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CHAMPS T2 SOUTH

BRITISH CHAMPS: THE STATE OF PLAY

IT’S A TABLE OF TWO HALVES

GAME DAY ONE: JAN 20TH @ WINDSOR Royal Windsor RG 252-130 Portsmouth RW London Rockin’ Rollers 372-162 Seaside Sirens GAME DAY TWO: FEB 21ST @ LRR Brighton Rockers 253-175 Seaside Sirens London Rockin’ Rollers 235-164 Bristol RD GAME DAY THREE: MAR 21ST @ SIRENS Royal Windsor RG 508-141 Seaside Sirens Bristol Roller Derby 227-223 Brighton Rockers GAME DAY FOUR: MAY 9TH @ BRISTOL Royal Windsor RG 348-196 Brighton Rockers Bristol Roller Derby 305-253 Portsmouth RW GAME DAY FIVE: JUN 20TH @ PORTSMOUTH London Rockin’ Rollers 207-144 Portsmouth RW Bristol Roller Derby 498-122 Seaside Sirens GAME DAY SIX: JUL 11TH @ ROCKERS Royal Windsor RG 296-197 London Rockin’ Rollers Portsmouth RW 215-150 Brighton Rockers GAME DAY SEVEN: AUG 9TH @ ROCKERS Brighton Rockers v London Rockin’ Rollers Royal Windsor RG v Bristol Roller Derby Portsmouth Roller Wenches v Seaside Sirens

In a lot of Champs divisions not a huge amount rides on the final Game Day. Quite often two teams will have won their four previous games (guaranteeing a playoff spot), two will be anchored mid-table with six points from twelve, whilst the other pair are already down after losing all four games. Not so the 2015 National South. All six teams have something to play for today. It’s gonna be an epic one!

TOP THREE CHASE TWO PLAYOFF SPOTS

It’s easiest to look at the National South as two separate groups of three teams at this stage. The top three will remain top three after today’s games, but any of them could finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Only the top two will qualify for Playoffs where they will face the National North top two (already confirmed as Newcastle and Nottingham’s Hellfire Harlots) in playoff games in Newham on Sept 19th. Any sort of win for WINDSOR over Bristol will guarantee RWRG not just a playoff spot but also first place in the division. BRISTOL need to beat Windsor by 190 or more points (a huge task) to overtake them in the table. If LRR win and Bristol lose, then LRR will finish second. If LRR and Bristol both win (or lose) placings will then be decided on points differential.

TWO OF THE BOTTOM THREE GO DOWN

EDITOR/DESIGNER/PUBLISHER: Adam Peters CONTRIBUTORS: All of our lovely interviewees PHOTOGRAPHERS: John Hesse: front and back cover, pages 4, 5, 6 (Beat and background), 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 (background), 17 (bottom right), 20, 21 & 22 // Jason Ruffell (Roller Derby On Film): pages 3, 6 (Skate), 14 (Muscle and Delta) & 19 PLEASE SUPPORT ALL OF OUR LOVELY ADVERTISERS – THEY KEEP THIS MAG FREE

At the other end of the table, again all three teams could end up in any of the three spots (4th, 5th, 6th). The team finishing fourth will stay in this division, whilst the other two will be relegated to Tier 3 for 2016. SIRENS need to beat Portsmouth by 430+ points to survive, which is a long shot to say the least. Assuming SSRG can’t do that, the other two sides need to do better than their rival if they’re to survive. If PORTSMOUTH win and Brighton lose that means the Rockers are relegated. If BRIGHTON win and Pompey don’t then the Wenches go down instead. If both teams win or both lose, then it will be decided on score differentials, with Brighton currently just 29 points ahead.

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BRIGHTON ROCKERS ROLLER DERBY

ODDS & ROCKERS

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Rockers star DR WHOOLIGAN talks us through Brighton’s year of transition...

It’s been a tough Champs season, with defeat to Portsmouth last month leaving Brighton in danger of relegation to Tier 3. Have recent results come as a surprise? No they haven’t. The Rockers are very much in a transition period at the moment, having lost several of our top players. In their place we are fortunate to have gained a whole troop of amazingly hard-working and talented new skaters, who we want to give as much chance to progress as possible. Obviously this has meant switching up our rosters and line-ups to give less experienced players the chance to play on the A-team. Things have been moving about a bit until we find the best spots for everyone to settle in. With all this change going on, it’s safe to say we’ve found the Champs season fairly challenging and the Rockers are all busy women; pinning them all down to a game every few weeks can be difficult! As you probably know, we’re also now a WFTDA apprentice league – Champs doesn’t leave much time for working on becoming full members – so whatever happens, we are going to be very busy next year! To stay up you need to beat LRR and hope Portsmouth don’t beat Sirens by a 29+ better margin. You’ve beaten LRR before. That was a while ago. We love playing against LRR. They are very similar to us on and off the track, and we always have a great game. We have no special tricks planned for today’s game, just the aim of an empty penalty box and super strong walls to stop those slippery LRR jammers... Are there any particular Brighton skaters to look out for today? Shambolic is back! Straight from her adventures abroad, Shambolic has dug out (and hopefully Febrezed) her skates and returned to the track. We also have Rose Bleed back in the pack. Skate Bush is back on jamming; she’s had an amazing Champs, jamming straight away from her first game with the Rockers, so watch out for her! Any London Rockin’ Rollers players or tactics you’ll be watching out for? All of them! You can’t take your eyes off those Rockin’ Rollers for a second. Give Rammit an inch and she’ll be past you in a second! I’m keeping my fingers crossed Jack Attack is still on crutches... (Joking, get better quick Jack!)

