Behind the Scenes with Tiger Bay Brawlers
At Gwdihw we love anything that’s slightly off the beaten track so naturally we’re big fans of the Tiger Bay Brawlers – Cardiff’s very own roller derby team! And we’re very pleased to welcome the derby girls to Gwdihw for their Tiger Bay Brawlers Pub Quiz on Sunday 10th (keep the date free!), which they are organising to raise money for the team . You might not know all that much about roller derby so we thought it would be a good idea to chat with the girls to find out a little more about this unusual sport… (thanks to Simon Ayre for the photos!).
1. Who are the Tiger Bay Brawlers?
Tiger Bay Brawlers are a roller derby league based in Cardiff, Wales.We founded in April 2010, and have been competing since January 2011 (we were the first team to hold a public bout in Wales). We’ve since had two intake days, and trebled in size. We now have 2 competing teams, a recreational league, and in January 2012 we also formed a junior league for under 16s. We were the first Welsh league to be UKRDA affiliated.
2. Explain a little about the rules of roller derby?
Roller Derby is a contact sport played by two 5-person teams, who skate around an oval track. It is based around a series of 2 minute ‘jams’ between the two teams. The objectives of roller derby are relatively simple; each team fields a single point scoring skater (“jammer”) whose goal is to lap as many opposing skaters as they can. The remaining skaters (“blockers”) who aren’t scoring points work both on offense and defense at the same time — to block the opposing jammer and to clear a path for their own jammer. Well-played roller derby requires agility, strength, speed, control, peripheral vision, communication, and teamwork.
3. What’s the Tiger Bay Brawlers Quiz all about?
We’re putting on the quiz for two reasons; Firstly, it’s an opportunity for us to enjoy a night out, and we really hope you’ll join us! Secondly, we’re a self-funded league so we’re raising funds for the team that will help us with development, purchasing vital equipment and with travel costs to away bouts. Our travel team is bouting against Auld Reekie Roller Girls in August, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. Exciting!!
4. What got you into roller derby?
My friend was already involved with TBB and she was organising their (and Wales’!) first public bout she asked me to come along and help. I fell in love with the sport the moment I saw it. It’s fast paced, exciting and the atmosphere was amazing! I soon signed up for the TBB rec league (where you can go along and try out skating!) and was hooked straight away.
5. What do you like about roller derby?
There’s so many things! I love the strategic aspects of the sport, and that it’s not just skating round hitting people (though I love that bit too!). It’s constantly challenging my physical and mental strength. I love how the league is like a massive community. Everyone is supportive of each other and we always have a ton of fun. There’s so much you can get involved in even if you’re not playing: you can be a referee, you can be a non-skating official helping keep the bouts running smoothly, you can volunteer to help at events. There’s always something to do and everyone pitches in.
6. What’s been the best bout you’ve had and why?
I’ve not played a bout yet, but I’ve been to many! I think my favourite TBB bout was our recent win at home against London Rockin’ Rollers. It was a re match, we’d played them a year before and they had beaten us. The teamwork from the TBB girls was amazing to watch and they got a thoroughly deserved win.
7. What are the Tiger Bay Brawlers future plans?
We have a full bouting calendar for 2012 and also some provisionally booked for 2013, and hope to play out first international bout soon. Our future plans are to secure full sponsorship for the league and to secure our own warehouse or venue that we can use for both training and bouting.