By granitecityrollerderby, Oct 31 2017 08:54PM

This week we say goodbye to another leaguemate, number 19, Udder Mayhem, who, rather than retiring, is moving to a new city, but totally intends to keep skating there. And we're fine with that. Honest...

We caught up with Uddz before her move to chat about her time with GCRD.

How did you get started in roller derby?

I had just moved to Aberdeen for a new job and didn’t really know anyone. I was looking for something to do to fill my time and to make new friends when I saw the “Fresh Meat” event online. I really enjoyed roller discos and skating around outside as a kid, so I was excited to get to skate again. But little did I know what I was letting myself in for! I absolutely loved it though, and I haven’t looked back since.

What was your first game like?

Intense! It was against the Romsey Town Rollerbillies in August 2014. We were in Cambridge playing with low numbers, and it was an incredibly tough game – my asthma certainly got the better of me at times! It was very special to me though as I just remember feeling so proud to be a Northern Fight. Also, my family live in the South East of England, so they managed to come along and support me!

What has been your biggest challenge?

Gaining confidence in myself. When I first started scrims, I found it very, very tough. Things started to change when I started cross-training and gaining strength, and slowly the efforts started to pay off on track too. I credit roller derby for helping me with my self-confidence as it constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone, which is no bad thing for a slightly socially-awkward introvert! It’s something that I’m constantly still working on, but I genuinely feel like a better version of myself after having found this sport and the many wonderful people within it.

What is your proudest achievement?

Gaining a spot in Team Scotland. I still get “imposter syndrome” sometimes, but I am super chuffed to be representing Scotland in the World Cup. I was born here, I’m half-Scottish, and it’s just amazing to be able to represent your heritage at a national level! *pinches self*.

What is your fondest/happiest/funniest memory?

Receiving the Northern Fights “Players Player of the Year” Award, back in 2015. It was part of a night out, and I honestly didn’t think it would go to me at all, as there are so many strong and amazing skaters in our team. When I got it, I was in shock, and all around me I heard “Is she greeting? She better be greeting!!”. Such an honour, especially since I was still quite new to the team! I did greet a little bit!

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

Various things. Like:

Get well-fitted skates. Expensive skates mean nothing unless they fit well!

Cross-training is very important, and can make a huge difference to your performance.

The bigger the toe stop, the better!

What are your plans post GCRD?

To carry on skating! I play in the World Cup next February, and I’ll have a new league to join too. I don’t plan on hanging my skates up just yet, I’m too addicted! ;-)

By granitecityrollerderby, Oct 24 2017 01:38PM

This week we take time off from training for our games on Saturday to say goodbye to another leaguemate, number 121, Moscow Cruel.

Here's what she had to say about her Derby Life.

How I got into Roller Derby:

A friend who skated with ARRG told me about it and I thought it sounded good so I came to watch GCRDs first tournament! I fell in love with roller derby straight away and when I moved down south a few weeks later I found a team in Portsmouth had just formed!

My First Game:

It was a mixed themed bout: Skinheads vs. New Romantics in Swansea. I'm pretty sure my team (Skinheads) won. Back in those days dressing up was a thing so lots of girls in my team had denim shorts on for our theme... I was sporting some awful denim-look printed Lycra pants, cringe!

My Proudest Achievement:

Once again a memory in Swansea - when the Northern Fights played in the Quad Nations tournament. Day one did not go well but we all pulled together, worked hard and came back to Aberdeen winners with a bit Golden Boot trophy!

My Fondest Memory:

The night after we played Dublin when I became 'totes emosh'... those present will know what I'm talking about. I'd not that long left my Portsmouth Roller Wenches family behind and was missing them so much but all the GCRD crew had welcomed me with open hearts and I knew I'd found a new family.

What I know now that I wish I'd known:

Roller derby isn't just a sport, it will change your whole life! Also, buy decent kit from the beginning, it will serve you well!

My Post Derby Plans:

Career and family life have taken over, so I'm going to concentrate on those things for a while but may look for a new sport at some point too! Right now, walking and running is enough to fit around everything else!

By granitecityrollerderby, Oct 17 2017 08:20AM

This month has been a time of change here at GCRD. We were delighted to welcome our new skaters at the start of the month, and are looking forward to seeing how they get on as the course progresses.

However, this month we will also be saying goodbye to some of our leaguemates as they retire or move on to other cities.

