first time I ever saw a scrimmage of men’s derby was 2 years ago.
Men’s derby had just come up and we were all very curious about what was
going to happen. Most men on the track were, or still are, pretty good
refs, so for some reason I expected a lot. I still have no clue why I
had that expectation. First whistle was blown….aaaand the mayhem started.
Literally. You could smell the testosterone in the air so to speak.
Where is this going to start? Are they really serious about playing?
Will this end well? Where are the medics?! Some random questions
going through my mind. But finally, way after this, my mindset took a
the last few years, men’s leagues were formed slowly here in the
Netherlands. The first one started in Groningen and the second in
Eindhoven. There were more games to watch, and I
participated as an NSO or as a ref in a couple of them. Good to mention is that the teams
needed practice, they took it, and the results were visible within a
very short time.
NL was also formed and played at the World Championships this year and
finished 11th! A fine showing with still only 2 leagues to draw from. Long before the
Championships I became convinced that men’s derby is just way
awesome, I really love it and it made me sort of sad that there are just 2
leagues as opposed 20 women's leagues. Regardless, the fact that there
was, and is a growing interest in men’s derby, made me think to simply
sometimes ask me why. I’m a woman so why start a men’s league, or
helping to get one started. Well, why not? Derby isn’t only for women in my opinion. We all know well enough there are other
opinions around like it actually should be women only. This is not
just from inside the community but from the outside as well. And I
believe this isn’t right. Sports, no matter which one, should be open
for attendance by every gender, race or sexuality (and by that I mean
gay, transgender etc.). Within derby, we luckily already share that
mindset, but it remains mostly women, (at least here in the Netherlands) and I
would love to make a difference in that.
can see this enthusiasm to start a men’s league as my support for men’s derby and I'm making it happen. There is a difference in style and substance when you watch the gameplay of women and men. Even better is the co-ed: a mix of men and women, therefore, there is also a difference in training,
but the benefit is that we can learn so much from eachother! Embrace that opportunity to learn and become a faster and stronger
team (for example). Yes it’s a lot of work starting a league, and yes
you have to be creative and such, but that’s the whole challenge of
starting a league in general!
All off this finally made me decide to form a men’s league in Arnhem: Airbomb Rollers. Me and my 2 partners in crime made this happen in January this year
and in March we were alive and kicking for real. On the 28th of April
our first Fresh Meat day will be a fact!