What’s it like to be a derby widower?

When the wife and I first arrived at a pub one evening she saw a woman near the entrance sporting a Nottingham Roller Girls shirt. She pointed it out to me and I saw that inquisitive glint in her eyes that she gets. I could tell she wanted to find out more but was too shy to approach her. I encouraged her to say hello and ask about the team. She did and found out NRG were recruiting.

Trying a team sport was intimidating to my wife who’s only ever done individual sports.  It took her a few weeks to get the courage to actually go, and didn’t stick with it very long. Nevertheless, the derby seed was sown.

A couple months later, her friend, TaKill-Her Slammer, said she was going to try roller derby.  My wife was chuffed to have someone to join with, and THIS time she wasn’t going to stop,  this time I became a derby widower.

We used to practice our golf swings in the garden together. Instead I’m at the receiving end of multiple hip checks.  We used to watch punk videos on You Tube, but instead watch derby clips. When I go to the local for a beer, she’s there  talking about roller derby and coming up with a derby name with our mates;  Shock ‘N Awedrey.

I lose her for 4 hours a week or more when she goes to training. When she gets home she tells me what she’s learned or we talk tactics. I soon step up as her personal coach; being an ex-Rugby captain.

Now she’s got me chauffeuring for bouts. 1st game, in Sheffield, I take the wife to support her, but 3 jams in I’m hooked.  NRG didn’t win but the girls showed real game. The next bout we go to, the Co-Ed tournament, I’m there simply because I support the team. They get 3rd place. The third bout I attend I don’t need to chauffeur. Instead the NRG crew chips in for a coach down to Hereford for their first bout of 2013.

At the Hereford bout, there’s a chance for a swift one while the teams and officials are setting up. ‘’The Bob Riot’’, ‘‘Alan Back’’ and I, ‘‘Shock ‘N Davey’’ have some male bonding and form the H.A.Bs- Husbands And Boyfriends. We adopt the suicide seats, put up a sign and cheer the girls on as they give Hereford Horror Bulls a right rolling over. During a time-out the HABs start chanting ‘NRG! NRG! NRG!’ and when the team hear us they cheer us back!

From watching interviews’ on you tube and meeting derby girls I think that Roller Derby has a great community, the sport is empowering and they gain confidence. I’ve met the girls and gringos from NRG a few times, and everyone is so friendly and supportive. Although she has less time to hang out with me, I can’t imagine a better sport for Shock & Awedrey to be a part of. I’m so happy for her and best of all I feel a part of it too.

Ever tried getting on the team coach at a Nottingham Forest game? Do the players at Notts County cheer on the fans for cheering? No, because they’re not roller derby.  It’s confirmed, Roller Derby has taken my wife. And I admit it’s taken me as well.  I bleed green too!

Shock ‘N Davey