Category Archives: The league

An Overview of KRG in 2017

An Overview of 2017 from Head Coach Brute 66

We started the year with a trip to Paris to play La Boucherie de Paris Rollergirls. A very early 4am start and a drive through Northern France to Paris did not lead to us playing our best roller derby. We tried to instigate some new tactics, but in the end we were outclassed by a very talented Paris team. This lead to the start of our British Championships T2 season. We were drawn in the Southern division meaning we would be taking on an incredibly strong tier of teams, Windsor Roller Girls. London Rockin’ Rollers, South West Angels of Terror, Swansea City Roller Girls and Big Bucks High Rollers, all in all we were very much underdogs in this tier.

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Pickett, who retired earlier this year, jamming against La Boucherie 

First up was a trip to London to play Windsor. A strong start saw us leading at halftime with the onlooking teams realising we weren’t going to be a pushover this year. Some strong Windsor tactics saw them fight back in the second half and just pip us to the win. Second up was our home b out and a game against S.W.A.T. again we started well, rookie jammer Chip having an amazing game and we held our own all game. Unfortunately, we just let it slip in the final ten minutes and SWAT took the victory. However, yet again we showed that we were a team you were going to have to work hard to beat. Next was the ‘big one’, London Rockin’ Rollers, a mainstay in the British Roller Derby scene, full of hugely talented skaters. We were nervous going into the game, but as a coach, I’ve never been more proud of my team than in this game. The team was outstanding from start to finish and fought for every inch of space on that track, every point. There were stand out performances all over the team, including a 19 point jam from a pivot. The lead constantly changed and though we eventually lost the game, we earned a lot of respect and learned so much about ourselves.

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Tenacious breaking out of the pack against LRR

Our trip to Swansea to play the host team, a team we had lost to in the playoffs the year before, was sadly called off due to a nasty injury to one of our skaters who thankfully has made a full recovery. Thank you to SCRD for hosting the event and their support in the weeks that followed. We rounded off our champs season with a game against BBHR. I won’t dwell too much on this game, but a few injuries to key players and the fallout from the Swansea call off meant we did not play as we had all season and Big Bucks rolled out easy and deserved winners.

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Two transfers to the team, Liannarchy and Finch, playing in Belfast

After a summer to rest and recuperate, including hosting our first ever Rookie Tournament, we attacked the off season with three away games. First, a trip over the Irish Sea to play Belfast Roller Derby. An unknown entity to us, and with two new transfers on our team, we played as a unit and eventually came away with a big victory despite a spirited second half come back from our hosts. The week after saw the very welcome return of the KRG B Team, The Knightmares. A trip to Suffolk to take on the Suffolk Bees saw the Knightmares ride out comfortable winners in their return. The new batch of KRG skaters looking strong and tough. The season was ended with the All Stars traveling to North Wales to play a doubleheader with the newly formed Kent Men’s Roller Derby. Another tough game for us saw and we eventually came away with the victory and then we watched KMRD take their debut victory meaning both Kent teams came away victorious.

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KRG after winning their final game of 2017 in Wales

2018 looks to be just as busy for KRG. We have taken a year out of British Champs in order to focus upon our rankings and hopefully gain our WFTDA apprenticeship. We have our first ever skater to represent their country at the Roller Derby World Cup (go team Romania!) and we will continue to develop and grow our league. We would like to thank all our officials and volunteers, all our skaters past and present for their work in 2017. And a massive thank you to all our opponents, Boucherie De Paris, Royal Windsor Roller Girls, S.W.A.T, London Rockin’ Rollers, Swansea City Roller Derby, Big Bucks High Rollers, Belfast Roller Derby, Suffolk Roller Derby and North Wales Roller Derby.

See you all in 2018, HUC HUC HUC!

If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com

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KRG Does Veganuary – The Beginning

I have always been fascinated by the role of food and nutrition in sport. It’s something I’ve always struggled with in my derby career; eating too much or too soon before a game, not eating enough to keep my energy levels up or replacing healthy food with sugary snacks and energy drinks for a quick burst of energy. So when I saw an advert for Veganuary on Facebook I was interested to find out more and try it for myself.

We have a few vegans in our team and I wanted to find out why they decided to choose this lifestyle. Ted’s decision was for health reasons.

