The Green New Year Message 2014


I once knew someone…well a few people actually… who spent time in a plaster cast recovering from a Derby-related mishap. They read a lot, spent way too much time on Derby Dialogue, and felt miserable.

Later, they realised this time of forced retreat from the world had helped them to understand the world of Roller Derby more clearly.

We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions on Facebook, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock. Be it through contemplation, prayer, or even keeping a diary, many have found the practice of quiet personal reflection surprisingly rewarding, even discovering greater spiritual depth to their lives…LOL

Reflection can take many forms. When families and friends come together, it’s often a time for happy memories and reminiscing. Our thoughts are with those we have loved who are no longer part of the Roller Derby community. We also think of those who through doing their duty cannot be at all home and away bouts.

I myself had cause to reflect this year, at the Lee Westwood Leisure Centre, as I led the skate-outs in three home bouts (waving regally, obvs.)

I was reminded of the remarkable changes that have occurred this year, many of them for the better; and of the things that have remained constant, such as the importance of…Derby * tries to think of other important things…*

But reflection is not just about looking back. I and many others are looking forward to the Heartlands Series 2014, and a massively oversubscribed Fresh Meat intake for January, which will provide NRG with wonderful opportunities to grow and learn.

The Roller Derby family is a source of encouragement to many. Like any family there can be differences of opinion. But however strongly they’re expressed in chat forums, they are held within the common bond of friendship and shared experiences. And if you don’t like it, well you can fight me IRL, broseph.

Here at NRG our own family is a little larger this Christmas.

As so many of you will know, the new additions to our team (almost 60 now!) and the arrival of 3 new-born Referees, gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope. For the bout team, life will never be quite the same again.

As with all who are christened, they were baptised into a tradition of Singstar tournaments and drinking penalties in shots. After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photographs, now known as ‘Exhibit A for the prosecution’ and ‘Reasons why X is unemployable’.

They were happy occasions from what I recall…

In the year ahead, I hope you will have time to pause for moments of quiet reflection. As those in the plaster casts discovered, the results can sometimes be surprising…or disturbing…but mostly surprising.

For those who Derby as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and hip checks help us to renew ourselves in the Head ref’s love, as we strive daily to become better people. The Christmas message shows us that this love is for everyone. There is no one beyond its reach, not even you on 7 majors doing the walk of shame.

I wish you all a very wonderful 2014.

The Atkins Riot