Following post was written by one of our lovely new freshmeat Jenny Bergin
How could you not?!? My roller derby experience started last year in Melbourne Australia when I went to support the VRDL. Since then I’ve supported them all through 2011 and into 2012 and even had the pleasure of skating with their training program, but I’ll be honest my first Irish Roller Derby bout filled me with more excitement than all the others combined.
I had heard about the Dublin Roller Girls through my partner who found them on facebook and since then I’ve been hooked. When I found out the bout against the Maiden Grrders of Glasgow was coming up I couldn’t wait to get there and finally see the girls get into action (not forgetting about those amazing refs). I set off with a fellow Freashmeater and we picked up some willing participants on the way, one of which happens to be one of the loudest Scotsmen men I’ve ever met!
Entering the Tallaght Basketball Arena I didn’t quite know what to expect. Finding derby inspired cakes and raffle tickets being sold was just the start of the entertainment. DRG merchandise I must have, and I did. I love supporting my local team and what better way than wearing an awesome t-shirt proud! The reserves were split into 2 teams and went head to head, which was great. The MC kept the crowd going and I couldn’t help but cheer both teams on (how can you pick a favourite in that bout). The hits were great and the blocks were mighty, not to mention the points scored.
When the main bout was starting we couldn’t help but cheer out for our respective teams. Mick, the Scotsman shouting so loud the Glasgow team cheered back to him! I hope that I gave it socks also, but with that guy beside me it was a sure challenge. The points seemed to be pouring on the Maiden Grrdsers side of the score board and we took a few decent falls. The half time mark really had me worried but I knew we had it in us to really bring that Dublin spirit to the track… and did we ever!
The second half was amazing! We fought hard for the points and every one was well deserved from the team. There was a mexican wave (which I think spurred the girls on) and the encouragement from ViolentBob, not only to the team but to the fans as well kept us all going- so much so that we won the game!
Never have I felt so proud of a team I followed. The Dublin Roller Girls showed how far they have come since facing the Maiden Grrders last year and we are all so proud. I’ve done nothing but talk of the bout and invite people to the next one… where I will be in my t-shirt cheering on the girls and guys of Irish Roller Derby… Look out Team Unicorn we’re gonna get you too…
Dublin Roller Girls will be taking on Team Unicorn (MRD) this Sunday!
Team Unicorn are coming to Ireland to play us the day after Paddy’s Day and I’m excited!
When did you first start skating?
In late 2009
How did you first hear about Roller Derby?
About 5 years ago a girl i was working with was interested and we talked about how it sucked that Ireland didn’t have any roller derby. Fast forward to September 2009 and another friend told me how there was a thread on boards about starting roller derby in Dublin. She asked if i’d be into going to the first meeting with her. Of course, I said ‘hell yes!’ and we went together to meet these other girls who wanted to start a league and that’s exactly what we did.
What attracted you to the sport?
Growing up I joined just about every team sport I could find in my school. Honestly, I sucked at all of them. No one warmed the bench quite as much as I did. When my parents moved us from NY to Dingle I continued to get involved in team sports but never found my sport. I’ve always loved the idea of doing a contact sport, so when derby came into view I was completely won over. Even at the beginning, when I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into, I was 100% sure I wanted to be a part of it.
What do you most like about it?
I love that derby challenges me every day. Skating didn’t come naturally to me and I love that derby has pushed me past all the obstacles I put in my own way and keeps pushing me past what I believe to be my limits.
What do you least like about it?
Pad stink is about the only thing I can think of and it wouldn’t be the same without it - it seems like a lot of people bond over conversations about whose wrists smell worse after practice.
What do you most like about being part of DRG?
I love being part of a team. You push each other and make each other stronger but the support you get from your teammates is unbelievable. It’s no secret that I have big love for the DRG, it has become a huge part of my life.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of taking up Roller Derby?
It’ll take over your life, in a good way. Watch games as often as you can, understanding the game really changes how you play. Invest in good knee pads, your knees will thank you. If it gets hard don’t give up, it’s just getting good!
Greatest derby moment so far:
From nailing crossovers, to finally being able to transition, to DRG’s first bout, to skating in the World Cup they’ve all been pretty epic and there have been a thousand great moments and it’s impossible to choose just one!
What is your favourite:
baked zitti (pasta bake with tomato sauce and mozzarella)
coke or chocolate milk
I don’t a signature move or anything like that. I love a good three wall and nothing makes me happier than the look on the opposing jammer’s face when you recycle her back into the pack. she thinks she’s free and clear but just gets sucked back in.
Pain Reliever after practice:
the couch and food always help