X-Ray Ted:

I was vegetarian from the age of 11 till 17. I always used to joke that it was because of my mother’s terrible cooking, but really I’d made the connection between the meat on my plate and the animals I loved after someone handed me a leaflet on a trip out in London. I stopped eating meat with the promise to my grandmother that if I was craving meat it was because my body was lacking something and that I would listen to my body.

Continue reading KRG Does Veganuary – The Beginning

New Year, New You; Meet our rookies who are glad they tried something different

With our open day coming up on Sunday 21st January, at our home venue in Herne Bay, we asked some of our new recruits why they decided to try derby and how they got involved with KRG…

Melissa S: I watched LRG eight years ago. I thought this would have been the sport for me (recreationally) if I was ten years younger. Since then I’ve had kids and all sorts going on and I’ve lost a lot of confidence in my body and socially. My husband was helping me look for a hobby and we found this. I wasn’t sure I was right for it, but then I showed up at the end of July and I’ve never met such a kind and welcoming group of people in my life! I love learning that my body can do so many things I never would have thought possible and spending time with such lovely people who are all together for the love of the game. I love KRG and hope to be part of it for a long time!

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Katie L: I’ve been watching KRG open days come and go for a couple of years on Facebook. But despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get anyone to come with me to try it. In September, I finally decided to go on my own. I walked in feeling too old, too fat, too unfit and scared. I walked out buzzing and I haven’t missed a session since. The real joy for me at that first session was that no one cared how old I was, how fat I was or how unfit I was; they were truly welcoming and so enthusiastic to pass on their love of this amazing sport. This is a group of seriously beautiful and supportive women (and men).
A couple of months down the line Sundays are my favourite day of the week. I have realised that you’re never too old to do something you love; My ass (which I didn’t particularly like) is an asset of epic proportions playing derby, to both block with and sometimes land on; and I’m and getting so much fitter! If you are sat there wondering if this is for you… come try it. I’m so happy I did!

My New Year’s resolution this year is to pass my min skills, get fitter, learn some new things and laugh a lot more!

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Frankenmeanie: The year I decided to join KRG I’d decided I needed to get fitter but having given up on exercise regimes before I needed something more engaging. I missed an open day in July but was too scared to go on my own after so I waited until the next one in October and I was hooked! Skating is sooo much fun! I love the learning new things each week and that feeling of accomplishment when you nail a skill! Everyone is so friendly and supportive and we definitely laugh & have fun together…I really shouldn’t have been afraid to go along the week after the open day I missed!

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Mica: It started with watching ‘whip it’. I watched it and was like “wow I want to be like them” and remembered how many good memories I got from skating when I was a kid. I started looking around back in October 2010 and when I found KRG I was welcomed with open arms every time I emailed and was asked to come along. However, I suffer from social anxiety and depression and being put in that situation is not something I do. I kept bailing thinking I would be judged and the girls would be mean to me etc. Oh how I was wrong!! I finally got the courage to attend the latest open day and loved every minute, even the muscle ache during and after (it’s worse then squats I promise you) and then I was hooked! I felt like I was a little girl again! And every Sunday is my 2hrs of release from being me, from my anxiety, my depression… from the world. Roller derby is now my life and KRG are my saviours on skates!

My New Year’s Resolution, I would say, is to push myself further with derby; be more fearless and more educated in the sport and also with my equipment. Don’t be scared to ask for help. In everyday life, I’m thinking enjoy it more, that’s it. Not much to go for but I never keep to my resolutions so I’m keeping it simple this year!

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If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com

Open Day Stories #4 – Rebecca’s story

KRG are holding our next open day evening on September 3rd at our home track, the Bay Arena in Herne Bay. To celebrate we’ve asked previous open day attendees to tell us their stories…

What (if any) other sports do you play?: Currently none, I used to play Airsoft regularly with my team but haven’t been able too since moving to Canterbury. I do pole fitness and like going to the gym but never got into any other team sports.

How did you find out about KRG?: I saw an advert on Facebook for a home game in Herne Bay, it was the week before the open day so I figured I would go along and check it out.

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Rebecca at our last open day (she’s wearing the black helmet in the centre of the frame )

How long did it take you to figure out how the game works?: I would like to say I know how it works after watching a few games and practise runs in training, but I am sure I have lots more rules to learn.

Do you want to be a blocker or a jammer?: Being a blocker seems to be more fun, but I can still barely stop myself, let alone anyone else! I do however like skating at speed, or at least the idea of being able to skate at speed! So I feel I may end up aiming for Jammer.

