This Saturday: Birmingham/Manchester Showdown!

Bout-poster-1-708x1024

This Saturday, CCR’s B team will make the journey up north to face Manchester Roller Derby’s B team – The Furies. The teams are playing the opener of a double header also featuring local mens team Crash Test Brummies and Manchester locals New Wheeled Order.

In their two previous bouts, CCR B have come out on top each time – with a win over Shrewsbury’s Evolution Roller Derby (265-123) and victory in Dewsbury against Hot Wheels Roller Derby (203-105). Don’t let the scorelines fool you though – each of these bouts were fiercely fought battles of power plays and strong defence.

In contrast MRD B’s 2014 bouts consist of a win and two losses beating Rainy City’s Bet Lynch Mob (182-129) back in January followed by losses to North Wales Roller Derby (in what must have been a nail biter of a bout, with the Furies coming in at 156, to NWRD’s 157) and a loss against Scotland’s Fierce Valley RG (132-282).

CCR B captain (and on this occasion LUM) Lola Whip is looking forward to this weekend’s match up: B team have had a bit of a break from games recently and have certainly been working hard at practice so it will be ace to see all that hard work showing on track. Personally, this is my first game back as line up manager without crutches so I’m looking forward to being a bit more dynamic!

The two teams have never met before, and in the past the Furies have played some really close bouts, we’re sure they’re likely to be aiming repeat that this weekend. However – can they stop CCR B’s run of form of early game dominance? Will CCR be faced with a stoic defence preventing power plays? Who knows! Get yourselves to Manchester, or follow us on twitter to find out!

Words by Charlotte Wood. Bout poster by Manchester Roller Derby.

 

 

Fresh meat viewpoint: “Did someone say Bootcamp?”

For new skaters entering the world of Roller Derby, it can be pretty terrifying not to mention just a little overwhelming. The same can be said about the concept of bootcamps. What happens when the two come together? Rachel Abbot, a recent CCR recruit gives us the lowdown.

_20140707_233512

Boot Camps usually describe a group fitness class that push people a little bit further than they would normally push themselves. The idea is that everyone involved works at their own pace but they team up to work towards shared goals. They can provide social support for those taking part and provide a slightly different environment in which to train.

As a Fresh Meat skater with CCR (roughly 4 months into minimum skills), a Boot Camp seemed like a good opportunity to do some intensive work and try to make some substantial improvements. Although I attend practice twice a week (general life stuff allowing), sometimes after a long stressful day at work it can be difficult to focus. I hoped that a Boot Camp would allow me to allocate some time purely for Derby and to really get my head down with things.

A fellow skater sent me a link to Roller Derby Leicester’s “Train To Win” Boot Camp running on 28/29th June, and in haze of pre-holiday excitement at the airport and lack of concern for my bank account, I clicked the “Buy Now” button for my paypal account and committed myself to a 2 day Roller Derby Boot Camp. I tend to suffer from buyer’s remorse (Sorry Topshop)  and this was no different, although now I was committed. I started worrying; what if I wasn’t good enough to keep up? What if it was too intense? What if it was a waste of time and money? What if, in fact, it was a weird cult initiation and I’d be required to bring along a dead crow and the sweat of a virgin to gain access to the secrets of Derby?

This is actually what happened.

Saturday:

  • 9.30am-10am Registration
  • 10.30am-11.30am Track 2 Strength and conditioning (off skates)
  • 11.45am-12.45pm Track 2 Team work (on skates)
  • 12.45pm-1.15pm Lunch
  • 1.15pm-2.15 pm Track 2 Nutrition (off skates)
  • 2.30pm-3.30 pm Track 1 Power skating (on skates)
  • 3.30pm-4pm Cool down

After being met at the carpark by an RDL member and navigating the short walk to the impressive Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Sports Hall (RDL’s home turf) I started to get a little jittery as more girls (and a guy) turned up. We were given stickers based on our current ability (as Fresh Meat I’d gone for a Level 1 package – blue sticker). We also had to have a black top and a white top for drills. In my group there were skaters from RDL, Wolverhampton, Croydon (I remembered watching my first CCR game where they played Croydon), Dolly Rockits and even one skater who had come all the way from Jersey in the Channel Islands.

We had a talk on strength and conditioning and the importance of doing exercise outside of derby and the types of exercises that will be most beneficial because of the movements we do in Derby. The importance of strength and core training was highlighted, as well as interval training for building fitness and endurance.
After this we did some team work – learning to make different kinds of walls (such as the “web wall” from Gotham), Fat Controller walls and reactive walls. This involved a lot of contact with a lot of girls I didn’t know which was definitely useful!

