London Rollergirls Present Anarchy Eurocrash

Check out the great new video from London Rollergirls. I think it really sums up all the reasons why I love this sport so much.

And, as if that wasn’t awesome enough, London Rollergirls are hosting an exciting international event later this month.


Saturday 28th April – Earls Court – Brompton Hall
Doors at 4:00PM

First Bout at 5:00PM:
LRG Brawl Saints vs Leeds Roller Dolls

Second Bout at 7:00PM:
London Brawling vs Euro All-Star Invitational Team

Tickets are now £14 in advance and £16 on the door, so buy in advance to save!

Are you sitting comfortably?

Well get on your feet because Anarchy: Euro Crash is here.

Europe, you have never seen anything like this before!

Euro All Star Invitational Team players are challenging our very own London Brawling to a do-or-die bout. Will Berlin’s Master Blaster out skate Stefanie Mainey? Will Stockholm’s Swede Hurt maim Raw Heidi? And in a Scottish face-off, can Chemikill Hazard harm Grievous Bodily Charm? The tension is already mounting. How will London’s toughest fare against an invitational team of Europe’s maddest and baddest?

Meanwhile, Brawl Saints will be spinning their wheels against Leeds Roller Dolls in an action packed grudge match guaranteed to bring the thrills.

If you love roller derby, this is one fixture you cannot afford to miss.

Are you a skater? Get your bout ticket included when you sign up to our 2-day epic bootcamp here:

Or buy a ticket here:

Ticket prices (inclusive of VAT):
ADULTS (ages 13+):  £14 (+ £0.70 PayPal fee)
CHILDREN (ages 6-12):  £7 (+ £0.50 PayPal fee)
DERBY TOTS (5 and under):  FREE
VIP TICKETS £30 (+1.26 PayPal fee)


Flat Track Fashion:The Roller Derby Look Book

My first book Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book has just been published this week. I spent a lot of time over the last year putting this project together, and now that it is finally finished, I can’t believe it’s real! I’m so pleased with the way the book has turned out.

Writing has always been a big passion of mine. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager and studied English literature at university, both for my undergraduate degree and my Masters. After I finished studying, I continued to write fiction and poetry on my own and as part of a writing group, as well as bits of journalism here and there wherever I found an opportunity.

While I was still a postgraduate student, I got my first job working in publishing. I have since become an editor for a small publishing company and although editing books is a job I enjoy very much, there is nothing I enjoy more than having a large writing project to get my teeth into, other than playing roller derby of course!

In my previous job, the editorial department I used to work in had meetings every month where ideas for new books would be presented and discussed and then were eventually commissioned if they were deemed to be ‘good ideas’. At the time I started working there, I was just getting into roller derby. My colleagues listened and looked on in horror as I told them all my stories of what we did at practice, came in with bruises, played my first bout and fell in love with the sport. After I had been playing for a while, I started suggesting to my boss that we should publish a book about roller derby. I never dreamed that she would take the idea seriously and at first she laughed it off but I kept talking to her about the idea until one day she said ‘Ok then, write me a proposal’. So I did. I was editing fashion books at the time so I thought it would be great to make a beautifully designed, illustrated book with photos from all the leagues that have formed all over the world and really showcase the whole culture and style of roller derby and how it has developed over the years.

To my surprise, the company really liked the idea so I suggested that I write the book and manage the project myself. I really enjoyed the challenge and researching and writing about it all. There are chapters on everything from the history and origin of the sport to uniforms and logos, personal styles and fashions from leagues around the world, protective gear and skates, including the history of the roller skate, to menswear, referees and men’s roller derby, make up and tattoos, as well as a Foreword written by veteran skater Virginia ‘Cheap Trixie’ Evans of the Texas Rollergirls. I wrote to leagues all over the world and got some pretty amazing photos of some very stylish rollergirls from around the globe. We also did an exclusive fashion photo shoot with rollergirl models from London Rollergirls, London Rockin Rollers and Croydon Roller Derby especially for the book here in London in the atmospherically moody setting of a graffiti spattered tunnel under Waterloo station.

