What about the Roller Derby World cup?

Manchester 2018 - Skating the world cup for Team NL!
14 February 2018

It’s the night before I leave to the world cup. I have checked my luggage 6 times already.

At 9:55 the plane to the Roller Derby World cup is departing. I am so nervous. This will be my first major Roller Derby event. I will be the youngest skater there. What if I won’t do what they expect me to do, what if I can’t stop the opposing jammers., what if, what if, what if… There is so much pressure, I hope I’ll do well. Even though I know that we can do it!

It’s the morning of departure. I check my bag one more time, I think I have everything.
My mom is bringing me to the airport. I drop my bag at the desk. Mom and I drink one more cup of coffee. We say goodbye and I make my way to the gate. I see some of the others who are in the same airplane as me and we board the plane together.
Tomorrow will be the ‘first’ day of the Roller Derby World cup.
We discuss our strategies on more time, now that everything's getting closer I’m starting to get even more nervous. Apart from that I feel confident playing with all my awesome team mates. We can show what we’ve learned and how much we trained the past few months.

AAAHHH!! It’s officially the first day of the world cup. The venue is enormous and there are so many people here. There is a massive line outside. While walking to our table I spot some amazing skaters, all from different countries. Everyone is smiling and happy. The atmosphere is really positive.
We warm up and we are doing okay. We are nervous but stay calm. Our first game of the day is versus Ireland and the second game is against Argentina.

We did it!! It was a really hard game. In the last few minutes of the game we beat Ireland, we are over the moon!! We celebrate but then we have to focus again because the second game is coming up!

Game two is over; we already knew we weren’t going to win this one, but we did okay. We kept calm and we stayed together and overall we showed them what we wanted to show them. We are happy with what we did today. We went home, ate our dinner and went to bed.

Day two.
Today we will be playing against team Indigenous and team Brazil.
We should be able to beat both of them. We get to the venue and get ready.
First up team Indigenous. For me this game doesn’t feel the same as the games on the first day. But we are still doing fine. It's a tough and tight game, but we still managed to take the win! The skaters of team Indigenous are amazing and really nice! It was such a pleasure skating against them.

Game two, versus team Brazil. We seem a little distracted and unfortunately we didn’t win this game. In the last few minutes team Brazil was doing great and took the win. We were disappointed, but this did mean we could enjoy the other games.
So we made the best of it and toasted on our two wins.

The rest of the world cup we didn’t have to play anymore. So we went to the venue really early everyday and made sure we could see every game. We had lunch in the mall that was a five minute walk from the venue. We saw some amazing strategies and players and we learned so much!! Everyone from all countries, age and gender sitting next to each other enjoying amazing Roller derby games.

Everyone spend way to much money on merch (and beer). We took photo’s with all the amazing skaters. Cheered our hearts out and screamed so much we weren’t able to talk the day after. We experienced a new kind of wave, the ultra slow wave transitioning into the extremely fast wave and we got even more inspired to train more and harder then we did before.

It was an amazing experience to be there and skate for the Dutch national team. I hope I will be skating at the next world cup and who knows, maybe even for team USA..!?

Devious Dewi - Team Netherlands

Pictures by: Sean Hale, Carlos Marko-Tapio and Laurentrekk Photographies