This week we caught up with #05 Crimson Chaos to chat about her time with GCRD and her plans post derby,

I started derby back in Feb 2011. I was a bit bored with my mundane life and wanted something more than just work. A couple of girls I worked with had taken up roller derby and every week they came in with a new story. It sounded so much fun and exactly what I needed so I went along to fresh meat. The rest is history.

My first game was a cherry popper. It was a mixed team of players from all differnent leagues. I was sooo nervous. I had only been skating for 6 months and I didn't know anyone on the team. I had the best time though. Everyone was in the same boat. After my game I was so pumped. I then got to watch the Fights play and I knew I wanted on team as soon as possible.

My biggest challenge has been not letting myself get in my own head. Before every game I would get so nervous because I didn't think I would be good enough and that I would let my team down. Sometimes this would affect my game so I had to try and convince myself that I could do it and that I deserved to be there.

I have had many achievements over the years but I think my proudest was winning MVP at the last champs game. I feel it was the best I have ever played and for once I believed that I had really helped the team to win. Getting the award made it even better.

My fondest memory is a hard one. I have so many good ones but I think the one that always makes me smile is from back when I started. Sam and I were at fresh meat together and we were such keen beans. We used to meet in a car park to get extra practice. Neither of us really had a clue but we had a great time.

Like I said previously, the last champs game I played was my best game and that's because I was really confident. It was my last game (well I thought it was) so I thought why not go out with a bang. It felt amazing. So if I could go back in time, that's what I would tell myself. Be confident and play every game like its your last.

My very last game was play offs. I had the best weekend. One final trip away with my team mates. I had a ball.

Life after derby is going to consist of enjoying life a bit. Chilling out, doing a bit of travelling and perhaps even starting a family. Who knows. Watch this space I guess!

By granitecityrollerderby, Oct 4 2017 04:05PM

This Saturday (7th October) is your chance to get involved with Granite City Roller Derby as we look for new skaters, referees and NSO’s (Non-Skating Officials) to join us.

We welcome all genders, all body types, fitness levels and all levels of skater, from never skated before to skate park vets.

The first session is free and all we ask is that you are over 18, wear comfortable, sports style clothing and bring water.

What is Roller Derby all about? Is it for me? What will I get from it?

To answer these burning questions, we spoke to some of our current and graduating members from our new skater course.

By granitecityrollerderby, Sep 22 2017 08:31AM

This month we present one of our newer skaters who is very excited to be moving up to Intermediate Training - number 230, Lara Craft!

What is your day job?

I work as an IT Operations Analyst for an Oil and Gas service company.

What are your hobbies (other than skating)?

I do a lot of crafts in my spare time - I crochet, knit, sew, spin yarn on my spinning wheel & weave fabric on my loom. I enjoy musicals so I quite often go to the theatre, I play video games (Tomb Raider is my all-time favourite series, I even have a huge collection of Tomb Raider merch) and I like watching Rugby and NFL.

How did you get started in Roller Derby?

I know Mean MaSheena through work so I was aware that Roller Derby was a thing but figured it wasn't something I'd ever be able to do. I'd never skated and I'd never done any sort of team sports before. I saw a GCRD intake day being shared on Facebook and thought, what the heck, I'll give it a go. Best decision I ever made, I was hooked from the get go!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out?

Don't get bogged down by comparing your progress to others. Celebrate your own personal achievements, even the small ones! Go to skate boot camps if you can - they are so beneficial. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to help something click for you. Lastly, enjoy yourself - it's all about having fun!

Which derby person do you look up to most/aspire to be like?

Having started as roller derby fresh meat 5 months ago I can't help but look up to everyone in the league - the amount of time and dedication put into GCRD is awesome. It's also inspiring to think that all these amazing skaters were fresh meat at one point and if I put in the work I could be like them too.

What is your proudest Derby achievement?

I'm proud of my progress so far. I haven't been skating for that long and I've still got a fair way to go but it's good to reflect back on all the times that I felt like "I can't do that!" and wonder what all the fuss was about. I’m also very proud to be moving up and joining the intermediates group after doing well in my minimum skills.

What's the best thing about Roller Derby?

The skating is great fun but it wouldn't be the same without the people and the sense of community that comes with it. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive of each other. My fellow freshies are all fantastic people and it's been so much fun meeting them and starting out my derby journey with them. Overall it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience so far and I can't wait for more!

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