Well, where to start?
I guess at the beginning, but that was about a year ago and I really don't know if I can remember that far back so stay with me and I'll try to keep this in the correct order that they happened in, as best I can.
I started on my Roller Derby adventure in January 2010 as a member of the Cardiff Dragon Dolls as Qwaff Da Rhayfen, but due to unforeseen circumstances I left and in October 2010 CRoC - Cardiff Roller Collective was formed by myself and several disillusioned members of CDD. Am trying to be diplomatic but who am I kidding!! this is my blog and am bloody well gonna say what I want, think and feel and if it upsets or offends then TOUGH!
When I first started with CDD I met a some great girls and we started our path to Roller Derby stardom, but about 4 months in it started to become difficult for everyone to attend sessions and so a few of the girls broke away and the Tiger Bay Brawlers where born!!
I stayed at CDD and somehow became the Coach, Treasurer, Team Captain, Kit Manufacturer, Accountant, Secretary, mmmmm I think that was about it! (no-one else seemed to step forward at the time) anyways it was decided that after the Brawlers had formed CDD needed to hold a recruitment day to get some 'fresh meat' into the team, so in April we opened our doors. Fair play we had 40+ girls turn up and have a go, but a few of the other girls didn't like the idea of 'try-outs' and wanted everyone who was interested to be able to join. Now please don't think am being a skate snob by not wanting complete skate novices, but at this point I had been training for 5 months and I really didn't want Bambi skaters coming in and putting us all back 5 months as we taught them how to stand, stop, fall, etc, etc, etc.
I was slightly annoyed, but in hindsight it was for the best, since it was how I got to meet so many really great girls. Anyways, we bolstered our ranks and started from the beginning, how to fall, how to skate, what the whole Roller Derby thing is about and slowly but surely things started to take shape.
But I chose in October 2010 to leave CDD and join CRoC and so did a few of the other girls and that's where I am now.
So we have been skating together as CRoC for almost 2 months and I have dropped the 'Qwaff Da' and now skate as just Rhayfen. I am amazed that in so little time so much has been achieved, proving that if just one person isn't completely committed but remains in charge its like swimming in treacle. Put in as much effort as you like, but you ain't gonna get anywhere fast.
So far we have 3 teams within our league, well 2 and our travel team. 11 girls have passed WFTDA min skills, so that means we are almost ready to bout, and hopefully another 10 will pass in the New Year. We have team colours and tops and everyone has bought at least 1, I personally have 3, 2 black as that's my team colour and a blue one for CRoC as a whole. I have ordered the Helmet Panties from the States and we are organising trips to Bouts around the UK, something that was spoken about in CDD but only happened once.
Girls who in April could just about manage to stand upright on wheels are now jumping over cones with varying degrees of success. We finally had our first real Derby injury, at CDD no-one ever got hurt, we trained too soft. Am not wanting people to be hurt, but if you know anything about derby then you'll know it can and usually is very brutal. Rachael, bless her, tried to jump over my legs and her landing bollock'd up and she basically slammed down on her arse. Needless to say her tailbone was badly bruised but later at the hospital it was also discovered she had fractured her L1 vertebrae!!!!
And that my dear friends is just about where we are today.
Rachael is still mending, I am still training and hopefully the updates from now on will be alot shorter, am hoping to do a write up of each training session we have.
Derby Love, Rhayfen.