As you may well be aware, PCRG journeyed across the English Channel this October to take on our city's twin town in our first international bout against Brest Metropole Oceane Derby Girls (BMO).
This was our toughest bout to date and, whilst we maintained a lead throughout the game, we had to fight for every point in the 210-147 victory.
Brest were amazing hosts, welcoming us into their homes, feeding us the tastiest post bout tartlets known to man and showing us a raucous Breton night out on the town. We can't wait to roll out the pasties and Plymouth gin when they come over for the rematch in 2014.
One of PCRG's newest members, L'il Obscure, said this of her experience: "I started derby in January 2013 after a year long wait to get in on the Fresh Meat action. Needless to say I fell in love with the game. A tough six months as an ex-rookie later and I get given the opportunity to play my first international bout. In fact not just a first for me, but PCRG's first international too.
Despite the logistical arrangements it didn't seem real until I boarded the ferry (my little gremlins in tow) - from that moment I would have the most enjoyable, exciting and emotional 38 hours of my life!
The team atmosphere was mixed, and going into the bout against a higher ranking team on foreign ground was, for me, quite nerve wracking. After a couple of jams the team settled and I quickly slotted into place. I was on the edge of the line up bench for the whole bout - even more so in the closing minutes.
Coming out with a win was the most elating experience we had, and to share it with some of the most amazing people we met out there was awesome. Our French hosts did themselves proud and accommodated us in every way possible. I'm grateful to have been able to share such a high with PCR, and having my little boys there cheering me and the team on fills me with such a sense of pride. I've learnt that derby isn't just a sport, it's a family, and it's a way of life."
I was reminded this evening how important it is to stop and stake stock of where you're at and how far you've come. I was nervous returning to practice after a month off and total of 14 sessions missed. And to top it off it was a scrimmage. But then I've always been a fan of the deep end. Our latest fresh meat intake are fully integrated as ex-rookies and progressing fast. How would I compare? Would I show myself up? Talking to one of them reminded me to stop and think about how far I've come since I started 18 months ago, both in skating and tactics, on and off track.
I've always loved how derby translates so well into metaphors for life. My favourite is getting knocked down and having to get up again; both mentally and physically, literally and metaphorically, individually and as a team. This choice to give in or carry on fighting is where I think it's most important to choose a positive perspective. Especially when you're in a phase of learning or trying new things.
The important thing is to not loose track of your achievements. They can be small and they can be masked or even undone in a game situation as play unfolds, but they are still your achievements and it's important not to loose them. For example, as a jammer, when playing against a more experienced team, you might go for a gap and get through, only to find you're recycled around again in an 'eat the baby' fashion. This doesn't mean you've failed; it's a chance to try again. To hone that skill - the awareness and confidence to take opportunities. And of course to work that stamina! Each time you spot and take that opportunity is an achievement. Own it. When you bout against a more evenly matched, less experienced team, you'll take the opportunity... and be through!
So my advice, and I've finally realised I'm in a place to have some worth sharing, is simple. Break daunting tasks down into small goals, then celebrate your efforts. Make it fun! (Isn't that the point?)
Chakra Bleu #Z03
Do you shop online? Did you know that every time you buy something you could be raising money for Plymouth City Roller Girls?
That’s right - over 2400 well known retailers including Amazon, M&S, Boden, Waitrose, House of Fraser, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic and many more, will donate a percentage of what you spend to Plymouth City Roller Girls! when you shop with them, via fundraising website easyfundraising.org.uk
An Easy Way To Raise Funds, it’s like nectar but instead of earning points, each purchase generates a donation. So instead of going directly to a retailer’s website, go to easyfundraising
first and choose the retailer you want to shop with – then everything you spend with that retailer earns a free donation for us - your favourite roller derby team! It’s completely free to use and your shopping won’t cost you a penny more.
On average, each retailer will donate 5% of the cost of your shopping - and those donations soon mount up.
So whatever you need to buy, from your weekly grocery shop or fashion must-have, to your business travel, office supplies or mobile phone, buy it via easyfundraising
and raise money for Plymouth City Roller Girls at no extra cost to you!
We will also be giving a prize to our top fundraiser every quarter - even more reason to support us in this super easy way!
