Roller Derby? Not for me…or is it?

It’s the start of a new year and no doubt, the thought has crossed your mind that you want to make this year count. Perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to make new friends, or time to have more fun, or perhaps you want to finally shift those extra lbs you’ve been clinging onto. Well, Roller Derby is a pretty good place to start. We’re not guarenteeing it will change your life, but we’re also not guarenteeing it won’t!

Roller Derby is a grassroots sports which has a welcoming community. Those at the peak of their skating career can find themselves playing the top players in the world at tournaments such as the WFTDA Championships or representing their country at the World Cup. And for those who have just started, its a great way of meeting new people, getting fit, and being part of something quite special. But, don’t just take my word for it, we’ve had a chat with some of the skaters in our league and they would like to share their thoughts with you. Each week throughout January you can hear about different skaters and how roller derby has affected them.

The Notorious B.I.G.G.S (Rookie – Central City Rollergirls/Crash Test Brummies)


Did you know about Roller derby before you joined? What was your first impression of it?

I knew nothing to be honest, an ex-CCR skater Nass used to be my housemate for a while and she…(I dont want to say nagged but I cant think of a better word 🙂 ) for years. First impressions were it was loud, confusing but it looked like a load of fun!

What made you give it a try?

After going to see a few games locally in summer 2014 I was totally intrigued about the whole thing and wanted to not spectate but join in! So I made Nass a promise that in 2015 I’d give it a try.

How was your first session?

My first session was with Crash Test Brummies, I’d emailed them before and on the day Scurry (another friend of a few years funnily enough) met me at their training hall, fitted me up with a pair of delightfully awful (looking back on it) hire skates/kit and gave me a couple of hours of coaching, I had never put on a pair of skates in my life before then…..I kinda liked it.

How have things changed since you joined in terms of your skating?

I can hand on heart say my skating has improved 100% (from 0) I think back to how I could skate after a couple of months vs what I can do now and there’s just no comparison. I come because I enjoy the exercise and I love the people who do Derby, a nicer more dedicated bunch of people to the sport and each other you will be hard pushed to find. I’m currently at level two working to three (CCR break down their post minimum requirements into 3 levels).

How has roller derby changed your life in general?

If anyone ever asks me I always say this, Roller Derby saved my soul. Before it I was rudderless, living weekend to weekend and partying my life away for no good reason and was in a dark place. Derby makes me want to improve myself, it makes me a more confident person, I look forward to each session even if I’m tired, ill or just in a bad mood as I know at the end i’ll feel like a million bucks :). I’m fitter, happier and have gained a circle of quite frankly awesome friends who I’d walk over broken glass to help if they need it.



Riotician (Rookie – Central City Rollergirls)

Did you know about Roller derby before you joined? What was your first impression of it?

Yes and I thought it looked hardcore!

What made you give it a try?

I’d recently moved to Birmingham and wanted to get involved in a team sport here. Also, a friend of mine started a couple of months before me and kept telling me how awesome it was.

How was your first session?

It was scary! I didn’t know anybody and could barely stand up on skates. The other rookies all looked impossibly advanced – I remember watching them transition and thinking it looked like some kind of magic. But everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. I was taken off to one side with one other very new skater and taught how to stop and fall safely. I loved it and even though my feet were cramping and my bum was sore where I’d fallen on it I knew immediately I wanted to continue.

How have things changed since you joined in terms of your skating?

I’ve gone from Bambi-on-ice to a much more confident skater. Things that seemed massively difficult a few months ago (A backwards lap in 20 seconds? You must be joking!) are now a piece of cake. I’m no longer afraid of falling and will cheerfully hit the deck multiple times per session in the pursuit of new skills. I’ve passed my minimum skills, but there is still loads to learn.

How has roller derby changed your life in general?

I’ve met so many amazing people and we have a lot of fun both on and off track. When I first started I was recovering from major surgery and couldn’t do a lot of things I’d previously taken for granted. Roller Derby was a huge motivator to work on rebuilding fitness and improving strength. Finally Roller Derby is a fantastic stress reliever – there’s nothing like getting your skates on and practicing some hits after a stressful day at work!

Gill (Rookie – Central city Rollergirls)12510577_10156383453385371_408718884_o

Did you know about Roller derby before you joined?

Saw the film Whip it’ ages ago, so was aware of Roller Derby and then we saw our first match at the Hotrod Hayride festival. It looked such fun, then back in Brum, we saw our first CCR match at Doug Ellis. It seemed so inclusive, and everyone so friendly; something we could bring our small daughter to and all enjoy.

What made you give it a try?

I was dared into it! My partner just went out and bought me some Antik skates and said “do it, you’ll like it, and you’ll like the people”. It took him a year to pay his credit card off – crazy man!

How was your first session?

