One statement which seems to always be true is that the next World Cup is always bigger than the last. From the very first Roller Derby World Cup in 2011, with only 13 teams attending, the 2014 edition had ballooned to a massive 30 teams. In 2018, the field looks like being even wider, with at least 35 potential competitors (and more possibles).
To give you a taste of what it takes to go from the idea to the reality, we asked the 5 new National Teams who’ve announced themselves to say a bit about their genesis and their story so far. [We will, of course, be continuing to keep you up to date with all of the National Teams over the period to the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup].
If you are involved in a new National Team which we haven’t featured here, please get in touch with us, via Facebook or email (scottishrollerderbyATgmail.com), we would love to talk to you.
Hey! Actually it started in the FB Asians Derby Group as casual convo. As RDWC started really planning together for 2017 (which of course turned out to be 2018), a couple of people were like “WHAT IF we did a Team Philippines?” It always starts with that “what if?!” Then dreams come true!
With the release of the first round of eligibility rules, many of us in the States and abroad found we were eligible to play. Some really enthusiastic skaters then put together a FB Team PI group and asked around for skaters, adding to a Google Doc to see what we would have in terms of numbers. I think we are at 30ish right now for women?
We have our uni[form] vendor, are soliciting other potential sponsors, working on branding, figuring out where everyone is and where we can practice/play. The majority of us are on the [US] west coast with smatterings all around the rest of the country and Europe. Who even knows how many people there will be when the ball gets rolling; we might have people in the Philippines! At the very least, it would be great to grow the sport there!
It’s such a crazy opportunity, and all someone had to do was reach out and start the connections! For me, I think while USA Roller Derby is fantastic, it was never a dream of mine to play for them. Not my thing, you know? But the chance to rep our heritage on the derby stage?? That’s hard to pass up!
Team Philippines on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514551035482853/
Team Korea Roller Derby
Team Korea formed through the power of the internet and the roller derby community. Many members were already involved with a Facebook Group for Asian derby skaters. The Facebook Group was created to empower and inspire Asian derby skaters both within America and worldwide. When the Derby World Cup opened up, enough Asian skaters of Korean descent spoke up to form a team; some magic stardust was sprinkled, a unicorn was petted and voilá. Through the determination and dedication of a couple of active and vocal Korean skaters, like ShortStop from Gotham Girls Roller Derby and Killo Kitty from San Fernando Valley, numerous skaters of Korean descent were contacted and invited to be a part of the inaugural Team Korea.
The goal of Team Korea is to inspire Korean women in Korea and globally to strap eight wheels to their feet and open up their world.
Team Korea is proud to represent a country that is going through tremendous changes, and our goal is to be a positive and progressive force for Korean women worldwide.
Team Korea on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teamkorearollerderby/
Team Russia Roller Derby
The idea to create Team Russia had been in my mind since 2015, but at that time I didn’t even know where to start.
First of all, I thought that all Russian players who could play could be only from White Night Furies (because I had no idea that someone can be Russian and play derby somewhere and NOT live in Russia), and at that time our derby level was not good enough to play; we had started the team only 2 years ago at that time.
Then, my second thought was that I can’t do this all by myself, but who could I do it with? – I had no idea either.
But, that year was full of e-mails from people who wrote us, about buying merch or coming to Russia, and it was a huge surprise that some of them actually WERE Russians, living in the USA, for example.
They knew that WNF is the only league in Russia and asked if we want to make Team Russia for the next World Cup. I’ve tried to work with them, asking how it could be possible and where to start, but in the end didn’t get clear answers.
This year, 2016, was the year I decided to try it, because I found a girl; she wrote me on our WNF FB page and said she would love to help with Team Russia and that she wanted to play. I thought that this was a sign and wrote her. And after that, step by step, I realised that there are MANY players who can actually skate for Team Russia, who would love to do it, who can help me with organising, coaching, helping or whatever else. From this moment I just started to ask Russian players from other countries if they would like to join Team Russia, I made a page on FB, we asked to share post with a call to find Russian derby players all over the world and people started to write us! That was amazing 🙂
Right now we are 18, including coach, bench and lineup manager and I expect even more players to find and join us.
P.S. When we started White Night Furies in 2013 and were just babies on a track (without a track, to be honest), two coaches from VRDL (Chuck and Ruby Ribcrusher) came to Russia and coached us and showed us what it is like to be a team; how to manage and develop the team, not just the players. When they were leaving, they gave us a Team Australia 2014 patch and said that they’d like to have it back in a year (at the 2014 World Cup). Of course, we spent not 1 year but 4 to make Team Russia, and in 2018 we will give it back to them 🙂 This is one of my own goals for this Cup (from many others).
Team Russia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teamrussiarollerderby/
Team Iceland [Roller Derby Iceland]
Starting up a brand new sport on a small island is no easy feat (especially when none of the equipment needed is available nationally) but, somehow, we made it.
It all started in 2011 when an Icelandic derby girl living in Atlanta knew she’d soon move back home. Only problem was: there was no derby. She decided to test the waters and see if anyone would be interested in starting the sport up and started a group on Facebook adding everyone she could think of and more.
Thus the seeds were sown. A group of enthusiastic women began teaching themselves about roller derby and investigating what equipment they’d need. Most of us could only get their hands on 2nd-hand inliners and had to either order online or beg friends who were traveling to bring fresh meat packages back home. As indoor skating has never been big in Iceland, no gymnasium wanted to take the chance and let us skate on their floors, fearing that we would ruin them. So, for the first few months we practiced in a parking garage, but soon were able to upgrade to a go-kart hall. The hall was little less than an unheated warehouse and during the cold winters we skated in woolly sweaters in order to keep warm.
About a year later, the first gym took a chance on us and once we got our foot in the door other gymnasiums opened their doors to us. Since then, we’ve had a few bootcamps with foreign trainers, six home games (for which we need to lure in foreign teams as there’s only one team in Iceland, so far) and we’ve even gone abroad for two tournaments. It’s been a slippery slope and taken a lot of hard work from seriously dedicated women and men.
We have our skaters, our ref crew and a few NSO’s and other volunteers, amazing people whom without this never would have been possible. There still isn’t any place we can buy proper derby skates but one store has begun selling the derby pads and mouthguards which makes a big difference, specially when it comes to recruiting fresh meat. We’ve come a long way these past 5 years and are still growing. We hope to learn a lot from the 2018 WC.
Team Iceland on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyIceland/
Team Czech Roller Derby
The idea of a Czech national team has been rooted in our minds almost from the beginnings of roller derby in the Czech Republic. As players of Prague City Roller Derby, we have always joked that we already are the national team, because for a long time we were the only team in the country. Our former coach has always wished to create a national team and when we started hearing of more and more derby-playing Czechs, it became obvious that vision could become a reality.
The journey itself started about a year ago, when representatives of two active leagues in the Czech Republic created a temporary board, which had a goal to create the team foundations, to choose managers and coaches and also to spread a word that Czech national team is finally starting. At this moment, our managers are working on the bylaws of the organization and together with our coaches are preparing first tryouts for the team.
Team Czech Roller Derby on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/czechrollerderby/