What are you expecting from the day’s other games? It may not come as a shock that I predict another Windsor win! They’ve been such a dominant team in Champs. Culverhouse is the jammer to watch – she’s so strong and has very agile footwork – and Riley Cyrus is a tough backward blocker. I think Bristol will definitely give them a run for their money though; they are hot on their heels in the table. The Blizzard knows how to run rings around the opposition. Portsmouth v Sirens should be a great match-up. Portsmouth’s team has been working so hard to get to the level they currently play at. RIP McMurphy is always great to watch. The Sirens have been working hard on playing cleaner (they were down to six players when we played them) so it should be a close game! With the recent news that you aren’t taking part next year, how important has British Champs 2015 been to Brighton’s development? Is it good to have hosted the final two Game Days? We have loved hosting the final two Game Days – and not just because the floor at the Dolphin is lovely to skate on! It’s like inviting all of your friends round to yours. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend. We’ve enjoyed the champs and it’s been great hosting double and triple headers – the more derby the better! But we also needs to focus on building up our A-team. We’ve got a number of European teams we’re dying to play but we haven’t had the time to this year. We also want to nurture our B-team, so there’s a lot on the cards. We shall see what next year brings… Could you sum up Champs in a single sentence? Tier two 2015 skaters are the most attractive, fact.


LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS

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...whilst MISS N LINK sums up the Champs season so far for opponents LRR.

A ROCKIN’ YEAR

Hi there. After a strong start to your Champs season (leading the division for the first couple of months) you’ve been overtaken by surprise package Bristol and currently sit outside the top two. Has the season gone as you were expecting it to? LRR have been very happy to be a part of the first British Champs. We weren’t sure what to expect at the beginning of the year, but we have aimed towards the top of the division throughout. Every game has been a new challenge for us, and we’ve been adapting our play to meet them through the season. Two teams from the division will qualify for Tier 2 Playoffs today, with the result of the Windsor v Bristol game and your own match against the Rockers deciding what the top half of the table ends up looking like. How confident are you of taking one of those top two places and how important is getting into the Playoffs for LRR? We were very proud to lead the division at the beginning of the year. We beat Bristol when we played them in February, so we’re definitely looking to win back the spot from them! We’d be very excited to get into the Playoffs in this first year of British Champs, as we’ve loved the journey over the season. We’re hosting said Playoffs in our home venue, so it’d be great to play in front of a home crowd for the finale! Are there any particular LRR skaters (in the star or the packs) that people in today’s crowd today should look out for? Any potential debutants or returnees? We’ve lost a few skaters this year due to retirement and injury. Our captain Jack Attack is still off skates and will be leading us from the bench.

Any particular Brighton Rockers players you’ll be watching out for in today’s game? We’ve played the Rockers a few times over the years. Last time was a couple of years ago, where the score was a close one. We always love meeting these ladies on track, so we’ve been really looking forward to this match-up! Today’s other games are Windsor against Bristol at 3.30pm and Portsmouth v Sirens at 5.45pm. How do you think those two games will go results wise? Any players or tactics from any of those four teams that spectators should look out for? Windsor v Bristol should be good, seeing as they are currently placed first and second in the group, so LRR will be watching that game with much interest! LRR are hosting the Tier 2 Playoffs on Sept 19th. Would it be odd hosting the event if you don’t qualify yourself? If you do qualify, what are your expectations going into Playoffs? What do you know of Newcastle and the Hellfire Harlots, both already confirmed as the playoff entrants from Tier 2 North? Our goal is of course to do well today and qualify for the Playoffs. We’ve been training hard going into each Champs game, so we’ll fight hard if we make the Playoffs. We played against Hellfire Harlots in April this year in their venue, so we’ll be glad to see them come down to London in September. LRR always enjoy putting on games and tournaments, so we’ll have fun on the 19th whatever happens. Finally, could you sum up your Champs season in a single sentence? Exciting and challenging first season in what we hope will be a regular tournament!


BRIGHTON ROCKERS vS ROCKIN’ ROLLERS

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Do you have any special game day rituals or superstitions? Nope, nothing.

A seance to summon the gods of roller derby!

Is there any particular song that motivates you for playing derby? Anything by Kate Bush or The Prodigy.

If I’m feeling tired before training, listening to bands like The Misfits, GBH and Bad Brains normally gets me motivated.

What skates/wheels do you play in and how long have you had them?

Crazy Skates and Presto wheels. They are my original skates, but I got harder wheels to celebrate getting on the A-team a few months ago.

I skate on Heartless Wheels in a few different durometers. I got some Riedell 965 boots for my birthday last year. It was such a treat after having the same pair of R3s for nearly three years.

