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 pads!!!!!!

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.


Image is of the lovely SWAT girls – Thanks Ladies for letting me use your image!

About The Author

DOB: 7/2/1973
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An awesome boot camp. By far the best one I've been to


It sure was, hopefully another next year!!!!