I felt a bit nervous turning up on a bleak Saturday morning in late November, it was a session with Twisted: just me (!), but he made me feel really relaxed. Afterwards I was buzzing, oh and aching, and couldn’t wait for the next session.

How have things changed since you joined in terms of your skating? 

I was a complete and utter novice, never on skates in my life, and in one year I’m aiming now to pass my level 3. What makes me continue skating? The challenge, the aches and pains, the complete satisfaction of seeing myself and my co-skaters improve over the weeks and months; all the mad crazy fun we all have at practice. The social side, meeting so many people from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds. I’m also involved in the design team for CCR, it’s’ great to be using my skills for the league.

How has roller derby changed your life in general?

I think about skating…ALL THE TIME! The physical and mental challenge of roller derby is great. It’s therapy – when I’m skating there’s no time to think about my cares and worries, it’s a real “in the moment” activity which is so good for mental health. This year has been really tough emotionally for me and my partner, and skating has been my go-to thing to help me focus and not worry too much. I’m very lucky to have found this crazy bunch of friendly people who make up CCR!


If this peaks your inerest we will be hosting a free event on 16th January at Great Barr School. Hire kit is also free. Come on down, and give it a go. Over 18s only. Alternatively, email us at

CCR B Team head to Hereford to face the Bullies


The New year may have only just started but CCR are well into their 2013/14 bouting season. Currently the Birmingham team are in the middle of playing 4 games in 4 weeks. This weekend, things continue to gather momentum as CCR’s B-Team head into the sprawling fields of Herefordshire to play, you guessed it, Hereford Roller girls.

At the beginning of the season the B-Team were joined by a new coach in the shape of the very talented and enthusiastic Illbilly (Crash Test Brummies, Team England). Working closely with veteran coach Barry Fight, his aim is to make the B-Team into a lean, mean skating machine. He reflects on his time so far

CCR B team the Slay Belles work so hard and are a lovely bunch of people! I’m really proud of how they adapt to new elements of the game play and have really helped create their own game. We have a lot of exciting games planned this season, with more in the pipeline but we always treat every game with the same mindset, focused and determined… and to have a lovely time. ”

CCR’s B Team have played well recently notching up wins against Paris B and Wiltshire Roller Derby. Could Hereford be another win? Illbilly considers the opponents

Hereford are a tough opponent and include some very experienced skaters and we expect them to have been planning to upset our walls. But time will tell…”

Hereford are a strong team and won’t want to make it easy. The team will, no doubt, be wanting to put a win under the belts after narrowly missing out against Nottingham Rollergirls. The Herefordshire team have been pulling out all the stops, working diligently. As Hereford skater R2-Dee2 explains:

We’ve been training hard, not only in preparation for this bout, but for The Heartlands Tournament too, which we begin in February.”

Officially the two teams have never met before, however, there is history between the players with founder of the Hereford team being a very familiar face. R2-Dee2 considers the connection CCR shares with Hereford.1512486_214361245415582_660836881_n

We’re really excited to welcome the Slay Belles to Hereford on Sunday. We played our first ever closed bout against CCR, and our head coach, EveL Hart skated with CCR before leaving to set up HRG.”

Friendships aside, both teams are ready and raring to go, hoping to start 2014 how they mean to carry on. Can the Slay Belles continue their streak or will the Bullies stamp it out?

In the following weeks the B-team play Wiltshire away, and there will be an Intra league game: Bad Apples vs Queens of Steel. Come along!

Photos courtesy of Floyd King Photography

Winter is coming: CCR head north to play Sheffield Steel Rollergirls


This weekend the Central City Roller Girls go head to head with Sheffield Steel Rollergirls in what is set to be an enthralling match up. The teams last met on the track over two years ago, when CCR took the win. But that was then, this is now – line ups have changed, the rules have changed, the game of Roller Derby has changed. Historically, both teams have always been fairly evenly matched with little points differential in the final scores but how will these two teams match up now?

A-Team player Tinchy Slider reflects: “Sheffield have had a fair few games recently with equal losses and wins, so I think it’s going to be an unpredictable one. It’s been a while since we last played Sheffield – at the time I was cheering from the sidelines as I wasn’t yet on the team. Lots has changed since then, in Derby generally and for CCR. We’ve had a busy bouting schedule recently so we’re working together a lot and that’s really starting to show on track. With this being the A team’s last game of 2013, we’re going to be giving it our all and pulling together everything we’ve learnt so far this season.”

This will be CCR’s third game in as many weeks, with a win against Paris Rollergirls, and a loss against the Brighton rockers, they will be seeking to finish 2013 on a win. Sheffield will no doubt also be gunning for the win. Either way, Tincy words echo our own thoughts when she says “I’m most definitively looking forward to it!”

Join us at Ponds Forge, Sheffield for this anticipated match up. Doors open at 2pm, and it costs £5 to get in. If you can’t be there, join us on twitter: @The_CCR.