By Monika Armet
On 18th of August 2018, Orkney ViQueens, northernmost Roller Derby league in the UK, played their first ever game against Inverness City. It was a crucial moment for the team, whose members have been training for over a year.
Roller Derby is a fast-paced, full of adrenaline contact sport, played on quad skates, consisting of 5 players of each team on a track: a jammer who scores points for the team, three blockers and a pivot, who acts as special type of blocker. The teams play two 30-minute sessions, which are divided into 2 minute ‘jams’. During the jam, the role of the jammer is to pass through the members of the opposing team and score points for their own team. In order to play in a Roller Derby match, a player must pass all the minimum skills required, which consist of passing Bronze, Silver 1 & 2, and finally Gold skills.
Although the ViQueens did not win, the final score was 414-155 to Inverness City, they came back with positive attitude and enthusiasm for the future. I caught up with them during the training. Susan, a brace player (one of the blockers) whose Derby name is Su-nami told us about her experiences of the game:
‘It was a great game, but a hard one. Inverness City has very good players, but I think we held our own. We had lots of fun and we learned loads’.
Carol, another blocker, whose Derby name is Ingamess added:
‘The whole team tried their hardest and we know we did Orkney proud, even though we didn’t win and I don’t think the score reflects the game that was actually played’.
Both Su-nami and Ingamess agreed that the first performance by the ViQueens brought Roller Derby to Orkney.
Kirsten, a jammer, Derby name Weatherkill, said:
‘The game went well, even though we didn’t win but we learned a lot, and that was the main thing’.
She further added that for her, the best part of the game was when she took the other jammer down.
Here are the thoughts of two other players, Stephen, Derby name Judas, who played as a pivot, and Hazel, Derby name Purple Haze, also a pivot.
And finally, Ronie, Derby name Deafwish, who is a blocker, talks about the team’s performance and ViQueens plans for the future: