The Cats are kicking off a new era in the league’s development tonight with two special guest coaches – Team USA skater Juke Boxx and Team England coach Ballistic Whistle. The world-class skaters are stopping off in Wakefield in their only northern date as part of their exclusive Rollerbootique UK tour.
Fresh from a break from competition to recruit new members, the league is now steaming ahead with plans to make roller derby a stronger and more popular sport in the district. The Cats will use the session to get the most-up-to-date training techniques and strategy – crucial at a time when roller derby leagues are getting to grips with the biggest change to the sport’s ruleset in it’s history, which came into force in January.
Cats’ captain Kirsty ‘Fu’ Quinn said: “To have two world class coaches visit Wakefield to train our team is an honour. We were lucky not just to get the opportunity to have them coach us, but to finally have a venue to host them in. This is a great start to our season.”
The Cats will be putting their new found skills in practice in a series of intraleague bouts held across the district over the coming months, with dates in Mirfield, Pontefract and Rothwell soon to be announced, culminating in an open bout at the Cats new home at Lightwaves Leisure Centre in Wakefield.
Kirsty said: “When roller derby first re-emerged, it was often associated with the 70s version and wasn’t taken seriously as a sport. Today it is a different story, with over 90 clubs in the UK, thousands of members and spectators involved in the game and Team England taking part – and coming third – in the World Cup.
“We are hoping to promote roller derby in our district and to encourage more women into a sport that they may never have previously considered – we can accept all skill and fitness levels. The team has grown to a position where we can play against each other and this will hopefully encourage interest within Wakefield and the surrounding areas.”
There has also been organisational change within the league, which moved to its new permanent home in January. A new governing committee was recently voted in and for the first time the league has appointed a head coach, who will guide the league’s existing coaching team, which is made up of some of the league’s most experienced skaters.
Richie Dunk has joined the league from one of Scotland’s biggest roller derby leagues, Auld Reekie Roller Girls in Edinburgh.
Richie, who has four years of experience as a roller derby coach and referee, said: “It’s a really exciting time for the Cats and the sport in general. We have a team with solid skating skills and a great ethos, and I’m looking forward to building on this and competing at a national level.”
We’ll announce the tour dates this blog as soon as they are confirmed – so keep checking!