Is there a story behind your derby name/number?: I wanted to be a Palaeontologist since before I can remember, unfortunately life took a different route but my dinosaur obsession remains. I figured the T-Rex would be the most intimidating dinosaur to use and Beckysaurus Rex sprang to mind, to be shortened to B-Rex. Someone at work suggested the Wrex to be more “intimidating!”.

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Learning how to fall

Toughest skill you’ve learned/trying to master?: My original skating experience comes from skateboarding, so to have wheels on separately feet was a new experience as they don’t like to work as a team. More recently I have been trying to get skating backwards but my legs just refuse and I am currently relying on gravity!

Were you nervous coming to the open day?: Yes. My anxiety had me sitting in the car for a good few minutes before excitement took over and I decided to go for it. The second I walked through to the changing room I forgot all about my nervousness, and dove in. Loved it ever since, even on wobbly days!

First impressions of KRG?: I honestly wouldn’t be able to pin it down, other than the fact they are patient and full of encouragement. KRG is made up of so many different people, with different skills, abilities and backgrounds.

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Learning from our A team skaters

What skates/pads do you have/like?: I currently have some second hand Riedells which are great, but I could do with some wider skates so will be looking to upgrade to a wider brand soon.

Any tips for newbies starting their roller derby journey?: Have patience! In yourself, in your kit and in your fellow newbies. You may take to derby straight away, you may not find your inner skater until you have the perfect skates and wheels. Stick with it though, as the simplest changes can make the biggest difference!

 

If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com

Open day stories #3 – Sam’s story

KRG are holding our next open day evening on September 3rd at our home track, the Bay Arena in Herne Bay. To celebrate we’ve asked previous open day attendees to tell us their stories…

Sam’s story:

Hi, I’m Sam and I discovered KRG about a month before I finally plucked up the courage to give it a try myself. I got handed a KRG leaflet during the Fresher’s Fair at the Uni I work for and was instantly intrigued. I googled Roller Derby and ‘bam’ that was it – I knew I wanted to do that too. Trouble was I hadn’t actually skated in years and didn’t know anyone else that wanted to come with me, so, I spent many days and nights hovering over the button on their Facebook event to say I was actually going…

Sunday 23rd October 2016 came around and it was finally the KRG open day – eeekk! My nerves were all over the place and I was so incredibly nervous but filled with so much excitement at the same time. I sat in the car park for a while to pull myself together and then I headed inside. As soon as I walked in I felt the excitement take over and my nerves were pushed to one side. There were skates and cakes everywhere, and lots of chatter among the regular skaters going on, and it was really great to be part of the buzz. I signed in and then sat down with some other newbies waiting for our turn to get ‘kitted up’ and go into the hall.

The other skaters were whizzing around doing lots of cool stuff and I thought to myself – yes! I definitely want to do that, let’s do this!

 

Us newbies were in our own little area of the hall and we started off skates learning how to fall properly – yes, I said falling. This is a really vital basic skill to get right so that’s why it’s the first thing to learn, I fell a lot to start with but that’s the learning process and you have the protective gear on anyway, so I just got back up and tried again. We had a go on the skates too and I didn’t want the session end, it was over way to quickly!

 

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Sam (front, right) taking her place in the wall

I have now been a reccie skater for 9 months (wow time really flies!) and can 100% say that KRG is the most amazing place to be and they are like family. The encouragement, support, laughter, friendships, and team spirit is just wonderful. I come away each Sunday night with a real buzz. I even have my own snazzy skater name and number, yes that’s a thing you get to do and when others skaters use your name you do feel pretty badass. Mine is Glitch #8 (as in Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck it Ralph).

Each week you practice loads of different skills and sometimes you get to play sock derby. That is the coolest game as you get to play out a mock bout off skates and get to try some jamming and blocking skills in a game scenario, it’s awesome. I have a few more skills to nail and then need to get those laps to reach tryouts. Passing your minimum skills – which includes a rules test and laps, means you can graduate from rec league and enter main league and can go compete in rookie bouts – I know how cool right! I really can’t wait!

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A rabble of reccies!

I am also part of Team NSO. These are the people who help officiate the bouts – non skating officials. We do things like penalty box timing, line up tracking, score keeping and jam timing. A scrim can’t happen without NSO’s and Ref’s so learning to be an official is also a really cool skill to do while in rec league. Plus it really helps with rules test stuff and you get front row seats to the action on track!

