10 years later

Sheffield Steel Rollergirls

Wow, time flies. Looking back, did I really think that Roller Derby would still be with us? The thought didn’t cross my mind at the time. It was something new, exciting, emerging at just the right time.

My involvement with Derby didn’t occur until later in the year, 19th October to be exact, and I remember the day clearly, but this post isn’t about me. It’s about the team I first got involved with, a team just starting out, everyone finding their feet together, forging its identity. Sheffield Steel Rollergirls, one of the few teams in the country at the time, along with teams like the Middlesbrough Milk Rollers (Middlesbrough Roller Derby), Lincolnshire Bombers Rollergirls, Leeds Roller Dolls (Leeds Roller Derby), Central City Rollergirls, formed part of the second wave of Roller Derby.

London Rollergirls had been started a couple of years before and were the team everyone in the UK looked up to, almost mythical.

I remember talking to the members of SSRG at the time, all now since moved on, their excitement infectious, wanting to inform the whole world, or at least everyone in Sheffield about this exciting new sport. It was a meeting place for like-minded individuals, a place to skate, a place to party.
Back then I didn’t think about the future of the sport, how it would transform itself and those involved, how it would grow so rapidly and reach most parts of the globe. At the time it was something niche, fun.

Sheffield Steel Rollergirls are not alone in celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. There are many teams celebrating this year, but behind each team there is usually just one individual, who heard about the sport, Googled it, put a message out on MySpace looking for like-minded individuals, and that, as the cliché goes, is history.

So this is for Go Go (I’ll buy you a pint next time I see you) and all those early members who would bend anybody’s ear, in any pub, at any time, to spread the word about Roller Derby, helping to create what we see today. I still can’t believe it’s been 10 years.


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