Getting on the A-team. I only passed Fresh Meat at the end of last year, and at the time my only goal was to eventually get on the B-team, so it’s brilliant to get to skate with the Rockers AllStars.

Skating on the LRR Allstar team in the 2015 British Championships of course.

What’s your greatest achievement in roller derby? Do you play any other sports at all?

I play softball when the charity I work for is short of players.

No, as derby doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

How much skating had you done prior to taking up derby?

I used to skate about as a kid, but not much since then.

Coincidentally I’ve just married my boyfriend who I first became friends with at age thirteen through inline skating. Being able to skate is very different to being a good derby skater, though.

What’s your favourite roller derby related item that you own?

I have a Lego Minifigure Roller Derby Girl. She’s pretty awesome.

Shark tooth gum shield.

A drunk man on the seafront – he fell in front of me and I narrowly missed hitting him with an apex style jump.

My grandad and a couple of dolphins, but that was only in a dream!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve jumped over or crashed into on skates? What’s your personal aim when you play an open door derby game?

To not let my teammates down and to try my hardest every jam.

Being confident so I can perform at my best for the team.

What did you find the hardest element of Minimum Skills to pass?

Stopping. I just didn’t learn it as a kid. Crashing into brick walls is frowned upon now.

Weaving through cones.

What’s the best advice you received when learning to play derby?

It was from my Fresh Meat coach Mistress Von Über Vixen and it was ‘get lower’. It’s always the answer to everything.

Being told to get low all the time and believe in yourself.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking up the sport?

Do it. It’s awesome, you’ll love it and the Rockers Fresh Meat programme is excellent. Kapow and Hairy Fairy are brilliant teachers.

Be prepared for it to become a big part of your life. Oh, and derby is surprisingly stinky! If you are obsessive over personal hygiene and bad smells it’s probably not the sport for you.

Do you have any special after party talents?

Nope. I really need to get some talents, huh?

We have O’Malley for the after party talent!

Who is your roller derby hero and why?

Merby Dick [who skates for a men’s league in Oregon]. He’s 77 and still kicking ass!

I have so much admiration for each one of my teammates; the old, the new and those who recently left the league. Everyone brings something different to our team and they’re all my heroes for that.




EASTBOURNE EXTREME REPORT

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EXTREME RULES MISTER ADAM reports on Brighton’s outdoor derby debut... The sun has got its hat on, and the Rockerbillies have got their visors on. Following the A-team tradition of fancy dress for away trips, Brighton’s Bs have donned sun visors and bumbags for the short hop to Eastbourne, home to Europe’s only annual outdoor roller derby tournament. As the only league taking part in Saturday’s tournie that have never played at Extreme before, it’s going to be a baptism of fire! Facing the B-team of Croydon (a league that has won this tournament every year since it started) at an ungodly 10.30am, the ’billies battle hard and keep the scores close for much of the first 20 minute period, but Croydon turn the screw in the second half to triumph 208-84. Brighton’s next game is against Wycombe’s Big Bucks B with the ’billies about 40 points down at half-time. They fare better in the second period, with A-team crossovers Skate Bush and Irish Mist putting in some good jams, but it ends 125-95 to Big Bucks. Over in Group A, last year’s finalists LRR B prove as dominant as Croydon are in Group B. The most nailbiting game of the group stage involves the tournie’s two A-teams, Surrey Rollergirls and hosts Bourne Bombshells. Surrey have the upper hand at half-time, but ’shells battle back and tie things up at 90-90 with five minutes to go. 100-99 to Surrey. Then 102-100 to Bourne. The visitors overtake the ’shells in the final jam to win 108-102, but the way this tournament works (it’s based on entirely on points scored and conceded not wins) sees Surrey finish bottom of the group. This means SRG play off against Brighton for fifth place and/or the wooden spoon. As City Sightseeing buses with top decks full of confused tourists watch from a traffic jam, there are lead changes aplenty with the Rockerbillies 58-45 up at half-time. Surrey step up a gear after the break to win 148-87. There’s no shame in this for a Brighton side that includes several skaters who only passed Fresh Meat a couple of weeks ago. (PS Get well soon to injured starlet Chloe Colossus.)

The third place game between Eastbourne and Big Bucks ends 87-87. Wooah! There’s no such thing as a draw in roller derby though, so an overtime jam takes place. An injury to Amazing Graze sees the jam called off by the refs, and a second overtime jam is needed. Eastbourne triumph 107-99 before everyone settles down to watch the final. The match-up is a repeat of last year’s and is super close. Ex-Bombshell Chunder Woman puts in some strong jams for Croydon B that sees them maintain their record of tournament victories, squeaking out a 97-83 win over LRR B. There’s another full day of derby on Sunday. This starst with a mixed rookie team (including some Rockers) taking on Southampton City Rollers, who have a home game against the ’billies on Sept 5th. There’s also a juniors game and the open door debut of Eastbourne men’s team Bomb S’Quad. The latter play a super close (100-100 at half time!) match against Surrey Jammerwockies, with the locals taking the win 177-158. Eastbourne’s new co-ed side the A-Bombs – wearing an impressively garish yellow kit – have a harder time of it, going down by a big margin against the star-studded Portsmouth Scurvy Wenches. There’s a heavy Rockers element to Team No Fuss, with Noise Tank benching and Gin Atomic captaining the challenge side to a 255-140 win over rivals Team Dragon. The final game sees the A-teams of Bristol (no strangers to Sussex this summer) and Croydon lock horns. The Bristolians start building a lead midway through the first period and maintain it for the rest of the game for a final score of 266-194. It’s been another hugely successful Extreme. The Bombshells (who are in Champs action here at the Dolphin next Saturday) drag the other teams to their local to kick off the after party. After a dozen quick pints, we head back to Brighton with our sunburn to start work on this fanzine. As ever with Eastbourne Extreme, the weather was as scorching as the derby!


