Derby Revolution 2012, Europe’s 1st ever 4-day Roller Derby Convention [04.07.2012, by C.C. Titmouse & Saxia*F]

© Derby Revolution

Where to start? It’s almost impossible to express in words the awesomeness of the past 4 days at Derby Revolution. But you know what? We’re going to try anyway.

From June 28th, until July 1st, 2012, our favorite European roller derby shop, Sckrpnch hosted the very 1st (4-day) European Roller Derby convention, right here, in Ghent, Belgium!

Skaters from all over Europe (& beyond!) were invited to join the revolution, to be submerged in a whole of trainings, seminars, workshops, scrimmages and everything a derby girl, -fan, -ref, -official, -vendor, -coach, etc. could possibly think of.

4 Days are impossible to synthesize in one, silly blogpost, so let’s try and break down what made  Derby Revolution so incredibly awesome.

★ The Classes:

In these 4 days we’ve learned so much about gameplay, strategy, skills, drills, form and more, it sometimes felt as if we were completely new to the sport. But as every new thing was explained so well, and the coaches were so patient with our questions, we are sure to be able to take a lot back to our league.

★ The Coaches:

Sckrpnch was able to attract some hi-class coaches, like Joy Collision (Arizona Roller Derby, Arizona – USA) Kamikaze Kitten (London Rollergirls All-Star Team), Teflon Donna (Philly Roller Girls, Philadelphia – USA), QuadzillaLuludemon (Terminal City All-Stars, Vancouver – Canada), Hidden Ajennda (Burning River Roller Girls All-Stars, Cleveland – USA), Roxy Rockett (Carolina Rollergirls All-Stars, Carolina – USA), Ballistic Whistle (coach of the London Rollergirls & skater for Southern Discomfort, mens Roller Derby league), 8Mean Wheeler (Terminal City All-Stars, Vancouver – Canada) and many more!

Getting coached by the world’s best skaters is such an honor and so very valuable. Every coach has their own training style, which really works for them. For instance, 8-Mean Wheeler uses a lot of metaphors which helps to remember how to build up a drill. Teflon Donna likes to resume what we’ve learned after each session, so we have it memorized well when we leave class and Kamikaze Kitten has some cool and nifty tricks up her sleeve which help jammers to go through the pack quickly or otherwise stop them when you’re a blocker, approaching the problem and the skill very holistically.

On top of all this, there were several big names in the officiating-section present to share their knowledge to our refs & NSO’s. El Toupée, Europe’s most experienced non-skating official, with more than 80 bouts and 180 scrimmages under his belt! Riff Reff, introduced the very 1st ranking system for Europe and is one of the more renowned refs on the continent & co-founder of Trippn Dale, a Level 5 WFTDA Certified Referee & Head Coach Carolina Rollergirls!

© Ian Roofthooft

★ The Scrimmages:

Beforehand, all participants had the opportunity to team up and sign up for a scrimmage. Derby Revolution provided the platform/tracks for several (mixed) scrimmages. People were able to play with & against each other and apply the new skills they learned in the courses they took on earlier during the Revolution.

We decided to challenge other attendees with a delegation of Belgium’s finest derby players and this unofficial ‘Team Belgium” got to scrimmage against a French/English mix of All-Star players (SEX’AND’CHEESE-team). A couple of the coaches decided to reinforce both teams & that’s how we got to play with/learn from Kamikaze Kitten and ‘SEX’AND’CHEESE kicked ass with Joy Collision Shortbus!

©Derby Revolution

★ The People:

In Europe, you’re often the odd one out when you’re telling a crowd you play roller derby. You’ll have to explain the game and often also why you’re so passionate about it. It’s amazing to be around hundreds of people who share this same passion. Who are just plain fabulous, fun and supportive to practice and play with. Of course it’s also nice to see familiar faces from other events, but we sure made a lot of new friends too.

We are extremely grateful for being able to be part of this event and we’ve enjoyed it intensely.

Therefore we take off our helmets in deep respect for Sckrpnch  and their very successful effort to bring a worthy equivalent of RollerCon to our continent (and country even). THANK YOU Miss Miyagi and all the volunteers, helpers for pulling this off. Thank you Glitter Maffia for the amazing afterparties and THANK YOU to every participant, coach, vendor, sponsor, etc. who traveled to Ghent to make this weekend as awesome as it was. We’re extremely proud to have been a part of this!

Viva La Revolución!

© Colin Smith

C.C. Titmouse & Saxia*F




LET’S HIT IT OFF! GGGRG’s Rookie Bootcamp [28.12.2011, by Sin Alley]


Saturday, the 17th of December 2011, MoriarTea & I woke up early for our first Rookie Bootcamp with the GGGRG on the site of Tour &Taxi’s in Brussels. In the beginning there was a little problem with some men who were laying carpet on our skating floor (aaarggh), but the girls from GGGRG came up with a quick and good solutions and made two tracks. We put on our gear and started with 50 rookies from 17 different leagues to do what we came to do: skate!