After lunch we had a talk on nutrition and I had the inevitable guilt trip due to the leftover take away pizza I brought with me for lunch. Discussed choosing right food types for pre/mid/post session/games and importance of healthy lifestyles for Derby.

We then had another skate session before cooling off.

Sunday

  • 10am-10.30am Registration
  • 10.30am-11.30am Track 2 Mental training (off skates)
  • 11.45am-12.45pm Track 2 Blocking (on skates)
  • 12.45pm-1.15pm lunch
  • 1.15pm-2.15pm Tactics Track 1 (on skates)
  • 2.30pm-3pm Feedback and discussion
  • 3pm-4pm Skills practice

Sunday started us with a talk on mental training, which I think is key for all skaters, but feels especially relevant to us as Fresh Meat skaters. I am still amazed that many of us new skaters have stressful, important real life jobs that call for us to be confident, leaders, organised and quick thinkers, yet the amount of worry and self-criticism and lack of confidence in ourselves as new skaters is huge, and everyone there was reporting similar feelings. In my small discussion group there was myself (A project Manager for a drugs charity), a Police Sergeant and a Teacher – but we all felt that our mental blocks were often a bigger issue than our physical abilities. I think that it’s really important we recognise that we all have these feelings, and bad practices and that as skaters and team mates we can support each other.

IMG_58276998487539

We then did some more blocking skills where we practiced using the “edge” of our skates, both forwards and backwards, and glides and also skating backwards on two feet and then changing to one. This was quite hard going backwards but I did find that being able to do it over and over did help it sink in. I was asked to demonstrate the forward inside glides in front of everyone which was really motivating to have something like that recognised!

Later we looked at tactics, which was quite fun as sometimes as min skills skaters we can get a little overly obsessed with getting things “ticked” off and working our way through a list rather than trying to understand the game we’re eventually hoping to play. We looked at when a jammer would call off a jam for a tactical benefit and where blockers need to be depending on who gets lead jammer. Quite basic, but it was quite thrilling to wear a jammer star cover for the first time and to do the “hips” to call off the jam, even if we weren’t properly blocking at this stage!

The end of the day saw some free time to practice skills and get feedback and help from other coaches and advanced skaters.

It was clear that RDL put a lot of emphasis on other types of training such as the “mental game” as opposed to just physical training. They had also organised the day well and were sensitive of individual needs as even in Level 1 we had a big spectrum of abilities and length of time skating. I personally found it a challenge to skate with people I was unfamiliar with, but I think this is something I need to get used to. However it was reassuring to hear same stories from other skaters. I also got some different perspectives on some skills and that can be very useful, because sometimes it will just “click” if you hear a different suggestion from someone else. Even after just 2 days, there did seem to feel like a “team” atmosphere within the newbies, even though I could only name about 3 out of the 15 people in the group. It just shows how inclusive Roller Derby can be. I would definitely recommend a Boot Camp to other Fresh Meat skaters and I’ll be looking out for more in the future.

With Thanks to, and photo’s courtesy of, Roller Derby Leicester.

Spring/Summer Update

CCR HQ had a pretty busing bouting schedule over the last couple of months – here is a round up in case you missed out…

04/05/14: CCR hosted a double header with One Love Roller Dolls from Antwerp taking on the A team and CCR B taking on Shrewsbury’s Evolution Rollergirls. CCR managed to finish the day with the much coveted double win, but not until after some fierce competition…

CCRA One LoveCCR A 192 – OLRD 93
: This game was closer than the score line alludes to; after 25 mins play the scores stood at 47 apiece. A couple of power plays saw CCR get the lead just before half time making it 77-59. The home team managed to pull away in the second half however, their visitors often giving away a pack advantage allowing CCR defence to dampen their scoring opportunities. CCR outscored their opponents 115 – 34 in the second half, but ORLD made them fight for every one of those points!
CCR B 265 – Evolution 123: CCR got off to a dominating start and although Evolution had flashes of breakout these were more disparate then they would have liked and the first half finished 114 – 56 in the home team’s favour. However, Evo came out in the second half fighting. They managed to reduce the power plays they were giving away and slow CCR’s scoring but they could not maintain this pace to make a lasting effect on the scoreline and CCR resumed their dominant play. An inspired final jam from Evolution saw them claw back some of the deficit but there simply wasn’t enough time left to do any more damage and CCR B came away with the win.