FLATTRACKSTATS PREDICTIONS AND CHAMPS PLAYER STATS

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vs

vs

UKRDA RANKING (POINTS)

UKRDA RANKING (POINTS)

20th (606.5)

16th (624.6)

PREDICTED WIN PERCENTAGE 43%

57%

8th (664.0)

18th (615.8)

PREDICTED WIN PERCENTAGE 85%

15%

EXPECTED SCORE DIFFERENTIAL

EXPECTED SCORE DIFFERENTIAL

27:29

50:31

EQUALS SCORELINE SUCH AS

EQUALS SCORELINE SUCH AS

189-203

300-186

TOP CHAMPS JAMMERS BASED ON AVERAGE POINTS PER JAM BRIGHTON ROCKERS ROLLER DERBY 1. Dr Whooligan 6.19pts (40.5%) 2. Skate Bush 5.30pts (40.0%) 3. Emma the Condemner 5.29pts (47.6%) 4. Gin Atomic 4.21pts (30.3%) * Please note: only 5. Kapow! 3.68pts (27.3%) skaters who have

ROYAL WINDSOR ROLLERGIRLS 1. Cle-Blam-O 14.21pts (88.4%) 2. Culverhouse 10.79pyts (79.0%) 3. PoiSin Cherry 8.18pts (52.9%) 4. Siouxsie Sutures 7.75pts (70.0%) 5. Vix 6.56pts (51.9%)

LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS of two games and 1. Beat Girl 7.70pts (40.7%) ten jams in the 2. Rammit 7.09pts (77.2%) position (jammer/ 3. Jack Attack 5.46pts (64.3%) blocker) in Champs 4. Pand’Assassin 4.81pts (28.6%) are included in these tables. 5. Rebel Rebel 3.75pts (16.7%)

BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY 1. Delta Strike 10.20pts (70.0%) 2. Latimer 7.60pts (57.1%) 3. Ophelia Pain 7.34pts (37.1%) 4. Lil Miss Bloodlust 6.56pts (51.9%) (Only four qualifying skaters*)

played a minimum

TOP CHAMPS BLOCKERS BASED ON AVERAGE POINTS PER JAM BRIGHTON ROCKERS ROLLER DERBY 1. Chaka Carnage 5.98pts 2. Derby McGee 5.79pts 3. Hairy Fairy 5.67pts 4. The Mighty Mighty Bash 5.67pts 5. Swann 5.65pts

ROYAL WINDSOR ROLLERGIRLS 1. Steflon 15.32pts 2. Trashbag 12.19pts 3. Riley Cyrus 10.76pts 4. Hillsdon 10.56pts FOR FULL PLAYER 5. Muscle Crowe 10.05pts STATS INCLUDING

LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS 1. Betty Swollox 9.83pts 2. Fonda Kaos 8.21pts 3. Flash Bang Wallop 7.24pts 4. Mimika Mayhem 6.97pts 5. Deadly DeVito 6.15pts

BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY PLAYED, POINTS 1. President Garfield 18.39pts DIFFERENTIALS 2. Black Thorn 8.57pts ETC, CLICK ON THE 3. The Blizzard 8.47pts ‘PERFORMANCE’ TAB 4. Raven Lunatic 8.45pts ON THE MENU BAR AT BRITISHCHAMPS.COM 5. Fiery Temper 8.40pts

GAMES AND JAMS


VIEWS FROM ELSEWHERE

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vs UKRDA RANKING (POINTS)

21st (602.5)

33rd (554.1)

PREDICTED WIN PERCENTAGE 85%

15%

EXPECTED SCORE DIFFERENTIAL 27:16

EQUALS SCORELINE SUCH AS 243-144 THE FIGURE IN BRACKETS IS THE PERCENTAGE OF JAMS IN WHICH THE SKATER GAINED LEAD JAMMER STATUS PORTSMOUTH ROLLER WENCHES 1. Dropkick Molly 5.23pts (38.5%) 2. Nina Nunchucks 4.77pts (55.4%) 3. RIP McMurphy 3.64pts (55.8%) 4. Psyclone DestroyHer 2.82pts (31.1%) (Only four qualifying skaters*) SEASIDE SIREN ROLLER GIRLS 1. Force Ten Gail 5.15pts (40.0%) 2. Pegasus 4.07pts (37.0%) 3. Ella-GNAW 3.57pts (18.8%) 4. Who?Rae! 2.33pts (8.3%) (Only four qualifying skaters*)