©Jeroen Van der Meeren

We started in one big group and warmed up avoiding some cracks in the floor. The warm-up was intense, for example 1min sprinting and 1min skills as step turns, cuttings, falls, backwards, stops, squaaaat, … the GGGRG girls named this exercise “the black widow” because it is deadly tiring. Nina & I tried our best cause our coach Sir SkateAlot was watching. 😉

©Jeroen Van der Meeren

After the warm-up we split up in two groups A & B and started some exercises on positional or booty blocking, giving and receiving hits and we also learned “the hammer & nail”, goal? One positional blocker slows the jammer down and try to keep her on the inside line, the second blocker (hammer) hits out the jammer (nail). Mission accomplished!

©Jeroen Van der Meeren

After the blocking exercises we practiced on jamming, speed, skating in a pack. We all had the chance to try different positions: leading the pack as a natural born pivot and screaming directives to your pack or skate through it as a agile galloping jammer.

©Jeroen Van der Meeren

At 12h30 it was lunchtime. The GGGRG girls made us some really delicious and healthy power food. Spaghetti, broccoli, meatloaf, tofu and lots of vegetables. During lunch we could listen to MissMiyagi from Sckrpnch (our favourite, european derbyshop!) who informed us about gear, plates and wheels! After lunch we spend half an hour on rules (with Referee Dire Wolff) or on strategies such as defense and offense (with Veronica Fever). Then back on track for some more skating. We trained on making walls with two or three girls as strong as the Berlin wall and learned “the waterfall”, when coming out of the corner blocker one jumps to the outside line and takes position of blocker three. We also practiced a lot on communication, which I learned is very important when playing roller derby.

©Jeroen Van der Meeren

After a 15min break we did a scrimmage with the entire group. We made a white and a black team, wrote some number on the back of our shirts and were ready to show what we had learned today. There were some very fast jammers and some knock-you-out blockers but most of all we tried to work as a team, communicate with each other and help one another, cause when playing roller derby, it is all about teamwork!

©Jeroen Van der Meeren

Thanks to GGGRG girls for the training, thanks to all girls for a fun day, I can’t wait for the next Rookie Bootcamp!

Sin Alley


Bootcamp with Georgia W. Tush & Beater Pan-Tease, by C.C. Titmouse [25.10.2011]

What a busy –derby-week! We just came back from Rotterdam last week and were heading back on Monday to Amsterdam for an awesome bootcamp with Georgia W. Tush, Beater Pan-Tease & Marc the Shark from Montreal Roller derby, hosted by the Amsterdam Derby Dames!

Pic by Limpin' Lilly (ADD)

Time-management-wise, this was a good one for C.C. “never on time” Titmouse. Since it was a weekday and most of us have to work during the day, it was a rush-rush kind of evening with a lot of traffic (2,5h drive from Antwerp to Amsterdam). But finally arrived ‘only’ 1 hour late (SCORE)!

Last weekend, my carkeys got stolen (companycar, who the f*ck cares, right), except the fact that both mine as Wham! Bam! Wonterjam!’s derby gear is still in the trunk of this very car. Unfortunately, we can’t hover above the car to make sure no thief can steal our (new) skates. If we could, WE WOULD #VultureStyle!  We’ve been living in constant fear ever since and it seems that I won’t be receiving a spare until Friday. As you all know, we have our FIRST Official Bout on Sunday, so I’m ready to go Colombine on the company’s Ass if I do not have a key on Friday!!! ><

The first time I ever heard about Montreal was at the “Anarchy in the UK” tournament in London. Those New Skids On The Block came out, wearing their signature Neon-coloured Spandex Outfits, straight out of the ‘80s. With the coolest skate-out ever, all this ‘show’ should be a reference to their game too. Oh, but did they deliver #InstantFan! It’s always fun to see Montreal play, therefore we watched the East Regional Play Offs very closely. And to have 2 Skids over in Amsterdam and being able to learn a thing or two from them, was something we couldn’t miss.

So eventhough nor Whammie, nor myself had any gear, our fellow Roller Dolls made sure we were able to borrow gear (which wasn’t easy, since I have a massive sized head!) and we got out our old(er) skates so we could benefit from a little Canadian lesson!

Both Georgia as Tease bring a lot of humour to the rink, but in the end we all take it very seriously, we all want to ‘get there’, whatever it takes. I personally loved their “breaking-it-up” method, since it’s easier to learn difficult movements if you break it up in little pieces. I’m having troubles with the hockeystop & the powerslide for example and their little session made me successfully do the hockeystop! (Or at least, it didn’t look like the ‘Fantasia’ballerina at the verge of doing a very painful split, not stopping. at. all.) So *yay*! 🙂

Overall, it was great seeing our friends from The Netherlands again. If it was up to me, the bootcamp could’ve lasted all night, but seeing my zombie-face in the mirror right now, this was a nice first encounter.  Evil plans to lure them into Belgium have been set into motion (“Come to the dark side, we have beer and chocolate!”) ;-).

11 Dolls & Refs gathered and drove 2,5 hours for an awesome bootcamp. Lovely to see that kind of teamspirit & dedication on the eve of our first official bout. One Love!