I have had the most amazing past 9 months with my new teammates. I’ve travelled to Birmingham for a minimum skills bootcamp with them as well as taking part in a charity event called Walking out of Darkness in London.

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“Skating out of Darkness” in London

Seeing where I am now from those first few training sessions is something I am really proud of.

 

Why not come and join us in KRG and start your amazing skate journey too – it’ll be one of the best decisions you ever make trust me!

Glitch out –xx-

 

If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com

Open day stories #2 – Amy’s story

KRG are holding our next open day evening on September 3rd at our home track, the Bay Arena in Herne Bay. To celebrate we’ve asked previous open day attendees to tell us their stories…

Amy’s story:

“After being with Kent Roller Girls Rec League for the best part of 8 months now, I have confidently come to the conclusion that Roller Derby makes EVERYTHING hurt! So “why join?” you ask? Well, for whatever reason I had decided to watch “Whip It!” with my husband one evening and whilst watching it I decided “yeah, I could have a go at that!”. The reasons in my head being: I can hit hard I reckon. I’d ridiculously forgotten about strapping 8 wheels to my feet and trying to maintain some centre of gravity!
So with that, I then searched Google (other search engines are available) to see if there was a roller derby league near me. There was! KRG. I was really bloody nervous about the open day. I even put off asking about it for maybe two weeks. I’m not fit, I’m a rather large human, a bit rotund I suppose, I get nervous around new people and do an internal fear vomit. But I needed this. I needed something for me. I messaged and do you know what, I’ve never had someone put my fears to bed so quickly. I felt wanted, I felt needed and I didn’t feel ashamed.

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Amy at the open day

Leading up to the open day I was so nervous. I bought myself a cheap mouth guard and was ready to go. It was here, 23rd October 2016. I picked up my buddy and off we went, we both got there, crapping our pants in all honesty. I looked at the windows by the reception for The Bay and there were 3 faces looking out, smiling and genuinely pleased to see us. They came and met us at the door, introduced themselves, said hello and guided us to the sort of “check in” point to sign waivers and kit up.

Kitting up, well…. not being small, I already began to get nervous, count myself out. I remember saying that I could just watch but inside I was dying. But they didn’t give up. They didn’t let me sit out. They told me they needed me. This meant the entire world and after searching and trying on several pads and being disheartened, they found me some that fitted. I didn’t have to sit out, I wasn’t counted out. They’d already won me over.
We went into the hall, there were probably about 15 of us for the open day I attended. We did some warm up stuff, jogging on the spot, stretches, you get the idea. Then we did some off skates skills like how to fall safely with one knee, two knees, falling small. (things like that will make more sense when you come along.) Truth be told, I was already knackered. Things (I cant call them muscles at this point) were burning, I was sweating out. Then came the skates. Everyone else put them on fine, stood up, sure a few people fell or wobbled….ME? I couldn’t even get off the floor. I simply wasn’t fit or strong enough. I was crawling around the floor like an adult baby in all honesty. I could not get up. I was struggling. I was doubting. I was beginning to quit. “I cant do this, maybe I shouldn’t try, why did I come here?” All those feelings of being the fat kid at school who was picked last for P.E were coming back.

Then came Helen. She gave me a pep talk, looked after me, held my hand, literally. She was as determined to get me off the floor as I was.

After many “I can’t do this”-es I was up. I was standing!! (note: don’t get over excited as you will fall on your bloody bum!) I was back on the floor. I was flipping tired. I’d used muscles i didn’t even know I had and they were burning. I got up maybe a couple of more times but I had to admit defeat. However, I felt like I’d had a small victory. Getting up was a massive deal for me.