BLOCKER STATS SHOW AVERAGE NUMBER OF POINTS OWN JAMMER SCORED WHILST PLAYER WAS IN THE PACK PORTSMOUTH ROLLER WENCHES 1. Hurricane Hayles 6.77pts 2. RIP McMurphy 6.53pts 3. Eureka Pain 5.21pts 4. The Duchess of Crutches 4.88pts 5. Halcyon Daze 4.55pts SEASIDE SIREN ROLLER GIRLS 1. Ella-GNAW 5.27pts 2. Hydro-Jenn Peroxide 5.00pts 3. Frocky Balboa 4.97pts 4. Tiny Temper 4.77pts 5. Daisy Ann Confused 4.48pts


ROYAL WINDSOR ROLLERGIRLS

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We chat to POISIN CHERRY as Royal Windsor aim to clinch the Tier 2 South title here today...

WINS ARE WINDSOR Hi there. Royal Windsor have dominated this year’s National South division. What do you put that dominance down to and what have been your highlights of the Champs campaign? We are a strongly committed team and train very hard to be the best that we can be. We don’t take anything for granted and fight for every point during each game. We are really proud of what we have achieved so far. A big highlight for us is getting to socialise with our local derby teams. Not only do we get to skate with local derby heroes, we get to know them better as well. The whole community has become a lot closer because of the British Champs and we look forward to seeing it develop and grow in the future. A lot of people have focused on RWRG’s tactic of often letting a jam run the full two minutes, rather than calling it off. What’s the logic behind this? That is a tactic we use sometimes, but is by no means our default. It very much depends on the team we are playing and the make-up of the skaters on track on a jam by jam basis. In the right circumstances it can mean big points. Everybody likes points. Windsor skaters dominate the various player performance tables for this division. Are there any particular RWRG skaters people in the crowd should look out for? We are extremely proud of all of our skaters that have taken part in the British Champs and we wouldn’t be where we are now without every single one of them. You’re taking on Bristol Roller Derby today. Do you know much about them? Bristol have put in

a strong performance in the British Champs and we know that they are going to be just as strong today. Their walls are tight and their jammers determined, so I’m sure they will keep us on our toes. How do you think the day’s other games will go? Brighton has some double threats, such as Gin Atomic and Swann, who can rack up the points as jammers or form a solid wall as blockers. However, Rammit was a strong jammer when we played LRR and their walls were tough, so it will be an interesting game to watch. Both Portsmouth and Sirens have a good mix of players, with Nina Nunchucks and Force Ten Gail high on the jammer performance tables. There should be a lot of skill displayed in both games, so be ready for some high level game play with hard hits and maybe even an apex jump or two! The only way Windsor won’t make Playoffs is if Bristol beat you today by 190 or more points. That seems quite unlikely, so what are your expectations for Tier 2 Playoffs? What do you know of the North division’s playoff entrants Newcastle and Hellfire Harlots? It would be really exciting for Windsor to make the Playoffs and we know that it will be tough. Both Newcastle and Hellfire Harlots are formidable teams with some very talented skaters. However, we still have today’s game with Bristol to go so we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves just yet! Finally, could you sum up your Champs season in a single sentence? It’s been a massive high – playing some hard games and meeting some amazing skaters – and we can’t wait for next year!


BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY

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BRISTOL FASHION ...whilst various members of BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY assess their season to date. Bristol have in many ways been the ‘surprise package’ of the National South division. What do you put that success down to? We certainly came into the competition as underdogs which I think helped us out in the early games as maybe teams weren’t expecting us to play quite as hard as we have done. Our success is down to some amazing leadership by Black Thorn, The Blizzard and our awesome bench crew Kamo and Haley Flamable. We’ve a really supportive league who’ve pulled together to make our new strategy work and it has made a huge difference. You recently took part in Eastbourne Extreme, defeating Croydon in a full length game. What was that like? Eastbourne Extreme was *so* much fun. It was good to play a game out in the sunshine without having to worry about Champs point differentials! It was also very satisfying to see ‘Bristol Roller Derby’ engraved on the cup at the end of a long day. Are there any particular Bristol skaters we should look out for? Keep an eye out for Lil Miss Bloodlust who has been having a good tournament – she was awarded Best Jammer at Eastbourne Extreme. We also have a few new players join our squad, so keep an eye out for Rip Tease, Bear Thrills, Hard n Sharpe and Lex Lethal who may make their tournament debut. Do you know much about opponents Windsor? We know that they’ve been kicking derby butt this year! We aren’t worrying about individual players because they’re strong throughout their squad. Windsor is a very well drilled team with strong jammers, solid walls and stinging offence. But in case your readers

