was still over 30 degrees at 8pm. Thankfully we made the decision to have a beach BBQ as team bonding instead. I’m very glad of that! The A-team won 173-157 in Limerick in 2017. Any expectations re today’s rematch? I played in that game and we all had a great time. I’m looking forward to today, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t look at the stats or watch previous game videos beforehand. I like going in with no expectations at all; otherwise I’d just psych myself out! I didn’t play in that game, but I’m really excited. It will be interesting to see how things have changed for both teams over the past two years. I’m expecting a challenge, but I’ve heard they’re a great league to play against, so I can’t wait.
What an amazing coincidence. Happy birthday. It helps that I’m the Rockers’ venue manager, so it may not be total coincidence. Getting to spend my birthday playing roller derby with some of my best friends in the world, then going out all night afterwards (hopefully celebrating victories) is my dream day. There’s going to be a glitter and sparkles themed after party. It’s also Hippy Hippy Skate’s last game with the Rockers, so we’ve got a few special things happening for that. She’s not exactly thrilled about all of them, but it should be a great day. I’m hoping your birthday will divert some of the attention back on to you and away from me. I’m sure it will be a great day packed full of glitter and fun.
HIPPY HIPPY SKATE
Hang on Hippy, you’re leaving? Don’t go! After several years of applying I’m moving to London to do a doctorate. My biggest regret about this new stage of my life is leaving the Rockers. Sadly the commute wouldn’t be practical, despite what my teammates are telling me, so I’m transferring to the London Rockin’ Rollers. LRR are good friends of the Rockers (and were our WFTDA Mentor League) so I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of you. You’re one of the players I’ve looked up to for a long time. When I first started people told me to watch you because you’ve got such amazing skill and strength on track. We’re really going to miss you, but I’m so excited for you. Thank you for teaching me loads and good luck! TL
“As usual the sun shone and the sun cream flowed. We came in with a super positive attitude. We knew how much the Billies had grown and developed since 2018. We were confident our new approach would help us avoid some of the pitfalls of last year’s matches. While the skaters warmed up in the sunshine, our bench crew watched the other teams and took notes.” HAIRY FAIRY “A key thing that helped us prepare for the event was re-watching a recent game of ours, making notes on where we could improve as a team. We integrated those aspects into our training drills, discussing and thinking about what we could do in similar scenarios in future.” SLAUGHTER MELON “In the run up we trained hard on communication and combatting big hitters. We worked on staying together and keeping calm under pressure. I think it showed. We didn’t know what the 2019 tournament would bring, but went in with a positive mindset (and an aerobics based off skates warm up), knowing we’d have a great day at our fave derby event. We certainly did!” GOLDIBLOCKS
“Our game against the hosts was great fun. The Bombshells were brilliant opponents, making us work hard while still being as friendly and sweet as ever. We were especially nervous to be playing against the juniors/ex-juniors as we know how hard they train when they come to Rockers practices. As for the win, that made it three out of three! We were particularly happy considering we lost all three last year. Thanks for another brilliant weekend, Eastbourne.” KAPOW “With serious heavy hitters on both Surrey and Killa Hurtz our aproach was avoidance rather than engagement. Footwork and staying out of the box were key. A highlight was our game against Eastbourne. They have a similar style to us and some excellent jamming from them made it a real fight. They’re always a surprise and we love playing them. The event was a huge success (so well organised and put together) and we can’t wait till next year!” HAIRY FAIRY “Winning the trophy was the shiny icing on the cake of an amazing day. The weather was kind, the games were fast and fun, but nothing could compare to the excitement of receiving such a massive trophy. We now need a bona fide trophy cabinet to store it with the Harbour Cup won in Rotterdam. Displaying such winnings is a real motivator for our teams. Also, victory prosecco tastes so much better when sipped from the depths of the Eastbourne Extreme Cup!” SKATES OF WRATH
“I’m a new promotion from C-Side to the Rockerbillies. Our opening game was my third ever and my first at Extreme. I felt crazy nervous as I’d been told Surrey were hard-hitting giantesses and I’d never played on tarmac before. I thought I was going to be cheese-grated raw. When they turned out to be normal sized humans I was quite relieved. We won by quite a margin. All the hard work by our coaching team (and our sexy new strategies) really paid off.” DISGRACE KELLY
“We rule at after parties so the Extreme one was epic, though we made our own back in Brighton as we all needed a shower after our sweaty/ sea-jumping experience. Cue a local pub, too many Jägerbombs, beer mat flipping games, a guest appearance from the famous Rose Bleed, and an amazing tiny cup Turn Left’s editor gave us while we awaited the actual trophy. Then we totally all went home to bed early with a mug of cocoa. Not to Revenge. We didn’t do that. There was no mad dancing and singing. Definitely not. As if the Rockers would do that!” CAKE OR DEATH