Please register to supporting us when you shop online - http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/pcrg
We are so excited to announce our FIRST EVER international bout in Plymouth's twin town, Brest! The wonderful B.M.O Derby Girls
have invited us to stay in their homes and play them on October 12th 2013.
We could not be any more excited, and we adore the poster!
However, to get the whole team there is going to cost us some serious dosh. We need your help to get us there, the best thing is all we need is your vote, not your money!
We have applied to Mars Milk for one of their weekly grants of £300. If we get the most votes we will get £300! How great is that?! That will definitely help us to pay for the ferry, get us some French phrasebooks (we will try to speak French despite our janner accents) and maybe even allow us to buy a couple of B.M.O Roller Derby Girls T-shirts when we're there!
Click on the Mars Milk image below to enter your vote for Plymouth City Roller Girls
Talking to fellow PCRG Abnorman in between sessions.
Last week-end I, Sophie Ingram got to attend the London Rocking Rollers Bootcamp at Newham Leisure Centre with guest coaches from Rose City in the USA the legendary Scald Eagle, Untamed Shrew and White Flight! If you have never been in close proximity to these people I will try and describe them to you. Scald eagle is tall and direct, she makes things seem easy, when they are actually really hard. Whitey talks a lot, she is a self proclaimed goof-ball and good at explaining things. Shrew is excitable with high energy and enthusiasm.
You may be wondering what exactly a roller derby bootcamp involves- so read on!
This was my first bootcamp- I joined the league as a freshmeat skater earlier this year- I am so new I don't even have a derby name yet! I drove up to London on the Friday night with Norman and Kirsty who are both Plymouth City Roller Girls too.
Arriving at the venue at ten to 9 on the Saturday I started feeling really nervous, as opposed to slightly nervous which I had felt before. We saw Kitty Decapitate and Kamikazee Kitten (who are both famous London Roller Girl Skaters) cycling in, which made me worry I wasn't derby enough to be here. However I was greeted by so many friendly and helpful members of LRR who checked us in, told us which groups we were in, showed us where the toilets and changing rooms were that, by time my first session(which incidentally was off-skates and about footage analysis) started I was feeling better already.
Informal Bench Tactics session with Whitey on the Grass
The bootcamp had a such an impressively well organised timetable. Everyone (there was around 100 of us) was split into 5 groups based on their experiences and ability as Derby skaters. This was great because it meant that even though all the groups did the same sessions – they could be tailored for the abilities of the skaters skating them. There was in total 7 skaters from Plymouth City Roller Girls but as we ranged in terms of derby experience, so I was the only PCRG skater in my group. We had a marshall to show us round and tell us where we needed to be when. There were 3 on skates sessions and 2 off skates, with scrimmages and a lunch break each day, so it was jam-packed.
Here is a copy of the timetable. I was in the group Treachery!
Off skates sessions were varied- from bench coach tactics which was pretty much just conversation with white flight sprawled on the grass outside the leisure centre in the baking sun to full on group work-out sessions with Jack Attack and Jessica Rammitt.
Our own Bella Trips and LRR's Jack Attack in the mixed scrimmages.
Abnorman vs. Scald Eagle
On the Saturday evening the London Rockin Rollers Lost a game to Copenhagen. It was a pretty close game and super exciting to watch but I don't have time to talk about here unfortunately!
The bench session was the only one I felt I would have benefited from more if I had been a well-seasoned skater. I have not bouted yet so I did not really have any specific questions to ask Whitey or General IZD Awesomeness. Whitey did however talk a lot about team dynamics and her experiences in building good relationships between referees, players,bench coach and line ups manager (I can't wait to be on a team!)and how that is necessary to success!
I am on the right in black as part of a defensive wall in a mixed scrimmage.
Photographs courtesy of Kaisa Viljarand
When the first line up comes on, all eyes are on the track, veteran derby viewers asking....which team has the back line? Where are the Jammers positioning themselves? Who is going to get through first? Those with fresh eyes for derby asking....what's going on? Why are skaters wearing things called panties on their heads? The first jam whistle goes and it's on, the audience are captivated. Sure, you are probably aware of those people in your peripheral vision, running back and forth, possibly causing a momentary distraction; or more irritatingly briefly obscuring your view. Until Saturday I didn't really have a grasp of exactly what those people were doing, other than proving a rather annoying distraction (if you have my kind of Magpie "oh look, it's something shiny" attention span) . I now know, those people are working their butts off to make sure the day runs smoothly and to schedule, the value of which should not be underestimated!