haven’t noticed, Bristol has been pretty well drilled this year too. Oh, with strong jammers. And solid walls. Ouchy offence. This will be a good game! How do you think today’s other games will go? Now we’re in the realms of stats and point differentials which, if I’m brutally honest, just makes my brain hurt. I know if Brighton beat LRR they’ll be doing us a favour and I think that could be a close match. We’ll certainly be very interested in the outcome, The last game of the day sees Portsmouth as favourites against Seaside. There will be some great jamming on display with RIP McMurphy up against Force Ten Gail. What are your expecations re making the Tier 2 Playoffs on Sept 19th? What do you know of Newcastle and Hellfire? Of course our aim is to make Playoffs and on current European rankings we deserve to be there alongside Windsor representing Tier 2 South. If we do make it (we really hope we do!) we’ll be looking to play some high level derby against great teams. On rankings, we’d be going into Playoffs as the underdogs, but I think we’ve proven that suits us just fine! Regarding Hellfire and Nottingham, we know they play excellent derby up north. Newcastle have had an amazing season and are a force to be reckoned with. Hellfire are also a formidable team who we’ve met before on two occasions and remember being fast and very skilled. Whatever the outcome of this weekend, the Playoffs are definitely going to showcase some of the best derby from the whole of the UK. Finally, could you sum up your Champs season in a single sentence? Gert lush.


ROYAL WINDSOR VS BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY

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Do you have any special game day rituals or superstitions?

I’m not superstitious, but I always have a big breakfast and I always listen to Sia. Hardly pumped-up music but t works for me.

Just your average sacrificial bloodletting and chanting whilst stood in the middle of a pentagram.

I was in Riedell 495s for two years and it mashed my right foot to pieces. I’ve had Crazy Skates for two months now and would recommend them to anyone. They’re so comfy. I skate on Radar Bullet wheels, or Poisons if the floor is particularly slippy.

Riedell 265s, as they are the only boots that don’t aggravate my Tailor’s bunion (affectionately nicknamed Bunion Thunders). Wheels depend on where I’m playing, but I do love Radar Prestos.

What skates/wheels do you play in and how long have you had them?

Do you have a particular ‘special move’ you’re known for? No. I should make one up.

I call it ‘The Kangaroo’.

What’s your greatest achievement in roller derby?

Making Windsor’s A-team. I was so chuffed!

Coming back stronger after severing my PCL and spending four months in a knee brace that didn’t go with any of my wardrobe.

Have you played any other sports at all?

I have done pole fitness for four years and taught it for three. It’s improved my arm and core strength a lot, which helps with derby.

Not really apart from a tragic stint at Ultimate Frisbee in my student days.

What’s your favourite place to skate?

I really like Windsor Leisure Centre. It has a good floor and it’s our home venue. What’s not to love?

The Bristol to Bath cycle path is pretty cool and I’m told the one bit that isn’t very skate-friendly has just been redone.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve jumped over on skates?

Nothing. I don’t go out of my way to jump on my skates.

Rolling Thunder.

Similarly, what’s the strangest thing you’ve crashed into on skates?

My own jammer! I was recycling super fast and she was racing around the outside super fast. There was a huge collision.

Not crashed into, but I’ve been caught in the football nets at our practice space a few too many times...

What’s your favourite part of a derby track?

The straight. Less room for sneaky jammers to side surf through.

The part where I get through!

What did you find the hardest element of Minimum Skills to pass? Transitions. Turning is scary.

Nothing particularly stands out. I was BRD’s coaching coordinator when the Minimum Skills update happened though, and getting the entire league through them all again was hell.

What’s the best advice you received when learning derby?

During Rookie Riot Sur5al, Roxy Rink Rash (Kent Roller Girls) said to me “just have fun”. She’s a smart cookie.

To not be afraid to fall.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up derby? YES! Sign up now, I’ll find you a pen.

Don’t be afraid to fall.

Do you have any special after party talents?

Eating nachos and getting sleepy.

German leg wrestling has become a BRD after party specialty. (Thank you to Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz for that.)

Who is your roller derby hero and why?

Everyone loves a bit of [London Rollergirls and Team England’s] Stefanie Mainey! She’s a double threat and she’s just awesome.

Victorian Roller Derby [Melbourne] AllStar, Tui Lyon. She’s an amazing coach and player as well as a friend who was super supportive and inspiring to me when I first started.




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TOP TENS!

From wasps to car parks and bench presses to penguins, all six of TODAY’S TEAMS share a top Top Ten with us...

ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING


RANDOM QUESTION CHALLENGE

18 T L

A: What’s your favourite derby venue? I’m pretty sure all rollergirls would say Key Arena, Seattle. R: What’s your favourite biscuit and how many is the most you’ve eaten in one go? Bourbons! Love a Bourbon. I have demolished a shameful amount in one sitting before. A whole pack. A whole *double* pack. You know that thing where you’re watching a film and not really paying attention, and then suddenly... yeah... Low point. S: What’s the strangest thing that you have ever jumped over on skates? A delightful combination of Noise Tank and Laserhammer. : Does water really spin down the plughole the other way in Australia? I actually can’t remember so I extensively Googled. All I can say is ‘Coriolis effect’.