Photo by Danny Bourne

Photo by Danny Bourne

You can view a sample of the book here:

Check out the Facebook page:

Watch a video about the book here:

Or buy the book here:


Interval Training

Interval training is something that has helped me a lot recently–especially with jamming. It is perfect for roller derby because it enables you to perform at your maximum capacity for short periods of time and then recover quickly. Interval training is a type of training that involves short periods of high intensity exercise followed by periods of low intensity exercise for recovery that are repeated during one exercise session. It can be done using most types of cardiovascular exercise but running, cycling and rowing are most common.

How interval training works

Interval training uses both the aerobic and anaerobic system as fuel for the body to exercise. During the periods of high intensity, the anaerobic system uses glycogen stored in the muscles as fuel. The anaerobic system fuels your muscles without oxygen and produces lactic acid. In the periods of low intensity, the body breaks down the lactic acid that has built up.

It is thought that by performing high intensity intervals that produce lactic acid during training, the body adapts and burns lactic acid more efficiently during exercise. This means athletes can exercise at a higher intensity for a longer period of time before fatigue or pain slows them down.

In roller derby, a bout is made up of two 30-minute periods. Each period is made up of a series of jams, which can last up to two minutes with a 30-second break in between. Ideally, we need to train so that the body is able to cope with the worst case scenario under these circumstances. The worst case scenario is that each jam will last the full two minutes and that skaters will be required to go on in consecutive jams. This means that skaters need to be able to exert themselves at maximum capacity for a full two minutes and recover in 30 seconds and keep this going for a period of 30 minutes before having a substantial break. In reality, this would rarely happen as jams often get called off before the full two minutes and skater line-ups are switched so that each skater gets enough time to rest. It is possible to train for this using interval training.

The benefits of interval training

Interval training helps to improve performance and increase speed and endurance by increasing the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles, which is also known as cardiovascular efficiency. It also produces an increased tolerance to the build-up of lactic acid. It also helps athletes to increase the intensity of their training without over-training and therefore helps avoid injuries caused by repetitive overuse. Many sources also claim that more calories are burned during periods of high intensity exercise as opposed to slow, endurance exercise. It is a great way of cross training for many different sports, roller derby being only one of them.

Interval training routines

Every person should work out their own individual interval training routine based on their level of fitness and what they want to achieve from their training. It is best for beginners to start with shorter periods of intensity and longer periods of rest and gradually build up the level and duration of intensity, duration and frequency of training, and reduce the periods of rest to speed up recover time.

Safety tips for interval training

  • Always warm up for at least 5 minutes before any interval training
  • You should be in good health and have a good level of basic aerobic fitness before performing any type of high intensity training. Interval training is very demanding on the heart, lugs and muscles
  • Set yourself realistic goals based on your level of fitness
  • Start slowly with longer periods of rest between intervals of high intensity
  • Build up the intensity and duration slowly over an extended period of time
  • Always cool down and stretch after training

Shit London Rollergirls Say

Watch this video–it’s hilarious!

Eat Your Greens: Spinach

Spinach has a high nutritional content and is rich in antioxidants. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, K, B2 and B6 as well as magnesium, folate, betaine, manganese, potassium, folic acid, copper, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has a high iron, calcium and protein content.  No wonder it was Popeye’s food of choice!
Try this hearty and warming spinach and lentil soup to keep you going through the dark depths of winter.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 15 g fresh coriander
  • 1 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp dry sherry
  • 4 tbsp Puy lentils
  • 30-40g spinach leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chilli, onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the squash. Cut it in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds  with a metal spoon. Cut the flesh into bite-sized chunks.

When the onion has been frying for 10 minutes, add the squash and stir well. Raise the heat under the pan to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the squash pieces are starting to turn golden brown.

Pour the stock and sherry into the saucepan, then add the coriander stalks and lentils and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the squash is very tender. While the soup is simmering, cut the spinach into strips.

Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool briefly. Then purée the mixture using a hand-held blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and heat through.

Stir in the spinach and two-thirds of the coriander leaves and stir through the hot soup just until they are wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary, and adjust the consistency if desired with a little water.

Pour the soup into serving bowls and serve.


