My league buddy (Brains) and myself travelled up from Sunny North Devon
in the South West of the UK this weekend to Birmingham to join the Brawlgust Boot Camp
run by the awe inspiring and pure awesome London Roller Girls.
I don’t know why, but for the whole week prior to the event, the
nerves had set in and by the time I picked up Brains on Friday afternoon
the nerves were in full force for the both of us. Why, we ask ourselves? The unexpected, and the fact that we are going to be skating under the eyes of
some of the world’s finest derby girls is something you feel very privileged to
do and we didn't want to feel like a complete idiots!
After the slow crawl on the motorway, we finally arrived in Birmingham and I seriously thought: Why am I doing this to myself at 41? I know the reason is
because I love this sport, but at this point I wasn't thinking rationally!!!! Sleep was limited and I was wondering
what to expect. Before I knew it, it was Saturday morning. We arrived at Futsal Arena along with
the array of skaters from all over Europe and the UK and met up
with some other local teams, which did help comfort the nerves a little, along
with the atmosphere, which was already starting to buzz with excitement.
After registration, we kitted up in the massive indoor arena, which had
3 tracks set up: Party Leggings, Brawlicorn and Popcorn. There were 3 levels: Intermediate
Women's, Intermediate Co-ed and Advanced.
I was part of the Intermediate Women's and started on the Party Leggings
Track where our warm up was taken by none other than Stefanie Mainey along with
Raw Heidi, Jen Sykes and then followed by our first of four sessions
that day. Saturday’s sessions for the
Intermediate Women concentrated on Blocking, Jamming, Agility and Speed control
and throughout the day we were coached by the above, together with Kami, Fenix,
Juke Boxx, Kristen Lee, Black and Deckher, Die Die and Ballistic Whistle. Each and every session was relaxed and well run. The instructors made you feel at ease enabling us combat our fears and have a go at absolutely everything, even things we thought we would never be able to do. If you were unsure on anything, you just had to ask one of
the team and they would assist if you were struggling. They were able to help in such a nice way, you felt at ease and things would just slot into
place. After 4 sessions and being
on skates for the whole day my feet did feel a bit tired and sore, and I was ready to go home. I did ask myself, really? Another day? Would I make
it? On the Saturday alone, there was so much content to bring back to my
league, I didn’t think my brain or my feet could take any more.
Saturday night, I turned in my sleep and groaned oooohhhh, aaaah, that
hurts a bit, but all good hurt, after all, no pain, no gain!!!!
Sunday came, and to be honest I wasn’t wholly looking forward to putting
my feet back into my skates!!! I
was just thankful for the heated towel rail in our hotel room to dry out the
Skates back on, we rushed to the track. Our first session of the day was
with Rogue Runner and GoGo which involved a lot of energy and toe stop work –
after which, I was more than awake; my toes were not my friend and I had sweated
enough for at least 3 people!!!!
The next 3 sessions in the Intermediate Women's were taken by Shaolynn Scarlett, Olivia Coupe, Raw Heidi, Black and Deckher, Sykes, Ballistic Whistle,
Ylva, Kristen Lee, HellV and Lexi Lightspeed. I have so many new things to
take back, learned so much, understand so much more about the game and have so
many new goals. I can’t wait for my next training session!
To finish off the weekend, there were 2 mixed scrims, one for advanced
and one for intermediate. My feet
were shouting at me to stop and tried to say, 'come on you have a long drive
home', however I had to join in!!!
It was a perfect way to finish an awesome weekend. In each jam, one of the girls from LRG
joined each team and they also took turns refffing to enable the
scrim to take place. This showed how committed they are, and how they love to
share their love of the game with the rest of the derby world!
The morning after, my body was aching but every ache was worth it for my
best derby weekend yet!
The whole weekend was so well run and organised, and I cannot thank the
London Roller Girls and Co enough for their relaxed and straightforward
examples and explanations and for sharing so many skills and drills with us.
BRAWLGUST you ROCKED!
Image is of the lovely SWAT girls – Thanks Ladies for letting me use your image!