CCRB Evo

17/05/14: CCR travelled up to visit Hot Wheel Roller Derby in an A vs A and B vs B double header. The B team brought home another decisive win, while the A team finished victorious in a lead-changing, nail-biter of a game.
HWRD B 105 – CCR B 203: The first few jams exchanged lead jammer status between the two teams, but before long CCR were granted a power play and taking full advantage took the score to 7-52 after 9 minutes of play. Not to be outdone, Hot Wheel exploited a few power plays of their own, and coupled with their fair share of lead jammer statuses were able to close the deficit slightly, closing the half on 63-96 to the visitors. Hot Wheel jammers were able to steal points here and there, but in general CCR defence dampened their scoring runs in the second half, enabling CCR to extend their lead resulting in a definite win.
HWRD A 164 – CCR A 180: The first half of the game saw a neck and neck battle almost every jam. There were several 0-0 stand offs to keep scores low as lead jammers raced round to the fast packs to steal a few points here or there before their counterparts could catch up. Scores at half time stood at 74- 75 to CCR. In the second half it looked like Hot Wheel were pulling ahead but some stoic defending from both teams enabled the scores to stay close and eventually CCR took the lead with a few last ten minute power plays in their favour.

30/05/14: SKOD 2014: At the end of May our A team were cordially invited to be a part of one of the most exciting European tournaments of the calendar year 2014: Skate Odyssey tournament hosted by Gent Go-Go Rollergirls, Belgium.
CCR 205 – LRR 158: CCR dominated the first half with tight team work but LRR stepped up a gear to put the pressure on before half time gaining ground on the scoreboard making it difficult for CCR to score. Returning from half time both teams came out fighting and grappled for overall control of the score. CCR’s campaign to shut out LRR for a large part of the second half seemed to work in their favour but the score difference was cut short in the last 10 minutes by penalty trouble allowing LRR to narrow the gap and reduce the damage.
CCR progressed into the semi finals to take on hosts Gent Go-Go Rollergirls in what was the most explosive game of the weekend’s tournament.
CCRA GentGent Go-Go 166 – CCR 158: A slow start saw Gent’s physical jammers capitalise on scoring opportunities to place a hefty lead over CCR. The score gap began to widen for a short while and although it seemed somewhat unachievable, CCR started to lock down the Gent jammers. The points scale began to even out as CCR’s packs went into overdrive refusing to let their opposing jammers gain any ground. A 90 point deficit was reduced to 50, then to 30, to 20 and then to 10 in the second half with Gent seemingly unable to score. CCR continued to push forwards and despite Gent’s best efforts in the last five crucial minutes CCR were able to take the lead with a series of power jams. A powerjam was gifted to Gent just before the the dying seconds allowing them to bring the score closer and another jam was granted after a Gent timeout before the period had expired. Both jammers fought furiously but it was Gent who prevailed edging it out to a narrow 8 point win.
CCR, although knocked out of the final, were now playing for 3rd and 4th place against Kallio Rolling Rainbow (Helsinki, Finland).
CCR 106 – Kallio 162: Another well matched pair of teams saw the lead on the scoreboard flick between CCR and Kallio with both sides suffering from seemingly endless penalty trouble. Kallio took full advantage and a set of powerjams in their favour saw CCR begin to trail the Finnish team. A final push in the last ten minutes saw CCR limit the damage of KRR against the scoreboard but it was too little too late. Kallio pushed forward and sprinted across the line to take the win.
Gent signageA hard and well fought set of games saw Central City Rollergirls finish 4th overall. With a wealth of experience under our belts from this wonderful tournament and new friends made on the continent and CCR continue to look forward to the challenges of the second half of our season. Congratulations to Gent Go Go Rollergirls for hosting a flawless tournament and being such gracious hosts.

What’s next?: CCR A travel to Nottingham this Saturday (19/07) to face the Hellfire Harlots. These two teams have never met on track before and although CCR are the slightly higher ranked team Hellfire have an undefeated home record in 2014 which they will be eager to retain and promises for an exciting match up. Further info here. The weekend after, 26/0714 CCR B team travel North to face Manchester Roller Derby’s B team, another unfamiliar match up that promises an explosive day’s action in a double header with local men’s league Crash Test Brummies taking on MRD’s New Wheeled Order! Further info here.

All photos courtesy of the awesome Floyd King Photography.