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NPT Roller derby
Learn to skate week 1

The last month we have been out on mass spreading the word about our learn to skate course. After a lot of effort we awaited anxiously “how many will turn up? do we have enough gear?” were the thoughts running through our head. 

To our amazement we were fine 10 turned up and yes we had enough gear, phew. We started off getting everyone used to their skates you could see some fearful faces as they either tried skating for the first time or was the first time in a long time. We then stretched and everyone introduced themselves. 

We mainly went over balance and stance everyone was surprised how they could balance on one foot which give them the confidence that they were all able to get the basics of skating down. We then went over falls so everyone got used to falling forwards instead of on their bums, there was some dubious faces as we asked them to fall to their knees but after that the fear factor of skating got smaller and people who were holding on to my hand at the start of the session were skating along on their own by the end of it.

Was a great session and we have a lovely bunch of people who are all fabulous.  Next week onto stops!

Learn to skate week 1

The last month we have been out on mass spreading the word about our learn to skate course. After a lot of effort we awaited anxiously “how many will turn up? do we have enough gear?” were the thoughts running through our head. 

To our amazement we were fine 10 turned up and yes we had enough gear, phew. We started off getting everyone used to their skates you could see some fearful faces as they either tried skating for the first time or was the first time in a long time. We then stretched and everyone introduced themselves. 

We mainly went over balance and stance everyone was surprised how they could balance on one foot which give them the confidence that they were all able to get the basics of skating down. We then went over falls so everyone got used to falling forwards instead of on their bums, there was some dubious faces as we asked them to fall to their knees but after that the fear factor of skating got smaller and people who were holding on to my hand at the start of the session were skating along on their own by the end of it.

Was a great session and we have a lovely bunch of people who are all fabulous. Next week onto stops!

In the Evening post again this time with the wonderful Port Talbot Lions

In the Evening post again this time with the wonderful Port Talbot Lions

Jones NPT Experience a Referees story

So……., Sundays, the memories of a misspent youth of dreaming of Rock stardom, and Formula 1 of course, after all, Formula 1 is what Sundays are for right? I used to skateboard on half pipes when I was a kid, for quite a number of years the deck and trucks were attached to my feet, well, apart from when I was playing music, or watching F1. One Sunday, my then girlfriend (now wife) must have been slightly not as into F1 as I thought to my dismay, and decided on the advice of one of her oldest friends who found some random flyer in a random pub, to disappear for the morning (and leave me in peace to watch the grand prix). A few hours later, slightly smelly, slightly sweaty, and with a beaming smile on her face, in she wandered to tell me about the fun she had on skates for a few hours. If I had known then where this would lead………………

After a few weeks of peaceful F1 time, lots of random youtube videos, and talk of nothing but skating, she convinced me to skate up. Now, understand, I’d never been on skates, apart from those adjustable yellow and blue Fisher Price ones when I was like 4? So my first choice was to buy the Rule book, and see what this was all about. A couple of weeks later, another friend of hers had a pair of old Bauer blades for sale, so the inevitable occurs. I have 8 wheels! So along I go (on a non F1 Sunday I might add).

The rules aren’t that difficult to follow, although those early days of having no-one to show me the ropes was quite daunting. Not quite sure what I’m looking for, not quite sure exactly what’s going on, then the team we were in had a couple of guests down from Cardiff for a scrim. I was appalling during this scrim, but Jon, a ref from the other team helped me out to muddle through, and really boosted my confidence at the end helping me understand bits and bobs. So now armed with the rule book, and a little understanding, there was no turning back.

I soon got bored of blades, and got my first pair of quad skates. Cheap and cheerful as they were, I fell in love! For the first time in a decade, I had trucks under my feet again. the ease and maneuverability was immense. Took me no time at all to get used to them, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not the best skater in the world, but I can do enough on quads for me to get on with refereeing without having to think about what I’m doing on them.

Next came our first public bout as spectators. Tiger Bay Brawlers v’s Bristol Harbour Harlots. I noticed it was easier to watch the refs when they weren’t on the internet. Head Ref, Skatan from Glasgow, and on the outside Pack, a very tall chap called Chaz Tizer who did a cool walking backward impression of a robot! the game was immense, and I knew then I needed some stripes! Right after the bout, I went down trackside, and as soon as the Derby girls had all done their high 5’s, I went and introduced myself to the aforementioned refs saying “Hi, I’m Joe, I want to be a ref too!” A couple of Facebook add’s later, and I had two friends on my list who were more than happy to answer any and all the questions I had.