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Getting ready for a hit

It was time for cake, you will learn, derby = cake. There was all sorts, vegan, non vegan, gluten free, sprinkles! All were made but the existing league members for all us coming along to the open day. There was black and gold bunting, some merch.. I was completely overwhelmed but in the best way. Then us newbies all sat down and they went round and we all introduced ourselves to each other. I felt accepted as I was and completely welcomed.
Scrim time!! WE GOT TO WATCH A SCRIM! This was all very exciting, we got a brief introduction to the rules and who’s who etc. It was great to watch. The gang at KRG are so fierce. So hard working and completely determined. It was inspiring to watch.
I went home, sunk into my sofa already wishing it was next sunday…30 minutes later I went to get up… EVERYTHING HURT! I had butt ache?!! I didn’t even know that was a thing, I had aches on aches on aches. I made weird noises when I sat down, i couldn’t get up… This went on for 3 days so take this as a warning! However when Sunday came around, I wasn’t nervous anymore, I was so excited. We got there, we were remembered, kitted up and put into groups depending on level so no-one is asked to do anything out of their level…
Now remember I said I couldn’t get off the floor? Well, inevitably I fell, managing to stay upright for 30 seconds was brilliant but now I was down, I needed to get back up! You know what!? I only went and did it! I got off the bloody floor!!

 

With the support and guidance of all the coaches, main leaguers, other reccies and my new little family, I am actually half way through my level 2 minimum skills.

 

There are 3 tiers of skill levels you need to pass before you can try out for the team. I never even thought I’d make it through level 1!

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A well deserved award for Amy

If you’re looking for something that will test you, emotionally and physically, because doing things out of your comfort level is hard. If you’re looking to make new friends who will have your back, push you, look after you when you’re having a bad day. If you’re looking for something to do whenever you can fit it in or want something to completely commit to. Roller Derby is definitely for you. It is one of the best things I have ever, ever done and it’s changed so much about me for the positive. Not just my mind or my attitude, but most brilliantly of all: It gives you a cracking bum! Come along and try it out!”

 

If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com

Open day stories #1 – Rachel’s story

KRG are holding our next open day evening on September 3rd at our home track, the Bay Arena in Herne Bay. To celebrate we’ve asked previous open day attendees to tell us their stories…

Rachel’s story:

“I’d been aware of roller derby as a concept for a while, but had assumed it was largely an American sport and dismissed it as a possibility. After seeing an advert for another UK team in the programme at an NFL game in London, my interest was piqued, and following a bit of internet searching, I came across Kent Roller Girls. They had an open day coming up, so I decided I’d go along. I’d done a lot of sport growing up, and did fencing whilst at University, but since moving down to Kent for work five years ago I had become quite sedentary.

I went to the open day alone, and was quite nervous. I’m not the fittest, or most athletically built, and was worried that I wouldn’t fit in, or would be judged for my appearance and ability. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Rachel (in the green helmet) at the open day

From the moment I stepped into the gym, I was greeted by friendly faces, everyone seemed welcoming and genuinely wanted to help and share their sport with all the newbies. After getting kitted up, we started off by learning how to fall safely, then progressed to basic skating skills. It struck me how varied all the other skaters were, and also how they all seemed to be smiling and encouraging one another. No one was left behind, and everyone was encouraged to participate as fully as they felt they could. After skating, we had a discussion about roller derby, and everyone introduced themselves.

There was then a chance to watch the main league skaters scrimmage, which gave us our first taste of Roller Derby action. I was hooked.

 

Fast forward four months, and I can’t believe how much skating has changed my life. I’m still not the most athletic, but I have a stronger core, better muscles, and I feel much more confident about my appearance than I have done in years. I’m signing off skills regularly, am half a lap short of my ‘27 in 5’, and am looking forward to working more on hits and blocking skills.

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Lacing up the skates for the first time

I’m improving my stamina by skating as much as I can in my spare time, which is improving my fitness in other areas too. I’d like to progress to main league, and get involved in the B team as soon as possible.

I’d like to become a bit of a double threat, as both a blocker and a jammer.

 

I’ve met so many like-minded people since joining KRG, and made many lifelong friends. I’m getting involved in the social aspects too, attending events, promoting the league, and supporting our team at games whenever I can.

I’m also learning to NSO, which is helping me learn the rules of derby. I’ve also picked my derby name. I’m Grazed Anatomy #133, after the TV show, but apt because in ‘real life’ I’m a veterinary surgeon (I also fall over a lot, so the ‘grazed’ applies more than it should!). My number is a tribute to my Mum, who was always my biggest supporter.

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Loving a bit of sock derby during a Recreational League training session

The thing I think has struck me most about KRG though, is the sense of camaraderie between the members. Everyone supports one another, and we all celebrate each other’s successes. After every training session, people thank the coaches, and congratulate other skaters on their achievements. No one is too busy to offer pointers, or lend a hand if needed. The league motto ‘Hustle, Unite, Commit’ definitely applies.”

If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com