This Saturday, Central City Rollergirls’ Slay Belles travel to Northampton to take on the Shoetown Slayers. There are a few new faces for CCR on this roster as well as some veteran favourites. Here, one of these new faces- Blocker Bye Baby, tells us about her first bouting experience in the most recent CCR intraleague bout and how it has prepared her for Saturday’s affairs…
“I knew it was going to be an interesting bout when my teammate slipped on some wet grass during our off skates warm up and sprained her ankle. She got up, stretched it out a bit and gamely played the bout without fuss, but later ended up in A&E to check the damage (ladies and gentlemen, it was a nasty sprain but she was thankfully recovered within a week, hurray!). This little tale should give you an idea of the mentality of the skaters at CCR – they are a tough bunch and it takes a lot to slow them down. And after all, this bout wasn’t just any bout – it was for a place in CCR’s intraleague final, and a hotly contested fight for the remaining spot at that. What has this got to do with me you ask? Well, I was particularly excited as it was my first bout – ever!
Having joined CCR just over a year ago, and progressed through the excellent, and pretty damn rigorous, minimum skills programme I knew I was ready to play. However, no amount of drills or scrimmaging can prepare you for the fact that when you look around the track, at least four of your best friends- people you spend several hours a week skating and joking with – are actively and eagerly trying to knock you down. Of course that’s what we do in practice, it’s not like it was a surprise, but it still gets the heart racing and the adrenaline pumping in a way that a scrimmage simply doesn’t.
The intraleague bouts are great fun at CCR – we have three teams: Disco Beaters, Queens of Steel and Bad Apples – and new skaters are usually allocated a team as a guest skater to get some real bout experience. I was assigned to the lovely Disco Beaters and that meant my very own bona fide Disco Beaters t-shirt with my number on, plus silver sequinned hotpants – what’s not to like? I was a little nervous on the bench, waiting to play, but once the whistle blew it was just like practice, but with more excitement and livelier clothes! The jams were fast and the hits were hard, and both teams fought hard to take the lead in the first half, before Bad Apples finally took the lead and the win in the second half. I tried not to look at the scoreboard or the clock, and just concentrate on doing my best and having a lovely time (which I did).
It was such a positive experience and I can’t wait to play again. It was the perfect first bout as the audience was friends and family only – hearing people shouting your name from the sidelines is completely addictive – but with something very real at stake, so all to play hard and fight for. Now I know what to expect from future bouts, I know what to work on and how I can improve – and just in time too as I have made the roster for CCR’s B travel team the Slay Belles. This means I have my first open bout on Saturday 18th May against Northampton’s Shoetown Slayers. I can’t wait – bring it on!”
For updates from Saturday’s game you can follow CCR on Twitter on the account @The_CCR. For more details about the event please see the facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/147008178811746/
Words by Blocker Bye Baby. Photos by Phil Seymour.