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.
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.
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!