2016 has been a whirlwind of a year for Helgin Roller Derby, taking us from a bunch of skaters looking for a home, to over halfway towards a bouting team, ever closer to being self-sustaining.
Much of our growth this year has been thanks to the generous funding we received from Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All. This arrived in time for our second Fresh Meat of the year in May and means we no longer have to rely on Granite City’s kind donation of spare kit every time we want to hold an intake.
As well as buying kit to help us attract more members and to help us train, this generous funding allowed two of our coaching team (Mane-iac and Melicious Intent) to attend Rule 56’s Coaching Summit in Leeds at the end of November, where they attended sessions by the likes of Smarty Pants (Texas Rollergirls), Ballistic Whistle (London Rollergirls) and Kristen Lee (Fitness Gone Rogue), which will revolutionise the team’s training in 2017.
On skates, 2016 has seen 7 members pass their minimum skills, with another 5 not trailing too far behind (only the dreaded 27/5 holding them back), and some promising talent in the most recent batch of Fresh Meat.
Our first 3 through their mins (Melicious Intent, Booti-vicious and High Skatenance) also played their first Cherry Popper in Granite City’s Double-Header in May. Booti-vicious has since gone on to attend many open scrims, more recently, alongside Maple Grief. And those two ladies now have glittering trophy cases, with all the awards that they’ve picked up along the way!
2016 has definitely been a year of learning, with 4 members heading down to Glasgow to learn some skills from Stef Mainey (London Rollergirls) in May and 3 members attending School of ARRG Knocks 5 in July. But it wasn’t just us travelling to bootcamps; we were very lucky to have visits from guest coaches, Rosie Peacock (ARRG & Team Scotland) in June, and Nuke (Power of Scotland) in September.
We also continued our close links with our neighbours – enjoying monthly training sessions with Inverness City Roller Derby, and attending two fantastic scrimming bonanzas with both Inverness and Granite City Roller Derby in July and October.
The icing on the cake of 2016 was finally gaining a second two-hour session in a full sized hall (almost big enough to fit the track) at the start of November, giving us more opportunity to practice our endurance and scrimming. Now spending 6 hours a week in the same hall, the council also allowed us to move in some cabinets, saving our coaching team lugging three large bags of kit up and down stairs every week.
2017 is looking fantastic for Helgin Roller Derby, with a revolutionised training programme, the promise of at least 12 members mins passed, and a number of exciting dates in the diary, including a bootcamp with Granite City’s Team Scotland members (Udder Mayhem, Rock N Riot and Jo Mamma), and a visit from none other than Optimus Grime (Power of Scotland)…
And just the little matter of our first EVER bout OFFICIALLY in the diary – we play Fair City Rollers on Sunday 16th April and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Watch this space for more details… but you’re all invited 😀