After a little while, my girlfriend gets invited up to the Brawlers for their birthday bout, this started a friendship which has given me some of the greatest experiences of my Refereeing career. Soon I was going up and helping with scrims, and Chaz became my unofficial mentor. Between him and Hazel (my wife) they have nurtured my knowledge and understanding of the game, and the rules.

Eventually, Haze and I decided to start our own team in our hometown, NPTRD was born! Yes we’ve started from scratch, but we have gained respect, and with our NPT friends, built up a reputation as one of the friendliest teams in Roller Derby. Although I’m not reffing much for the team, and I’m even moving toward Bench Managing, I still get the call from other teams now and again to help out. The experiences I’ve had within Roller Derby have been some of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my career. I’ve Jammer refed, and OPR’d possibly some of the toughest games I ever will, and although sometimes I’ve felt completely down about my performance, I’ve revelled in the opportunity and education I’ve had.

So, now I’m head ref for NPT, I’ve head refed my first bout this year (not that I wouldn’t have before, I just love Jammer reffing), and I’m teaching and debating the rules with one of the nicest chaps I’ve ever met, Dan of Iniquity, my protege! All we need now, is to recruit a few more refs, and the girls of NPT can gain the benefits of constantly being whistled at! Come on, get your Zebra on! Join Team Zebra!

 

Interested in becoming in a referee and/or want to learn to skate sign up to our 10 week learn to skate course

Get your tickets here image

www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskate

www.facebook.com/NPTRD

@NPTRollerDerby

Hazel Hemlock’s NPT Experience

Hi I’m Hazel Hemlock, head coach and founder of NPT Roller Derby. I have been skating since I was about three when my sister who was nine at the time strapped some uncomfortable metal adjustable skates on me and taught me how to skate round our front garden and I loved it even though they hurt. I then had my first pair of skates when I was 5 years old, they were white high ankle boots and were not like derby skates at all!

My childhood ambitions were either to be a bus driver or to own a roller skating café. They both involved wheels and I knew even then I wanted skating to be part of my life in some way. I quad skated up till I was 12 years old then moved onto rollerblades as I took up roller hockey in my local leisure centre. I really enjoyed it but found it difficult as I was the only girl amongst a lot of boys and being quite a shy person I found it tough to stand my ground (not anymore lol).

In my teens I then bladed and quad skated a lot down Swansea beach and spent many a summer skating back and fore practicing little tricks. Little did I know I was in a way training for a sport that I didn’t even know existed and more than 10 years on I found roller derby.

I hadn’t skated for a while not because I didn’t want to but because being grown up meant not much time but now I find the time to do something I love. I started out with the Swansea City Slayers and skated with them for a year and a half. Then my newlywed husband Joe and I and our friend Carol decided to start a local team where we lived in Neath Port Talbot. This was a big decision for me as it meant not playing derby for a while until we had formed a group of skaters who could skate and play derby safely. However I’m glad I did as the rewards have been great, I have helped skaters who on their first session clung to the wall but are now confidently bouting.

With coaching you help others but you also learn a lot about yourself too and your own skating as you have to think of easy ways to break things down which isn’t always easy, however completing my BRSF coaching course has helped with this.

The team is going well and we are now introducing our first learn to skate course for people who would like to just learn to skate or play/officiate derby with no pressure. I’m really looking forward to this as I love meeting new people and each person the team meets brings something extra to NPT Roller Derby and its growth. If you are interested please sign up, it is open to anyone over 18 and I and the rest of the team will make sure that you are welcomed.

 

Get your tickets here

www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskate

www.facebook.com/NPTRD

@NPTRollerDerby

Elemen Teri’s NPT experience

 

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I have been skating with the NPT guys since beginning of February. The first time I put skates on in nearly 12 years. I won’t lie I was terrified but now I could never imagine ever not skating. I’m totally hooked! Roller Derby is such an amazing sport with a real community sense.

I look forward to every practice and any opportunity to get my skates on. I feel so much stronger and fitter even though I’m not the typically fitness freak. It’s the one sort of exercise I can’t wait to get my sweat on!

The More and more I practice the more I improve. I don’t think you’ll ever know everything and can always keep improving. It’s such a sense of achievement every step you take and knowing your team mates are behind you is amazing.

I have made some lovely friends and to sound cheesy it’s a huge part of my life. I can’t wait to pass my minimum skills and bout with the team.

 www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskate

http://nptrdlearntoskate.eventbrite.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/NPTRD
@NPTRollerDerby

 

You can now book your place on our learn to skate course follow the link

Cherry Von Bomb’her NPT experience

Almost a year ago today I first stepped onto a derby track, with mixed emotions,  little did I know then that derby was going to be one of the most exciting life changing things I have ever done!