Cross Training for Roller Derby: Snowboarding

After spending the last week on the slopes of the French Alps, i find myself even more in love with snowboarding than ever before. While I was out there I realised that this was the first time I had been snowboarding since I started playing roller derby and it immediately became obvious that the sport is a great way to cross train for roller derby.

Snowboarding was developed in the USA in the 1960s to 1970s. It was inspired by skateboarding, sledging, skiing and surfing and became a Winter Olympic Sport in 1998. It began in 1965 when Sherman Poppen invented a toy called the ‘snurfer’ for his daughter by fastening two skis together and attaching a rope to one end so she would have some control as she stood on the board and glided downhill. The snurfer became so popular among his daughter’s friends that Poppen licensed the idea to a manufacturer and began organizing competitions for poeple all over the USA.

During the ’60s and ’70s, skateboarder Tom Sims and surfer Dimitrije Milovich consequently invented the first snowboards using improved designs based on the original ‘snurfer’. It was, however, Jake Burton Carpenter who invented the first snowboards with bindings in 1977 and then founded Burton Snowboards that same year.

Jake Burton Carpenter

During the 1970s and 1980s as snowboarding became more popular, pioneers such as Chuck Barfoot and Mike Olson  also came up with new designs for boards and mechanisms that slowly developed into the snowboards and other related equipment that we know today.

In 1982 the first National Snowboard race was held near Woodstock, Vermont and the first World Championship halfpipe competition was held at Soda Springs, California in 1983. Snowboarding was recognised as an official sport in 1985 and the first ever World Cup was held in Zurs, Austria.  The International Snowboarding Federation was founded in 1990 to provide universal contest regulations and snowboarding has now become so popular that high-profile snowboarding events like the Winter X Games, Air & Style, US Open, Olympic Games and other events are broadcast worldwide.

Shawn White

While I was snowboarding last week, I realised very quickly that snowboarding uses all the same muscles as playing roller derby, especially as it involves maintaining a squat position much like derby position for the majority of the time. The quadriceps and hamstrings play a large part in snowboarding and maintaining that squatting position requires and trains strength and muscular endurance in these areas – perfect for roller derby.  And, similarly, the lower you are the better you balance will be.

As with roller skating, the hip and glute muscles are used to help you steer and carve so snowboarding is a great workout for these muscles as well. In fact, as with roller derby, the lower body does the majority of the work in snowboarding.  However, this doesn’t mean the upper body is neglected. As with skating the core provides the root of all stability in snowboarding so it is also a great one for core strengthening. Balance is a key part of snowboarding as well so it provides excellent proprioceptive training.  This is being able to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts, another vital aspect of all skating sports.
And, above all, it is awesome fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Roller Derby Events Calendar 2012

2012 is now upon us and it looks like we’ve got an exciting year of roller derby ahead of us. Check out some of this year’s great roller derby and skating events. I will add more to this as more forthcoming events are announced–watch out…

London Rollergirls first bout of 2012

Tickets available from


Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book out 15th March 2012



Order your copy here:

Roller Derby European Cup

‎2012 Roller Derby European Cup
– The Battle for Europe Begins – Aug. 29 – Sept. 2 2012
Baltic Hall – Malmö Sweden

Berlin 39th Inline Skating Marathon

September 29th 2012

Shoetown Slayers Default Strategy Day Bootcamps
Saturday, March 31
Sunday, April 1st
Two full days of Default Strategy with Pitchit.

SK8 Heaven –  UK Residential Roller Derby Bootcamp
5-7th October 2012 (Rookies) 12-14th October 2012(Advanced)
Weekend ticket –
Day ticket –
Just put in the notes on Paypal which weekend.


North Central Region Playoffs
Sept. 14-16, 2012
Niagara Falls, New York
Hosted by
Queen City Roller Girls
West Region Playoffs
Sept. 21-23, 2012
Oakland, California
Hosted by
B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls
East Region Playoffs
Sept. 28-30, 2012
Essex Junction, Vermont
Co-Hosted by
Green Mountain Derby Dames
Montreal Roller Derby
South Central Region Playoffs
Oct. 5-7, 2012
Lincoln, Nebraska
Hosted by
No Coast Derby Girls
WFTDA Championship Tournament
Nov. 2-4, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia
Hosted by
Atlanta Rollergirls