“Terra Hurtz was a tough game for me as I fouled out. Getting a captain’s penalty is a big risk when you only have four to play with, but it gave me a chance to stand back and watch the Billies. I was so proud. When we played Terra last year their strong powerful hitters caused huge problems. This year we used our differing team styles to our advantage. All our hard work on tactics, dynamic walls, jammer speed and offence strategies really paid off. I was thrilled when we won. It made us even more motivated to win the final game and get that trophy!” SLAP DASH
“We’re looking forward to defending the trophy in 2020. With several of the Eastbourne juniors stepping up by then we expect the games to be extra tough. My best memory this year was of using all my energy outrunning an Eastbourne junior and feeling hugely smug... then getting trapped behind a wall of them for the entire next jam. Soul destroying, but so exciting to see these incredibly talented young players coming through with such passion and skill. I predict Eastbourne Extreme is going to be an exciting derby event for years to come!” GO GO GOZER
THE ELINANATOR (LIMERICK RD)
SMASH KETCHUM (BRISTOL BEES)
JULY 13TH @ EASTBOURNE EXTREME Brighton B 156-98 Surrey A Brighton B 153-95 Killa Hurtz B Brighton B 128-43 Eastbourne A
PREDICTIONS FROM FLATTRACKSTATS.COM STATS ARE AS OF 11TH SEPT 2019 (only flip if you want to know)
If you were a WWE wrestler what would your signature move be? The Squat Throw. I have quite long legs, so the move would involve squatting down and throwing people across the arena using my thighs. The Eliminator (playing off my derby name so not very creative) ie hugging someone from behind then throwing them to the ground. The Smash Dab. Basically run, dab mid-air, and crush your opponent under your body as you hurtle towards the ground.
Which video/board game should feature added roller derby? Mario Kart. Mario could be a jammer trying to get past blockers. Players could collect power ups to do high apex jumps and add extra offence to break up packs. Not a board game per se, but Operation Derby could feature an injured skater trying to take their gear off in a slow and careful fashion. This would raise awareness to always gear up correctly and play it safe. Mario Kart would be fun. As long as they don’t make you do 27 laps in five minutes! TL
DID YOU KNOW...?
RESULTS SINCE LAST ISSUE JUNE 1ST @ HAYWARDS HEATH Brighton A 184-229 Glasgow A Brighton B 138-254 Glasgow B
Which derby rule would you change? Destruction of pack. Sometimes it feels like you get this penalty for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s never going to happen but getting rid of the multiplayer penalty would definitely help us blockers out a little. Only being able to star pass once. Give everyone a chance to jam, as well as giving jammers time to catch their breath. If derby skaters could carry passengers (like an Uber) who in your league would earn the most? I think Slap Dash would be a great Uber skater. She’s super strong, super friendly and would definitely strive to carry as many people as possible. Probably our lovely Scary Godmother who has a big heart and would pick up any stranded soul from anywhere. Levante is pretty speedy so would be an efficient lift for sure. She could even teach you to speak Italian on the way.
Who are your favourite derby opponents? Vienna Roller Derby. I played against their B-team last year and they were lovely. Their Fearleaders cheer squad are also incredible. London Rockin’ Rollers, because they’re fierce and strong yet lovely and fair. It’s a joy to play them as they give you a tough game but make it a fun experience overall. So far we’ve played them three times. Southampton City Rollers were definitely a highlight. It was my first home game as a Bees captain and I made friends with some wonderful humans such as Tigermouse and Twixxi. I’d love to play them again.
BRIGHTON GIVEN 92% CHANCE OF VICTORY 27:14 DIFFERENTIAL SUGGESTS 270-140
Did the Rockers have a summer break? We used to have a few weeks of no training, but for the last couple of summers there has been no break. Training is more sparsely attended over the summer though due to holidays etc. The B-team do have Eastbourne Extreme in mid-July, which is great and gives the team the focus to keep going through the summer. The A-team had offers of games in July and August, but I think we made the right decision in giving people some downtime. We can then come back in September re-energised for our next run of games.
“We learnt a lot at Extreme 2018. We lost every game but got to know other teams’ styles and where our weaknesses were. Following that tournament, we focused on strengthening these areas and improving our tactics for 2019. Quite a few new players moved up into the Billies over the year. This strengthened our packs as they all brought something new to the team.” GOLDIBLOCKS
Who’s your favourite historical figure and what would they have been like at derby? Slaughter: One of my favourites is Joan of Arc. They would slay the track with their speed, strength and strategy. Elinanator: Marilyn Monroe springs to mind as she was skating in her movie Monkey Business (1952). I’m sure she would have been a ferocious derby player with a smart derby brain. However, she would have hidden her strength behind a sweet innocent smile. Smash: Rosa Parks was a boss babe. She’d be a great communicator on track and would empower the team in time outs. I could imagine her smashing through walls, just like she smashed boundaries in the Civil Rights movement.