I’d never played a sport in my life let alone skated before, I am not the most confident person, and it looked like you needed to be super fit and agile to take part!

But I took the plunge and went along to my local team, everyone was friendly and welcoming,  I was given some skates and safety gear, my first challenge was figuring out what went where!  

The next hurdle was to actually stand up, but with encouragement I managed to get up and kinda roll in a forward direction inch by inch away from the wall, slowly I learned how to not fall and to get up when you do however much it hurts, to stop and to put one foot in front of the other, as the session went on I became a little more confident and started to enjoy myself.

Next up was laps, 5 minutes to skate as many laps as you could, this was going to be the ultimate test, scared and wobbly I gave it a  go and managed 11 laps, I can still remember it now! When I saw the other skaters getting 25 and upwards, I was in awe, I will never be able to do that I thought to my self! 

I have done my 25 in 5, there have been highs and lows, my limits tested and boundaries pushed, with tears and tantrums along the way, but with the support of my team mates these have been overcome one by one. 

The final realisation that I’d finally progressed was the start of playing my first scrim, I stood there wondering how I was going to skate with my heart pounding and legs wobbling, but then I did it, and it was exhilarating! I couldn’t wait for the next time I could play. 

Derby changed my life, I love it with a passion, I’v made friends, gained a social life, met  people from other teams all over the country and have awesome team mates that we like to call ‘family’. The best thing I ever did was to have the courage to step in the hall that day, now there’s no looking back.

Find out more about our new Learn to skate course and get the NPT experience at 

www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskatewww.facebook.com/NPTRD
@NPTRollerDerby

Photo left to right Cherry Von Bomb’her, Hazel Hemlock, Chillie Con Siany

Cherry Von Bomb’her NPT experience

Almost a year ago today I first stepped onto a derby track, with mixed emotions, little did I know then that derby was going to be one of the most exciting life changing things I have ever done!

I’d never played a sport in my life let alone skated before, I am not the most confident person, and it looked like you needed to be super fit and agile to take part!

But I took the plunge and went along to my local team, everyone was friendly and welcoming, I was given some skates and safety gear, my first challenge was figuring out what went where!

The next hurdle was to actually stand up, but with encouragement I managed to get up and kinda roll in a forward direction inch by inch away from the wall, slowly I learned how to not fall and to get up when you do however much it hurts, to stop and to put one foot in front of the other, as the session went on I became a little more confident and started to enjoy myself.

Next up was laps, 5 minutes to skate as many laps as you could, this was going to be the ultimate test, scared and wobbly I gave it a go and managed 11 laps, I can still remember it now! When I saw the other skaters getting 25 and upwards, I was in awe, I will never be able to do that I thought to my self!

I have done my 25 in 5, there have been highs and lows, my limits tested and boundaries pushed, with tears and tantrums along the way, but with the support of my team mates these have been overcome one by one.

The final realisation that I’d finally progressed was the start of playing my first scrim, I stood there wondering how I was going to skate with my heart pounding and legs wobbling, but then I did it, and it was exhilarating! I couldn’t wait for the next time I could play.

Derby changed my life, I love it with a passion, I’v made friends, gained a social life, met people from other teams all over the country and have awesome team mates that we like to call ‘family’. The best thing I ever did was to have the courage to step in the hall that day, now there’s no looking back.

Find out more about our new Learn to skate course and get the NPT experience at

www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskate
www.facebook.com/NPTRD
@NPTRollerDerby

Photo left to right Cherry Von Bomb’her, Hazel Hemlock, Chillie Con Siany

NPT Roller Derby Presents 10 week learn to skate course. Open day at Cwrt Herbert Neath 15th June 2:30pm to 3:30 pm. Course starts on 25th June 7-9 pm week 10 being a roller disco. 10 weeks only £40. 

More info at www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskate

NPT Roller Derby Presents 10 week learn to skate course. Open day at Cwrt Herbert Neath 15th June 2:30pm to 3:30 pm. Course starts on 25th June 7-9 pm week 10 being a roller disco. 10 weeks only £40.

More info at www.nptrollerderby.co.uk/learntoskate

Great night last night in our comic relief 80s roller disco so far we have raised £154.50 for comic relief! http://my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/NPTRollerDerby

Great night last night in our comic relief 80s roller disco so far we have raised £154.50 for comic relief! http://my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/NPTRollerDerby

Want to get a song request in for March 11th? Then donate a minimum of 50p put your request down with your donation, or if you just want to donate please do!!it all goes to comic relief