London Rollergirls Brawling All-Stars vs Rose City Wheels of Justice, Swindon Futsal Arena, August 8th 2015. Photograph courtesy of Graeme Willets

A new year means different things to different people. For some it’s the clean slate they’ve been waiting for, while for others it’s a time to look back and reflect on the year gone by. For me it’s the time I put away the Quality Streets (damn you strawberry creams!) and get back to real life. One of the best parts of that is roller derby. I play for London Rollergirls’ Brawl Saints and Batter C Power.

This year I’ve set myself some personal goals, and my roller derby goal is to really enjoy playing. It seems obvious to enjoy the sport I love (which I truly do) but sometimes when competition for roster spots is on, or that last training session of the week is looming (and it’s still bloody raining!) I can lose sight of that for a moment. So as I prepare for a season of working my arse off I’m going to remember to make sure I maximise the fun amongst all the hard work.

I’m so excited about the year ahead for London Rollergirls, and to share some of the awesome stuff we’ve got going on, but before I get to that let’s have a little reminisce.

Looking back

Anarchy in the UK in April saw London Brawling start the year off on a high, with a big win against Euro All Stars 318-102. It was also the first time I donned my LRG jersey for Brawl Saints. It was an intense day and we took the win against Birmingham Blitz Dames 174-96. Even though we won, it was a tough lesson for me about mental strength, and had me warming the bench for most of it. I felt I had lost that day, but actually it was the start of the journey toward one of my biggest achievements of 2015, learning how- for the most part- to control my bout day nerves.

In August (better known as Brawlgust) the awesome Rose City Rollers, Wheels of Justice paid us a visit. It was an epic game of world class derby for a packed audience. Building on a great start to the year London Brawling was triumphant against the future Hydra winners 193-129.

Moving a few months on, it would be impossible to reflect on 2015 without thinking about the WFTDA Playoffs and Championships. Our all stars London Brawling finished 4th at Champs after an edge of your seat game against Victorian Roller Derby League (122-99 final score). Watching Brawling was so amazing and humbling, never have I felt so proud to be a member of LRG. I even wrote a super cheesy blog about it!

Last, but by no means least was a Brawl Saints/Batter C Power combo in November. A road trip to the North with 2 wins against the challenging Newcastle Roller Girls was a great way to end our away season.

On top of the games we’ve played in 2015 the league also had an awesome mentor scheme, seminars on leadership and captaincy not to mention a kick ass Buffy quiz night, hosted by our Rec league! It’s been a hell of a year.

Onwards and upwards!

What does 2016 hold for London Rollergirls, I wonder? Sadly, without a crystal ball, I must do with consulting the trusty LRG calendar…

Fresh meat tryouts took place on 9th January! I am a Rec league alumni and so know how much can be gained from being part of the league. For any new Fresh Meteors reading this, a huge welcome and you’ll never regret this!

On 27th February we have LRG main league tryouts! This is pretty damn exciting, so get involved and become part of the LRG family! Check out our facebook page for more details.

In March London Brawling are starting their season with a trip to Malmo for European Smackdown hosted by Crime City Rollers. Joining Brawling will be Detroit Derby Girls All stars, Helsinki Roller Derby All stars, Stockholm Roller Derby All stars, Glasgow Roller Derby A and of course CCR. It’s gonna be an epic weekend for European derby!

Brawl Saints will be starting their British Champs journey this year. We will be hitting the ground running with our first game in February and I’m ridiculously excited to be playing. This will be a real yearlong challenge for us and I know we’re all looking forward to playing some incredible teams.  Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up it’s Brawl Saints time! Oush! (everyone loves a good pre game chant!)

Well here I’ll bring my new year musings to an end, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year already and holds so much more in the next 365 days for London Rollergirls and me. Thank you for sticking with me and however you feel about this new year, I hope it’s a good one and brings you many wonderful things!

 

Cherry Whips No.82

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London Rollergirls ‘The Battle for London: North vs South Bout’, November 21st 2015, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, London.

Photo ©David Tett