CCR Officials in another European First!

It’s not only our skaters who are celebrated here at CCR, our Officials are too!

Last week a selection of CCR’s officials headed over to Malmö, Sweden to take part in Europe’s first ever Division 1 tournament! The European Smackdown was hosted by Crime City Rollers and SuckerPunch skate shop and looked to gather Europe’s top ranked teams together to play in a multi day sanctioned event.

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Photo Credit – John Hesse https://www.facebook.com/john.hesse.902

London, Glasgow, Stockholm, Helsinki, Crime City and Detroit all descended to duke it out D1 style. This weekend saw some of the highest level sanctioned play available outside of the USA. With Sanctioned games becoming increasingly tough to find this side of the pond, Smackdown offered a stepping stone for Europe, the leagues, the fans and officials.

Not only did 3 of our Referees make the cut, Our Head of Officiating Metal Ed was also selected to Crew Head this prestigious event. We caught up with Ed, Ratty and Stubble to get their thoughts on a momentous weekend for European Officiating.

Metal Ed –

Ed

Photo Credit – Thomas Phil – https://www.facebook.com/Thomas-Pihl-Fotograf-244934088852894

“It’s so good to see a tournament of this calibre in Europe and for us to be invited out to officiate is a great honour and recognition of all our achievements. Roller derby in comparison, is still in its infancy as a sport so it’s important to remember that all these events are paving the way for the future and it’s so cool to be officiating all of these “first ever…” events. A big thank you to all of the organisers too, so well put together and the crowd and atmosphere were brilliant.”

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Photo Credit – Marko Niemelä – http://punkmarko.kuvat.fi/

Rollin Rat –

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Photo Credit – Peter Troest – www.troest.nu

Having been lucky enough to have refereed tournaments in Europe previously in Belgium for SKOD and in France for Fantastic 8 and West Track Story and internationally at the World Cup and The BIG O I wasn’t going to miss out on this.

As with any tournament you always apply with the hope of getting accepted and even though I was recently certified it is not a guarantee so when I receive that “congratulations” mail it made my day.

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Photo Credit – Marko Niemelä – http://punkmarko.kuvat.fi/

The Games across the weekend (including Friday) were not surprisingly amazing. It’s great that this has finally happened, D1 level play this side of the water. If you have seen any of these teams play before then it wouldn’t be a surprised that it has happened.  It was great to have so much support for the Teams and the Officials but all were there for one purpose, to see some great match ups and history been made.

The future of European High Level Derby is in safe hands and it’s just going to go from strength to strength. In a few years time at hopefully Smackdown 2020 and when we have more high level D1 Tournaments across the Europe we can say we were there.

Stubble Entendre –

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Photo Credit – John Hesse https://www.facebook.com/john.hesse.902

It was a huge honour to be selected to officiate at The European Smackdown, a tournament which promised to be the highest level of roller derby game play Europe had to offer for 2016 – and it certainly didn’t fall short of that mark! The games were tough, dynamic, and highly technical with a wide degree of variability in how skaters engaged – a hugely enjoyable challenge!

On top of this was the joy of working with Europe’s finest officials, a truly rich source of talent and experience. Standing amongst the group of unbelievably gifted officials was both humbling and uplifting – a reminder that Europe is blessed indeed to have so many dedicated and hard-working individuals keeping roller derby as safe and fair as it can be.

A huge thanks to (the other) CCR for their hard working volunteers and organisers who worked tirelessly all weekend to keep the event running smoothly and keeping us all so well-fed. Thanks also to the tournament management for providing the platform upon which we were able to do the thing we love so dearly.

We love our officials here at Central City, and we want to extend our huge congratulations to Ed, Stubble and Ratty for their great performance at The European Smackdown. If you’re anything like us, we can’t wait to see what adventures our officials have next!

Don’t forget to check out our events page for details on the WFTDA Officiating clinic and our fundraising page for Beach Brawl where you can help our officials as well as our skaters get to Beach Brawl 2016!

https://www.youcaring.com/central-city-rollergirls-521584

https://centralcityrollergirls.co.uk/fixtures

Surfing, Surfing USA!

We’ve been keeping this under our helmets for a while now… It’s finally time….

