One of my all-time favourite weekends was the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup in Birmingham in 2014 and I can’t think of that weekend without remembering Louise. When I met her at the station worried that I had packed too much, she reassured me by saying that one of her backpacks was will filled entirely with fancy dress. That set the tone for the weekend.
The MRDWC 2014 after party would not have been what it was if it wasn’t for Louise. We had spent a weekend inside that Futsal hall cheering until our voices were gone as we watched the very best of men’s roller derby; we needed to end this perfect weekend in the right way. So when Louise had realised that there was no official after party and that we would be subject to Sunday closing times at the Rose Villa Tavern, she took it upon herself to ring around venues in Birmingham to find one that would be open late.
A few hours later, we’re all crammed into the Rose Villa Tavern after Team USA have won the World Cup in the final against Team England, reeling off of the weekend’s energy. Of course when I look over to see Louise, she is now wearing a pink wig and holding a pineapple while chatting enthusiastically to players from Team England. She was telling everyone that the after party wasn’t about to end and she knew where to go once the pub closed. She leads us to what turned out to be such a cool venue and convinces the manager to let us all in.
I remember interpretive dancing with Gem Aargh through the courtyard (so enthusiastically that my nose started bleeding). People were alternating between dancing and hip checking each other around, as it tends to play out when derby people hang out together off-skates. Later on in the night people were doing handstands while balancing that pineapple on their feet. The night was a series of beautiful and ridiculous moments shared with people from all over the world connected by this sport we were obsessed with. The weekend had been the roller derby community at its best and here we were celebrating this whole thing that we were in love with.
Boots and I sat in the courtyard, taking a moment to stop and acknowledge how ridiculous and perfect the evening that Louise had orchestrated was and how we couldn’t quite believe it was actually happening.
That after party was her legacy and it definitely wasn’t the only time she had been the driving force, life and soul of a roller derby event. This is why we’re making such a big deal of the Louisey Rider Cup after party and we want you to be a part of it. We’re embracing the glitter and the ridiculous with lip sync battles and dancing. Come be a part of it on the 22nd April, upstairs at Spanky Van Dykes.
The Louisey Rider Cup is happening on 22nd April at Lee Westwood Sports Centre, Nottingham. Buy tickets here.