GCRD 10 Year Anniversary - A League is Born

By granitecityrollerderby, Oct 19 2018 03:28PM

Once upon a time (10 years ago) there was a roller derby league known as the Aberdeen Aces. They skated in a car park (when the weather allowed), made it up as they went along and had a ton of fun

doing so.

Thankfully, given the weather up here, at the end of 2008/start of 2009 they found an indoor training venue at the Aberdeen Lad's Club, where they continue to train to this day.

Along with a new venue came a new name, and Granite City Roller Girls was born.

#08 Ruby Riot, who is still an active skater in the league, was there during the transition.

Things I remember about the car park are mainly being very cold and it being very dark. We used to line up cars and put the headlights on so we could skate.

We rarely had to avoid cars thankfully, they didn't come down that far but we had to contend with the skateboarders who were not entirely impressed with us intruding on what they felt was their space and lots of little stones on the car park that would send us flying if we didn't avoid them.

Summer evenings were lovely because quite often someone would pop up to Sainsbury's and get a packet of ice lollies.

When we started we were very lax on safety gear, I think helmets were a fairly late addition. Also, baseball slides in a car park were not fun.

The move indoors made things interesting as they adapted.

Our early days in an actual hall felt very luxurious, like we'd made it even though by today's standards we were laughably bad.

The difference in skating surface was the main difference. Going from very sticky outside to a slick sports hall floor was a major learning curve.

One of my other main memories was my first time doing 20 (yep, only 20!) in 5 in the car park and having to sit down for a good 15 minutes after because I couldn't see properly. The change in fitness levels was a big jump, even now after 2 years off I didn't feel as bad doing my 27 in 5 as I did doing that first 20 in 5.

Also in 2009 the film Whip It! came out, and while it brought Roller Derby to the attention of a new, wider audience, it did also mean that skaters had to explain that there are rules preventing them from elbowing the oppostion in the face...

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