C.C. Titmouse


Start to Scrimmage-bootcamp, by Electric Alice [13/03/2011]

Pic by Steve Cooremans

Ook op kleine schaal schrijft roller derby geschiedenis: nooit eerder kreeg iemand mij op een zondag voor de middag uit mijn warme nest, laat staan om te sporten. Vorige week zondag waren we te gast in Nederland voor een skaters/ref-bootcamp!

Ik zal niet zeggen dat het op dolenthousiaste wijze was, maar afgelopen zondag stond ik dan toch zonder al te veel mokken om 7u00 op om mij nog maar ‘ns in een stel fluopanty’s en fishnets te hijsen. Vergezeld van een fijn stel refs Huge Refner en Rol‘ and Rock en onze trouwste fan & NSO Emo Joe trokken we richting Eindhoven. De Rockcity Rollers stelden hun openluchtbaan (vergelijkbaar met de Klopstokiabaan in Deurne) ter beschikking voor een bootcamp ‘start to scrimmage’ georganiseerd door de Eastside RocknRollers (Enschede) en bijgestaan door twee fantastische coachen van de Essen Devil Dolls: chefXecutioner en ref Major Madness.

‘Start to scrimmage’ zeg je? Dat klinkt behoorlijk intimiderend en ik betwijfel zeer of ik daar al wel klaar voor ben. Maar goed, ik pas de tactiek toe die me al van bij de eerste derbyinitiatie verrassend veel heeft opgeleverd: zonder zwembandjes het water in en maar zien dat je niet zinkt. De One Love Roller Dolls waren goed vertegenwoordigd met 5 skaters, 3 refs, de superNSO en onze coach Dirk die de training gretig gadesloeg.

Pic by Maartje C-Nah Cooijman

Nog twee koffie’s achterover en dan meteen die skates aan en de baan op, samen met nog zo’n 40-tal andere nieuwe derby addicts uit de lage landen. Het programma: een hele voormiddag werken op skills die van pas komen bij het scrimmagen, start to block en tactieken voor blockers, een kort vraag- en antwoord uurtje om op adem te komen, nog meer oefeningen over blocken en teamwork, systematisch opgebouwd tot een volwaardige packconfiguratie en vervolgens een scrimmage. En tegen die tijd zagen de armen en heupen al behoorlijk bont en blauw (wees gewaarschuwd voor de dames met de stalen schouders). Voor de meesten onder ons was het de éérste keer dat we een echte scrimmage speelden. Uiteraard hebben we een boel fouten gemaakt die we nu waarschijnlijk nooit meer zullen doen. Maar het mag toch gezegd worden dat er al een aardig spelletje derby gespeeld werd en de intensieve bootcamp wierp duidelijk zijn vruchten af.

Ontzettend leerrijk allemaal, maar het deed me toch ook inzien dat ik zelf nog een hele weg heb af te leggen. Stikkapot, met ‘tjoekelende’ armen en benen en de moed onderaan m’n skates besloot ik onder een lange hete douche nog is goed na te denken of die derbycarrière wel voor mij is weggelegd. De conclusie was sneller gemaakt dan dat de spierpijn weggetrokken was: al doe je overal 2 keer langer over dan die natuurtalenten; trainen trainen trainen en je komt er wel.

You go dolls,

Electric Alice


Pic by Maartje C-Nah Cooijman

Clinic Duty @Gent GO-GO Rollergirls [C.C. Titmouse]

Afgelopen zondag werden we uitgenodigd bij de Gent GO-GO Roller Girls voor een heus roller derby bootcamp in sporthal De Hoge Wal te Ertvelde.

De GO-GO’s zijn al iets langer bezig met roller derby en van die extra ervaring, konden wij als 2e Belgisch team zondag een beetje proeven. Het smaakte vooral zout, warm en wat waterig, als in zweten en afzien!

De 15 minutes of hell-opwarming, zoals ze het zelf noemen, waren dan ook echt hell. Nu spreek ik wel als roller derby n00b, die nog maar sinds augustus actief meetraint. M.a.w: conditie nul! 🙂 Hoe dan ook, die opwarming was niet van de minste (en ik voel er momenteel nog steeds de gevolgen van)!

Pic by Grace Smelly from the GGGRG

Pic by Grace Smelly from the GGGRG

De bootcamp was heel goed georganiseerd, de timings werden stipt gerespecteerd en alle dames kickten serious ass! Twee uur lang hebben we ons beste roller derby voetje voor gezet en onze skills aangescherpt.

We werden onderverdeeld in 3 niveaus. Hoogmoedig als ik was sloot ik aan bij het hoogste niveau, maar moest al snel forfait geven, wegens niet kunnen volgen a.k.a half dood neervallen na 1 tourtje speedline 🙂 Wijselijk begaf ik mij naar het intermediate niveau waar ik erg vriendelijk onthaald werd.

Roze en rood versmolten en de gezellige namiddag werd afgesloten met een goeie Westmalle, as it should be! Geen competitiviteit – gewoon een gezellige teamspirit die de beiden teams oversteeg. En zo hebben we het graag! Ik kijk alvast uit naar de volgende GO-GO-roller derby Clinic!


C.C. Titmouse