During November, Newton’s Law and Mr. Soft left behind the salty air of Portsmouth to head up to the big smog to practice with Southern Discomfort – the men’s roller derby team in London. Wenches were worried that we’d return with missing limbs and would no longer be able to ref for them. We were more worried that if we enjoyed it how would we be able to manage the commute to regularly attend practice.
We arrived to a hall of skating guys, which was an unusual sight seeing as we’re used to being outnumbered by ladies. After a few laps to get used to the floor and a warm up we were straight into practicing skating techniques and drills. The months of reffing and practicing with the Wenches meant we were able to jump right into it and use some tactics that we had seen whilst training with the Wenches. Near the end of the session we played a few practice bouts.
So what did we think…. We loved it!
Although we have always been a part of the Wench team, we’ve never been as much a part of the sport. Since then, we’ve been more actively taking part with training, rather than just reffing.
Roller derby definately isn’t just for the ladies! The club needs more men to be refferees and to help with officiating: You don’t have to be on the track to be a part of the team. The Wenches are really welcoming and treat their refs and NSOs the same as all other team members. This is really fortunate for us as we have heard that some teams aren’t very welcoming to their refs. If we can get together enough men, then we could just maybe start an all men’s club in Portmouth. We already have some damn good coaches to get a men’s team off to a good start. In the meantime, it goes without saying that we’ll be going back to London early next year to train again. And hopefully on a regular basis.