2017 has been a year of many firsts for DCRA, Our first ever Ref School, our first foray into the British Championships and our first co-hosting of a MASSIVE Halloween event (More details to follow…)
This Summer also brought the standard Summer recruitment program, but this hasn’t been just any old recruitment drive… We have been overwhelmed (literally) with the number of people who expressed an interest in joining us and learning more about our sport. So much so, we had to extend the hall hire by another 2 hours to fit everyone in!
So our Captain Fantastic and winner of best tournament blocker in the UKRDA T4W British Championships #justsayin Laura Lockdown gave us her lowdown on the day.
After what seems like weeks of emailing, promoting, posting, tweeting and messaging so many names who have all said – “Please can we join your crazy gang?” Our New Skater day has finally arrived! All the feels, nerves, excitement and sheer joy at being reunited with our team again after what has felt like FOREVER off season – (its only been 4 weeks!) plus finally getting to put all these new names and faces together!!
With having so many people coming, we wanted to make a great first impression. We really tried to be super organised, counting and recounting kit, double and triple checking lists to make sure no one was forgotten. Then there came the small task of loading the car with kit. The kit carrying was so much easier when we had our 7 seater monster car. But somehow we managed to fit the giant bags of kit, skates and CAKE into our modest Citroen and nothing was forgotten…That is until we got to the venue…Air freshener… that little luxury but essential item to attempt to make the kit bag smell nicer. DAMMIT! – Our Princess saved the day and had extra supplies and was en route so no one died from derby stench!
We were so early in our keenness to get going that when we arrived at our venue, there was NOONE from the team there to help us carry the bags in 🙁 boo 3 trips later, all the kit is out and our team arrives… eeeekkkk..
Literally just as we get waivers and the admin ready, a nervous lady with skates slung over her shoulder comes in, then more and more and more, nearly 30 people in the first session alone! We have our Cherubs and Angels getting everyone kitted up and ready to go.
So as u probably know, my Mrs has a loud mouth on her, and no whistle is required to get everyone in the middle for a little intro. As we are doing the intros it takes me back to my own fresh meat intake. I remember how shy I was, I had to drag someone else along with me. Anyways, I look around and we have some badass girls here! some with wild hair, some with awesome tattoos and some already sporting derby gear…. Eeek inside I am geeking out but outside my professional head is on.
Intros done and a few light stretches follow before we get skates on. People chose to group themselves on skating ability and to say we had a varied mix was an understatement. We split the hall into three groups to reflect the different experience levels. We are lucky to had 2 girls who had previously done some fresh meat training at different teams along with our very special 2 transfers skaters who have moved into the area and these guys just jumped straight into the intermediate/advanced session run by Princess.
Our brand new skaters absolutely blew my mind. These girls who wobbled into the hall and didn’t feel confident at 11am – by 1 pm were able to skate smoothly, fall properly, recover, and by the end of the session they were sticky skating, doing fast laps and perfecting their knee falls!! The Angels had the coaching/taster session down to a T and the newbies looks exhausted but grinning from ear to ear.
I was able to take a step back today and watch it through the eye of my camera, as I was assigned the role of dedicated camera woman for the day. Which meant I got the best view of the skaters and the Angels and I was so impressed by the positive attitude and the teamwork. No one was left behind. Here are a few of the pictures from the day
We set aside at the end of the session to demo to the new skaters what a scrim looks like as its important for our new recruits to understand that this is a full contact sport and the skills we are learning are part of a bigger picture. This is the fun and exciting part for me, however lining up with our two transfers made me strangely nervous…. something I don’t do. My teamies always say I’m the cool / unfazed one before games… but today either I hid it well enough for them not comment are they didn’t realise but I was A LITTLE nervous. Largely because we have two very awesome new members.
Whistle goes jam is on, and all nerves are forgetting I even forget I’m being watched by the fresh meat. We did 3 or 4 jams before stopping to wrap up and cooling down… that was it, session over 🙁
Then 15 minutes later we did it allll over again with a slightly smaller but just as enthusiastic and lovely group!!!
Speaking with the fresh meat afterwards was great, they were all buzzing and excited for next week. The new intake group chat this week has been filled with – “I ache EVERYWHERE”, as well as – “How long until we can do it again!” This is a great sign.
Me on the other hand, I came home, knackered and wanting a nap, and I barely did anything… oppppsss
Anyways OFF SEASON IS OVER…. Bring on the training 🙂
Love my team