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!
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.
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!