A-TEAMS (WFTDA) BRIGHTON 292nd (521.6) LIMERICK 373RD (466.9)
Thoughts on the Rockerbillies vs Bristol Bees? We’re expecting the Bees to be a strong side. Generally speaking, when you have a good solid A-team (as Bristol do) the structure and coaching means you’ll have strong Bs too. From our perspective, the victories in Eastbourne boosted everyone’s confidence and the Rockerbillies are hungry for more success, so I think it should be a good competitive game. I’m hoping for wins from both Brighton teams, especially as today’s my birthday.
SLAUGHTER MELON (BRIGHTON ROCKERS)
B-TEAMS (EUROPE) BRIGHTON 262ND (402.2) BRISTOL 275TH (396.7)
The A-team were favourites yet Glasgow are historically one of the UK’s strongest leagues. Team strengths fluctuate a lot. Hippy: Yeah, you can see that from the Rockers themselves. A few years ago a lot of the original A-team left for various reasons, moving abroad or on to new things, and for a while the ‘new’ A-team struggled to find their place and build a new identity and unity. It’s only recently we’ve started climbing back up the rankings. A sudden changeover of players can completely alter a team’s level. Slap: Our ranking went up a fair bit after the Dutch trip (three wins over one April weekend) and that affected the predictions we had vs Glasgow. We arrange opponents three or four months in advance and a lot can change for both teams in that time.
What form of exercise do you hate most? Slaughter Melon (of Brighton Rockers): Oh burpees, burpees, burpees! I’m pretty sure no explanation is needed. They’re just the worse. The Elinanator (Limerick Roller Derby): Running, as I see it as a very tiring but ineffective workout. Smash Ketchum (Bristol Bees): Running. In fact, anything without eight wheels and two toe stops.
A two year gap is fairly short in derby. Often it’s five or six. Yeah. There was a time when we played [the now sadly defunct] Croydon every year. We got to know their team and playing style, but in most cases derby matchups are too far apart to build any familiarity, so it’s essentially a fresh start for each game. As well as player changes, teams add new tactics to their repertoire. Even the rules of derby change (often substantially) every year or two, so you can never really know what to expect, even from a team you’ve met before. I think of rematches against individuals rather than teams. It’s like ‘oh I remember this jammer, their jamming style and moves’... but again, even an individual’s playing style will change and evolve, sometimes radically, over time.
BRIGHTON GIVEN 62% CHANCE OF VICTORY 37:32 DIFFERENTIAL SUGGESTS 185-160
Last time out at the Dolphin, both the A and B-teams lost to Glasgow. Hippy Hippy Skate: The A-team only lost because I wasn’t there. Slap Dash: I do think we suffered a bit because Hippy wasn’t there. She’s quite a different sort of jammer, with the power she has, and we did miss that. Both Brighton teams struggled with penalties. Having played in both games I know that was a big issue. We often only had two or three on track, so we couldn’t use a lot of the offensive strategies we’d practised.
EDITED, DESIGNED AND WHATEVERED BY ADAM PETERS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN HESSE: FRONT COVER & PAGE 2 (HIPPY) // DAVID PRENTICE: PAGES 2 (SLAP), 3, 4 (ELINANATOR) & BACK (LRD) // PAUL JONES: PAGE 4 (SMASH) & BACK (BEES) // THANKS TO ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS & PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS: THEY MAKE THIS SHINY MAG THING POSSIBLE!
HEY LOOK IT’S AN EDITORIAL
Yeah we’re back again. We’ve had another wee redesign and continue to forget that we promised not to do any more mags. Sorry. This is our first attempt to cover three leagues (ie two opponents) in this smaller format. Hopefully it works. Happy birthday to Slap, bon voyage to Hippy, and as ever... GO ROCKERS!
• The poetic form limerick was originally created as a means of smuggling innuendos into urban areas. • Half of Bristol was part of Somerset and the other half Gloucestershire. The Clifton Suspension Bridge was built to facilitate the exchange of cider and sheep between the two counties. • Brighton’s beach was originally made of sand. Pebbles were added in 1973 to dissuade people from South London from hanging around on it for too long. • The sport of roller derby was invented not in the city of Derby (as a lot of people stupidly assume) but in the West Yorkshire village of Roller.
Oops we did another one! Turn Left is a fanzine (now in trifold A3 brochure format) dedicated to the awesomes Brighton Rockers roller derby...
Published on Sep 21, 2019
Oops we did another one! Turn Left is a fanzine (now in trifold A3 brochure format) dedicated to the awesomes Brighton Rockers roller derby...