Roller Derby UK

WFTDA ECC 2018 Skater Profile: Kid Block

In anticipation of the WFTDA European Continental Cup in Birmingham, we’re taking the time to introduce some of our A team skaters, ask them a few questions about what it’s like to train at Tiger Bay, and find out how the team is preparing to compete for the cup. This week we’re chatting to Kid Block, our current A team captain!

Kid has been with Tiger Bay since the beginning, and has also skated with European roller derby royalty, the London Rollergirls, gaining experience from the highest level of play at WFTDA D1 Playoffs and Championships. Since her return to Tiger Bay this year she has been bringing the smarts and the skills to our sessions and her jammer tricks to the track! 

Photo By Paul Jones Photography

Can you tell us a bit about your skating career to date, and what drew you to roller derby in the first place?


I was part of the OG Tiger Bay crew, and attended the very first session in Spring of 2010.  I was drawn to roller derby because I thought it sounded fascinating / extremely stupid, and I just had to see what it was all about.  After that first session I bought my own skates and kit the very next day, and haven’t looked back!

How have Tiger Bay been preparing for the European Continental Cup?


As a surprise entry to the Cup attendees we didn’t have long to mentally prepare to be honest – it’s not like it’s been a season long progression. However, at the start of the quarter in a team meeting we decided we were all in and we have set quite lofty goals for ourselves. In the same team meeting we set our training goals for the quarter and discussed all the things we felt we needed to accomplish as a team (both physically and mentally) in order to be at our absolute best going into the tournament.
The coaching and leadership team then digested and made these training goals span the quarter and we broke each area off into workable chunks.  We’ve had 4 extra A team sessions that have helped us refine strategy and work on repetition, and we also had Juke Boxx come coach us to help with some strategy, which we took a lot from and have been refining ever since.
Oh and games! We’ve had a closed door vs Brawling and Brawl Saints and open door vs Hellfire Harlots.  We’ve basically done as much as we can to be prepared for the Cup.

What are you most looking forward to, with regards to Continental Cup weekend?


I’m most looking forward to what this means for European derby at this level.  To have this focus on Europe and eyes on these particular teams, that are stacked with talented skaters and hard working coaches and roller derby enthusiasts, means a lot for Europe.

Photo By Simon Ayre

Do you have any tried and tested pre-game rituals you will use to help prepare yourself?


I don’t really have rituals as such, but for me it’s all about my own personal preparation, so making sure everything I need is planned and available well in advance of game day.  Uniform/food/gear/schedule… all needs to be pretty much perfect in order for me to be mentally ready to do my best.

What is your favourite thing about skating with Tiger Bay?


Tiger Bae strike the perfect balance between hard work and fun. I always feel like our sessions are jam packed with smarts, hard work and dedication but we also will fall into fits of giggles at some point during the session.  There’s a lot of love in the team and it comes through in everything that we do. It’s a really wonderful environment to be in.

What do you feel is your best ever roller derby memory?


I always choose to look forward rather than behind, so let’s see what this weekend holds!  Maybe this will be it?

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Kid! We’re excited to follow you and the rest of the team at the European Continental Cup this weekend!. Follow Tiger Bay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to follow us as we hit the track this weekend in Telford!

Photo by Adam Chard

WFTDA ECC 2018 Skater Profile: Irene Adler

In anticipation of the WFTDA European Continental Cup in Birmingham, we’re taking the time to introduce some of our A team skaters, ask them a few questions about what it’s like to train at Tiger Bay, and find out how the team is preparing to compete for the cup. First up is Charlie Bowman/Irene Adler.

Irene started learning to skate with Tiger Bay in August 2016, and joined main league as a B team skater in February 2017. She is a fierce and intimidating blocker, and her formidable strength is a real asset to her teammates, meaning she has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the most recent additions to our A team charter. She consistently proves her worth in training, and made her A team debut in September, skating against Nottingham Hellfire Harlots.

Photo By Simon Ayre
Photo By Simon Ayre


Irene, how have you found training with the A team so far?

At first I felt like I had wandered in by accident having no idea what I was doing, but I know that people are willing to help and that it’s just a case of getting stuck in. The training is intense, but also incredibly useful. I feel like I am being pushed, which helps me become a better skater – trying things that are daunting, and thinking about things differently. It’s a huge opportunity to be able to train with them, at that level, and getting the advice/tips/feedback that are only going to help me.


Does it feel good to be able to train at a higher level since making it onto the A team charter?

Yes, it’s a huge difference. It’s helping me to pick things up faster, and I believe it will ultimately make me a better skater. It helps to have so many skaters on the team that I can aspire to skate like, and be in a position to ask for advice and pay attention to the way some skaters approach different positions and plays. The tactics/strategy is the biggest difference which I am trying to get used to, and it feels like an achievement when I really get it and am able to do it successfully in training.


You recently skated in your first A team game – congratulations! Can you tell us a bit about that? What was it like, what challenges did you face, and did you have fun?

It was a super last-minute swap with someone who was too injured to play, so I didn’t know until the morning of the game! That meant I didn’t have time to get too nervous, which helped a lot. I absolutely love being able to skate in games, I get such an adrenaline rush and get completely sucked into the atmosphere. I wouldn’t describe myself as very competitive, so was loving every second of it despite the lead changes (although had complete faith in TBB of course!).

Being so new to the charter, and with the last-minute swap, I didn’t think I would get any track time, so was over the moon with being asked to go on for two jams. I had so much fun, and was so happy to be included and able to enjoy the game with the rest of the A team.


What does the next year hold for you? Do you have any personal goals you’re working towards?

I have only just got onto the charter, and obviously I’d love to make it again next quarter. Mostly my aim is to make use of every opportunity given to me to learn from the A team, to improve myself as a skater and to have the additional knowledge/different mindset that comes with it. I would also love to play in more games, both A team and B team, as I think the pressure and excitement brings out the best skater in me.

Photo by Paul Jones Photography
Photo by Paul Jones Photography


Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Irene! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you within Tiger Bay. Follow Tiger Bay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to follow our journey to the WFTDA European Continental Cup!