NRD Bolts: British Championship Debut

Nottingham Roller Derby Bolts have, well, *bolted* into the British Roller Derby Championships, winning their debut game in Tier 3 East in a nail biting final jam against hosts Coventry Roller Derby.

Team member Leahviathan reflects on how much this little piece of history means to them.


A very tired but happy Leahviathan

I started skating nearly 4 years ago. It was hard. Really, really hard. It’s taken a long time for me to learn things that came easily to others, and to discover my balance, confidence and pacing strategy. I’m still learning and enjoying the challenge.

I’ve been involved with roller derby for a long time and had always thought playing was beyond my abilities and health (this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy officiating – I love the rules and get a lot out of the officiating side of the game ).

It was 2.5 years after starting and a bit over a year ago from today, that I played my first game with Nottingham Rollergirls B (against Coventry). I was so proud of how far I’d come – maybe because I’d struggled so much to reach that point.

Yesterday I played my first British Champs game in Tier 3 East with Nottingham Roller Derby Bolts (against Coventry again 😁) – another thing I didn’t think was even possible when I first started. Both me and my team have come a long way in even that short time. As an aside, thank you to British Champs for allowing both A and B teams to take part, or this would never have been possible for me!

Does it look like I know what I’m doing? I hope it does!

We won our game yesterday by 3 points in the last jam. It was *a bit* tense! But the joy and the fun of our sport was a constant from both sides. There’s room for people to have a laugh and play at an amateur (but still competitive during a game) level, and for people who want to push their athleticism to the max.

The scoreboard doesn’t capture the tension in the hall! An epic final jam from NRD Bolts saw Crash Call score 8 points, while the blockers held the Coventry jammer back and prevented them scoring.

I did some things I was proud of, and I’ve got a stack of things to work on, just one thing at a time. I won Best Blocker and I’m very confused but also overjoyed. My team were amazing.

Award winners (L-R): Best Jammer: Puck Her Up, Most Valuable Player: Alf, Best Blocker: Leahviathan, Special Award for being an unstoppable wrecking ball: Crash Call

I feel like I’ve been hit by the metaphorical truck today. Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will always have it’s due with an energy and pain hangover, but it’s worth it to do something I love and live rather than just surviving. I’m very fortunate to be well enough to play and there have been times when I haven’t, and I feel for all the people who are there right now.

I’ll continue with the support of my team around me to do what I can and keep pacing, so I can keep going for as long as I’m able and as long as I continue to be in love with this very silly sport.

We Bleed Green.

Leahviathan #10

This is what a bunch of ecstatic humans looks like!