My first bout: Gnarly Davidson

Gnarly in action!

The date, 7 July 2012. The event, the Liverpool Roller Birds’ ‘Great British Skate Off’, aka one of our favourite roller derby events of the year … so far!

At the ‘Skate Off’, the LRB A team played against Leeds’ Whip-Its and the B team took on Manchester’s Phoenix Furies. All the teams played brilliantly, but for some LRB players it was a particularly special event.  Danger Scouse, Daffokill, Short n’ Clout, Aoife Epic and Gnarly Davidson all hit the track for the first time and did fabulously well, helping to lead our B team, the Liverpool Roller Chicks, to victory.

Although riding high on the crest of success, I managed to steal a few moments with Gnarly after the bout to hear her first experience.

Gnarly, by the way, blows away any misconception that you have to be a brick ****house to be a hot derby queen.  Gnarly, all of 5ft (and a half inch), was a right dynamo during the bout. She bobbed and weaved through the heaving throng of aggression and adrenalin that was the pack, as if it was a walk in the park.

Aoife Epic, Gnarly Davidson, Short’n’Clout and Daffokill.

Gnarly-Davidson – up and coming jammer and one to watch – here we have her first interview:

Melissa: “So Gnarly, it was your first bout! Tell me about the lead up to it, were you nervous?”

Gnarly:  “Definitely yes. Since lunchtime yesterday I hadn’t been able to eat, I’d been to the toilet basically every 10 minutes.  Woke up this morning and thought this adrenalin is just taking me over, I was so excited.  So then I arrived here and had to get my game head on.  As soon as I got my kit on, had the warm-up and a wee skate around, I was like, I feel ok now.”

M:  “So what was it actually like to play?”

G:  “I was only meant to play a couple of jams and do a bit of blocking, but because my first jam went quite well (translation: she was boss), I kept going as jammer.  I can’t describe the feeling. I’d not bouted before and I’d only be practising the gameplay for four weeks or so and so going on as a jammer and scoring my first five points in my very first experience in a bout was just mind-blowing.  It had been a long time coming, eight months since I joined LRB, but worth it. It was just amazing.  When I got my first five points all the adrenalin felt right at that time and I was like, yeah, this is what it’s all about.”

M: “So was it scary at any point?”

G: “It was absolutely terrifying. You stand on the jam line, you’ve never bouted before and you’ve got people in front of you looking at you, you’ve got the girls on the other team looking at you as if, ‘I’m going to get you bitch!’.  So you’re like ok, well I’ve just got to get past them and then it just kind of happens. Then I went past them a few times and it built up my confidence.  My only philosophy was to go fast, there wasn’t much thought to it, it was just instinct. But I knew if I needed help the other Birds would be there for me.”

Our B team for the Great British Skate Off

Me: “Any final words to those thinking about joining?”

Gnarly: “Do it, just do it.”

So there you have it, Gnarly Davidson, the hard but humble Roller Bird!

You can see Gnarly and the rest of the Birds in all their glowing brilliantness at our August bout – details below.

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Check out www.liverpoolrollerbirds.co.uk  for tickets to our next bout, Summer Shovin’, on Saturday 18 August 2012 at Greenbank Sports Academy. Liverpool Roller Birds will take on Newcastle Roller Girls.

Our next recruitment evening for new skaters is now full, but you if you are interested in joining you can still contact us on liverpoolrollerbirds@hotmail.co.uk – we’re particularly looking for new referees!

(Melissa Kponou)

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