We are pleased to announce that Central City Rollergirls have been invited to compete at the 3rd Annual Beach Brawl tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. This trip will mark a huge milestone in the leagues history as we travel to proudly represent our country and city as the first Midlands team ever to compete stateside!

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Beach Brawl is a fully sanctioned Women’s Flat Track Derby Association invitational tournament hosted by Gold Coast Derby Grrls. It hosts 24 domestic and international roller derby teams every year and is fast becoming one of the sports most recognised tournaments for high level play.

www.goldcoastderbygrrls.com

www.beachbrawlrollerderby.com

We are really honoured to have been selected for this year’s competition. As a league we have worked extremely hard over the last few seasons to really push our global rankings and cement our standing within Europe as a competitive force across all of our teams. Beach Brawl will see the A team facing some of their toughest opponents to date who will not only challenge fitness, skill, speed and teamwork but will drive CCR to further cement the quality of UK Roller Derby.

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As you might expect our team are pretty excited so we asked them to put into their own words what going to beach brawl means to them:

Verry Cherry – “This is such a huge opportunity for us and we’ve been working towards this goal for a few years now so it’s amazing to see it finally happen. As well as training for the toughest event of our season calendar, we also have a real focus on fundraising. As a not for profit club who are self-funded we have to raise some serious cash to get the squad, our coaches and officials there. It’s all hands on deck to make this American dream happen! We’re a lucky bunch here at CCR, the league is more than just the 14 gals on the track, it’s a league of people all pulling together to make things happen.”

Dr Knock (co-cap) – “Competing in the USA is a huge milestone we have had in our sights for a while now, so it is quite hard to believe it is really happening! We are already working hard on and off the track, nailing our formations and putting in the hours improving our performance.”

“For the A team, this will be our first transatlantic tournament, and whilst CCR clocked up some impressive mileage last year, travelling to Belgium, France, Sweden (as well as Wales and Scotland twice!), we are yet to compete on American soil. We hope to gain some valuable experience meeting international teams, maintaining our team work and development focus we set last year and continuing to progress our WFTDA rankings.”

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“Personally, I cannot wait for this opportunity! We had a fantastic 2015 season competing all over Europe having a lot of fun and success both on and off the track. Competing in America feels like a natural progression from this and I am ready to take on the challenge and experiences with my team.”

We are truly thankful for all the support we have received over the years and it’s fair to say we wouldn’t have been able to achieve as much as we have as a league without all the love and support from friends and family, and also our ever dedicated fans.

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As the song goes  ‘We’d get by with a little help from our friends’ so now more than ever, we need your help. If you can spare a pound or two to help us make this amazing dream a reality please  donate to our fundraising page here:

https://www.youcaring.com/central-city-rollergirls-521584

All proceeds raised will help our team, officials & bench staff cover the huge costs of attending this once in a life time event.

We will be hosting a multitude of awesome events in the run up to Beach Brawl from bumper raffles, boot-camps, games and officiating clinics to help us top up the kitty and give YOU our fans some ace chances to get involved with CCR’s journey to the USA.

So please check out our events page and keep a beady eye on our facebook page and website for upcoming activities & competitions we’ll be running to help us conquer the USA!

Events Page – centralcityrollergirls.com/fixtures

Donations – https://www.youcaring.com/central-city-rollergirls-521584

Facebook – https://facebook.com/CentralCityRollergirls

 

To 2016…. and Beyond!

With the mince pies eaten, the bearings cleaned and the remnants of the turkey well and truly scoffed away, it’s time to reflect on last season and start setting some new goals! Whether its climbing the WFTDA rankings, sharpening those plough stops or a resolution to wash your pads at least once a month, we’d like to reflect on our last season with you.

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So who better to take us through the last 12 months with Central City Rollergirls than Head Coach  Illbilly and A team Captain Tinchy Slider?

Illbilly –

2015 saw Central City Roller Girls start the season at British Champs Tier One. We were very privileged to be involved in the competition and compete against teams of such high calibre. Our first date at Brit Champs saw us play Tiger Bay Brawlers and Glasgow Roller Girls. Our charter team took lots from these two match ups and it really helped focus attention to detail over the coming months and  really push our game up a gear.

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After the first Brit Champs date we sadly waved  goodbye to long standing power house head coach Barry Fight and warmly welcomed Barry’s protégé and support coach illbilly into the role.