P: Which famous person (current or historic) would you most like to teach how to play derby and why? Natalie Portman. Just so I could hang out with her, and not at all in a creepy way. C: Apart from the Rockers which is your favourite roller derby team? I’m going to go cliché here and say [World #1, NYC’s] Gotham. Or maybe Texas since they started this whole derby business. T: Which politician would you most like to meet on the derby track and why? Tony Abbott [Oz PM]. Wouldn’t it be just so damn satisfying to hit that guy very, very hard? And perhaps not particularly legally.


MY DERBY HERO

T L 19 MY BENCHING HERO MASS JANEYCIDE

A bench coach like no other who never loses her sense of humour or sense of fun.

MY ROCKERS HERO THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BASH

As a coach (while still playing for LRR) she struck fear into my Fresh Meat intake, though we hadn’t met her. The mere thought of her made us work harder! A great calming influence on track, she helped all the Rockers keep their heads. Her coaching and her skating skill speaks for itself. We miss her.

MY BREAKOUT HERO SKATE BUSH

She’s gone from Fresh Meat to Rookie to A-team jammer in the blink of an eye. She’s always smiling and she’s totally brilliant!

Recently retired, she skated for Montreal’s New Skids on the Block and Team Canada. The 2011 World Cup (which I watched online) was one of the defining moments of her derby career. She was everywhere on the track, always hustling players and making sure there was no way out for the jammer. She always worked really, really hard and played with a lot of heart. From watching her I’ve learned not to give up, to keep nice and low to maximise your centre of gravity and to constantly be looking for opportunities for sneaky offence. She would usually play inside line or lane two, and that’s where I play, so I found it useful to watch how she used her height and strength to her advantage in the same way I wanted to.


PORTSMOUTH ROLLER WENCHES

20 T L

THE FIRES OF POMPEY

Bench coach ADMIRAL talks us through the Wenches’ battle to stay in Tier 2...

You defied the odds to beat Brighton here a few weeks ago. What are your recollections of that game and the season so far? We were pretty happy with our performance on the day. Whilst we knew that Brighton has had a mixed season, they were obviously still ranked well above us and have beaten us before. The game was more about us working well as a team and feeling positive about our performance than the outcome, as we knew the odds weren’t in our favour. We started strongly and, despite a wobble towards the end of the first half, managed to keep the momentum and secure the win. Given that the result saved us from automatic relegation, and that it felt like a solid performance from us, we were very happy Wenches. Like a lot of leagues who hadn’t previously been part of the Heartland Series, the British Championships have tested us and made us plan our season differently. Whilst we have been in the drop zone for most of the season, we are hoping to still be around to use what we learnt this year in next year’s Tier 2 games. To stay up you need to at least match Brighton’s result and better their scoreline by 29+ today. Are you confident of that? We have been in the relegation zone for a while, but given that we played some of the higher ranked teams first and were a lower ranked team coming into the tournament, that isn’t much of a surprise. We’re obviously hoping for a high scoring win today, to secure both three game points and also a good differential, but we know the final outcome will also depend on Brighton’s result v LRR. We don’t want to be over confident and are mindful that Brighton’s game against us went against what was predicted, so we will be coming prepared for a fight.

Are there any particular Portsmouth Roller Wenches players to look out for today? I would suggest watching all fourteen of them! You’re facing Southend’s Seaside Sirens, who have had a punishing Champs season with a number of 200+ point losses. Do you know much about the Southend team you’re facing? We know they have had a tough season, but will come and play to win. We saw their game against Bristol, which despite being high scoring for Bristol, also saw Sirens put 122 points on the board, which means we shouldn’t underestimate their jammers. Force Ten Gail in particular has been a strong performer for them. What do you think will happen in the day’s other games? Windsor has been so strong and consistent this season that it’s hard to see them being beaten, but Bristol really have been the up-and-coming team in our group this season. They had a tougher year last year, but as their recent results have shown they are one team to watch. LRR and Brighton is too hard to call. The predicted outcome is 57% chance of an LRR win; that’s a slim difference, and Brighton will not want to be relegated any more than we do. What has this inaugural British Champs season meant to PRW? It has meant we have had games with great teams and the organisation has been amazing. Whatever the British Champs holds for us this year, it has been a pleasure to be part of! Can you sum up your Champs season in a single sentence? #TodayIsTheDay


T L 21

SEASIDE SIRENS OF SOUTHEND

HEADLINE THINGY

SIRENS SOUND ALARM ...whilst vice captain FORCE TEN GAIL talks us through the Sirens’ tough season. It’s been a pretty tough British Champs season for the Sirens with a lot of heavy losses. Is that what you were expecting? We pretty much knew what to expect. Last year, when the groupings were done, the Sirens were on a high. We were doing well and we were well placed in the FTS rankings. Shortly after the groups were decided we had a number of changes, which saw us lose about seven skaters from our A-team (retirement, injury, changing league, etc). This meant that we always knew we were going to get a bit bashed up. I don’t think we quite understood just how hard all these games would be. Highlights so far I think would be playing Brighton, as they’re always such a great laugh and we’re massive fans of theirs. We had a good first half in that game and surprised ourselves a bit. Also our home game after party at the bowling alley was pretty cool.