Before you enter the hall, with all your excitement, anticipation (we hope), and wishes of yummy treats for sale, so much thought, planning and setting up has already happened. On Saturday, as the hosts of the SW:UK final, it was all hands on deck for PCRG....skaters, Mums, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends...come one, come all, just come and help! So, my job (along with Storm Cooper) was to take all that hard work and make it worthwhile, by: keeping the schedule running on time, telling people where they should be (mostly hurrying people along), signposting and being a point of contact for the many queries that inevitably arise throughout. It was actually a pretty daunting task, but with the support of a load of PCRG peeps and the mentoring of Slams, it was quite fun and gave me a greater appreciation of what's involved in putting a bout together successfully.
So, I've compiled a list of memorable moments from said task:
Most embarrassing moment: being given a radio in case of emergency, having nowhere to put it other than my back pocket and as a result walking round looking like a douche on a power trip.
Scariest, pant wetting moment: trying to get gatecrashers to vacate the hall, who were....let's say reluctant to go, evident by the tirade of verbal abuse. Followed by their friends' reemergence at another door;I think I lose feminist points for seeking out a man to take with me! Luckily they were more friendly than their friends and were encouraged to buy a ticket to our next bout (May 11th, in case you were wondering).
Oh My God, I'm out of my depth moment: approaching a pack of refs to try and tell them what MY schedule was!
And finally, most proud moment: seeing all the hard work at training being put into practice on the track. It was sad not to see PCRG take the win, but pride inducing watching them skating fast, hitting hard and working the PCRG way...as a team!
As I said, the best thing about being a bout coordinator is...you don't have to be impartial.
This is Bella Trips, over and out.
A well looked after crowd cheering on Warhannah as she emerges from the pack with LEAD JAMMER!
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We are always overwhelmed by the support and love that we get from our fans... but this week we reached 1,500 fans on Facebook!
<---- This is how you make us feel
This is an amazing achievement for us and as a thank you we picked one super fan at random to receive PCRG goodies and 2 tickets to our upcoming bout - The SWUK Final!!
Well done Jennifer Pointon
(p.s as much as we love all 1,500 of you... we don't think our venue has that kind of capacity!! So make sure you get your tickets fast!)
Grab your tickets now for the SW:UK Final to see Kernow Rollers battle against Dorset Roller Girls for their place in 3rd and 4th, and then the final battle for 1st between Plymouth City Roller Girls and South West Angels of Terror.
With a regional rivalry these two teams have been training hard since their last match up which was the closest final score in the whole season.
Set to be an absolute nail biter, don't delay in purchasing your tickets for just £7 advance - there will be a limited number of tickets on the door for £9. Children under 10 go free.
Get them HERE
Plymouth City Roller Girls have joined forces with awesome eco-friendly junk band, Weapons of Sound, to put on an half-hour FLASH MOB dance protest to call for an end to violence against women!
Join us outside Drake Circus, at the top of Cornwall Street.
Our ethos is all about empowering women and girls, our referees and volunteers, so they can thrive in roller derby and life. This cause fits exactly with what we stand for. The fact that one in three women in the world will be raped or beaten in her life is shocking. Rape, genital mutilation, domestic violence, none of it should happen and it must be stopped. We believe the only place a women should get hit is on the derby track!
Time: Monday, February 18, 2013 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Host:Plymouth City Roller Girls
Outside Drake Circus at the top of Cornwall Street,
1 Cornwall Street
Plymouth, Devon PL1 1DH
Plymouth City Roller Girls are about to open our doors once more to new skaters! If you think this might be the sport for you, why not come along to MARJON sports centre on Friday 8th February 7pm - 8pm (and every Friday in February) to give skating a go? It costs just £4 and is a great way to begin your Friday night!
Drop us an email at info@plymouthcityrollergirls if you require kit and we will see what we can do!
Address: MARJON Sports Centre, Derriford Rd, Plymouth, PL6 8BH