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The months that followed saw lots of hard work and new ideas culminating in a really successful season, including  a Bronze  medal at A Skate Odyssey 2015, (WFTDA European  tournament hosted by Go Go Gent in Belgium).

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After a roll of great performances at the next pool of Brit Champs dates against Middlesbrough Milk Rollers and Auld Reekie CCR pulled in some hard fought wins against Rainy City, Paris Roller Girls and Newcastle Roller Girls seeing us climb up the official WFTDA rankings 41 places from our April 2015 standing. Central City are now focused on a very productive 2016! Watch this space.

Tinchy –

It’s been a phenomenal 12 months. My first season as Captain and the first with Bench Coach Illbilly at the helm. The first half of our season was dominated by tournaments, in the shape of British Champs and Skate Odyssey. The second half was quite the opposite, featuring a few key away games.

September:
First up we faced Hellfire Harlots in September, a rearranged game after the initial match up in 2014 was rained off (leaky ceilings are quite the hazard for those of us with wheely feet). A small crew journeyed to Nottingham but returned disappointed with a very close 189 to 185 loss. Yet another of our games determined in the last jam; our third this season with nothing but single digits in it.

October:
In October we re-focused and traveled up North to face Newcastle Roller Girls – a formidable and determined team that we had admired at SKOD and were looking forward to playing. The game was tough and close, just as we’d anticipated. We managed to keep a small but consistent lead throughout, no opportunities for relaxing or easing off. At the final whistle we were ecstatic with our 150 to 132 win.

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November:
To our final game of the season, and what felt like a David and Goliath style match up, the Stockholm Allstars. Ranked 14th in the world to our 148th position, we wanted a challenge and we weren’t disappointed. Stockholm took a strong lead early on and the game finished with a 478 – 56 win to the Allstars. But we managed to fight back with small but meaningful victories – like a 20 point set of grand slams in the second half. It’s true that you always learn more from the games you lose than from those you win, and so we finished the season with plenty of learning points. Our job as a team now is to narrow these down to some key objectives and come back to our 2016 season with energy, drive and a clear focus.

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I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved as a team in our 2015 season and honoured to have captained this group of committed, determined women as we’ve ventured to games far and wide. Our focus has remained firmly on team work and developing together and we’re looking to continue that next year as we journey even further afield. I can’t wait to get started on 2016‘s challenges!

Officials –

2015 saw another busy year for our officials at CCR too. The New Year began with Metal Ed and Rollin Rat becoming Divisional Head Referees for Brit Champs and continued to see our crack team of zebras clocking up the travel miles representing at prestigious events such as A Skate Odyssey, The Big O, West Track Story, Beardi, Brit champs (Premier tier to T5), MEC, 4 Nations and Fantastic 8.

On top of this our officials hosted two successful bootcamps both at home and one WFTDA recognised bootcamp in Trondheim, Norway.

Rollin Rat was selected to officiate over in the USA this year by at the Big O, Eugene, Oregan. The Big O is one of the USA’s top tournaments for teams all over the world to attend and now includes multiple division 1 games. This was a fantastic opportunity for Ratty to showcase his talent and we at CCR hope to see him continue his travels to more high level USA tournaments.

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Another big celebration was the fantastic news that Metal Ed had been accepted to represent at this year’s Division 1 Playoffs in Jacksonville Florida. Ed has worked incredibly hard to lay the foundations for European progression in WFTDA and represent Europe and the UK at the highest level of play.

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Metal Ed shares his thoughts on 2015:

“This year has been incredibly busy for us officials at Central City. From WFTDA clinics, running bootcamps (at home and abroad), and officiating from British Championships tier 4 right up to D1 WFTDA playoffs. Between us all we’ve travelled to America, France, Belgium, Norway and of course, Scotland and Wales clocking up an impressive mileage! Next year looks to be just as busy if not even more so, with plenty of events on the horizon we’re all looking forward to where our next adventures will take us and we hope to see some of you along the way.”

2016 is shaping up to be another big season for our officials with multiple international events already in the pipeline alongside opportunities for the UK too.

Photo credits:
– Floyd King Photography – facebook.com/floykingderbyphotography
– D.E.Sign