Do you know much about today’s opponents the Portsmouth Roller Wenches? We played the Wenches last year and I think we just scraped a win last time we met [150-147] but things have changed a lot for us, so we really don’t know what to expect. We’ll be watching out for Duchess and RIP McMurphy.

To avoid relegation to Tier 3 you’ll need to beat Portsmouth by at least 430 points today. That’s quite an ask! Are you resigned to going down? We’ve been working a lot more on our defensive game recently. I don’t think I’ll share our tactics for the game though. I think relegation looks a bit like blessed relief to us right now! Our priority is to enjoy the game and play our hardest. That’s all we can do.

Looking ahead to the 2016 Champs season, if you do start it in Tier 3 will promotion back to Tier 2 be your focus? I think our main focus next year will be on rebuilding the team. We have some newer skaters that may make debut appearances on the A-team and a couple of returning skaters, so all we’re hoping for is that we might be able to field a full team for a game. Champs has helped us to focus on specific goals and skills, and to work on our team and mental game. It’s pretty hard not to lose faith when you’re getting pummelled, so I think we’re just looking forward to finding out exactly what the right level for us is as a slightly reworked team.

Are there any particular Seaside Sirens that the crowd should look out for in today’s game? Well, Who?Rae! has been on great form recently. After returning to us earlier in the year after a tib-fib break, and a ‘nine month injury’ after that (beautiful baby Tilda), she’s really back on top now and has been jamming quite a bit, which is great to see.

How do you think the day’s other games will go? Both games will be interesting to watch. It’s hard to predict how things will go. Windsor have been incredibly strong in this group and really know how to take advantage with the scoreline, but Bristol have been getting stronger and stronger all year, so it really could go either way. Brighton v LRR will be thrilling to watch as well. I think that both teams have suffered some losses and changes during the year, so we really don’t know what the outcome will be.

Finally, could you sum up your season in a single sentence? The toughest year in the Sirens’ history.


PORTSMOUTH WENCHES VS SEASIDE SIRENS

22 T L

Do you have any special game day rituals or superstitions?

I usually get up pretty early and panic about whether I have the merch ready (I sort the Wenches merch) then check I have all my kit about three hundred times. I have special bout socks!

I try to stay pretty chilled, playing Lego with my son or watching a Disney DVD (for my child’s benefit of course) and before the game I will always have a full English, the breakfast of champions!

As you may guess from my name I love the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. If I’m feeling tense ‘Sick of it All’ always helps.

My name’s a nod to a Led Zep song. I like rock, but I don’t like any music that gets progressively faster as it stresses me out.

A favourite moment was getting MVP against Kent last summer. It was my first bout anniversary against the same team, and one of the first times I jammed for the A-team. I might have cried!

Winning the Sirens’ Spirit of Derby award when we played against Brighton, a fantastic game that I really enjoyed. It was during a particularly hard time for me, so it was a real honour to be given it.

Is there any particular song/music that motivates you for playing derby? What’s your greatest achievement in derby? Have you played any other sports at all?

I did synchronised ice skating up until I was sixteen. Bashy skating suits me much more than trying to be graceful.

I used to swim competitively when I was at school. I used to love netball too, but nothing other than derby at the moment.

What’s your favourite roller derby related item that you own?

My limited edition Team England T-shirt that my wife bought me at the 2014 World Cup.

I have this really cute picture that one of the children in my class drew for me. (I’m a Year 5 teacher.) She came to watch one of our home games and the following Monday she presented me with this amazing drawing of me. I was so chuffed!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve jumped over on skates?

Probably our cat, always in the way when I was practicing for my Minimum Skills in the kitchen!

I tried and failed to jump over a small dog that got in my way once while skating in the park. Needless to say there was a fair bit of crying. From both me and the pooch.

What’s your favourite part of a derby track?

Whatever part I happen to be on when I break out of the pack!

The inside line, but I’ve recently been having a go on the outside.

Left T-stop. Everyone hates them, right? I don’t think I’ve ever used it since.

Backwards skating and the dreaded 27-in-5. I had to practice and practice to get there. I did think I was going to die after the 27-in-5!

If you want to do it you can make it happen. You might have to work harder than others appear to, but you can always do it.

I’m often told during games that each jam is a fresh start and to leave the emotions from each jam on the track. Sometimes they cloud my judgement going forward. I’m trying hard to combat that.

What did you find the hardest element of Minimum Skills to pass? What the best advice you received when learning to play derby? Do you have any special after party talents?

I’m prone to attempting some Russian dancing with Des.

The Sirens hold our home after parties at a bowling alley, and I normally get the worst score... if that counts as a talent!

What’s your favourite place to skate?

I love skating along the seafront in Southsea. Skates and seaside – perfect!

I love skating along the seafront, when all the tourists have gone home and the sun is setting. It’s glorious.

Who is your roller derby hero and why?

As extremely cheesy as it may sound, the Wenches (and I suppose the Scurvy Dogs) are my heroes. I love being part of our crazy team. They make me want to be the best skater I can be.

I love Suzy Hotrod, she is just all round amazing; but I also have a bit of a girl crush on Jessica Rammit from LRR – she’s so strong and fierce!




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