Hi! My name is Emma Swarsbrick (or Glen Coco), I am 20 years old and have been skating for nearly 6 months now. And without making this sound like the introduction to a Roller Derby Anonymous group, I think I am addicted to Roller Derby.
Before my start at Rainy City in February I had skated maybe 3 times in my life, and never since being an ‘adult’. I had played loads of other sports and was on nearly every team at primary and secondary school, but Roller Derby was something completely different, and I loved it from the first newbie night.
I stumbled across Rainy City’s website when I was on the hunt for a new hobby, I had been watching the Winter Olympics and was inspired to do something. I initially wanted to play ice hockey (I’m sorry Roller Derby), but there were none nearby and new skater training was starting in 2 days time (I took this as a sign that it must be meant to be). I was extremely
nervous when I finished uni that Monday night and headed straight for the Thunderdome, here is a video of me the first time i skated. I was late to the session, but wearing a helmet with flames at the front from the New Skater kit I got 15 laps and I loved it!
Since then I have been getting better every week, now I know how to fall, I have my own helmet (sadly it has no flames) and I get 26 and a bit laps.
On Monday we practiced stops, laterals and blocking. My stops are alright, my laterals are bad and my blocking is good (apparently). We hadn’t practiced blocking for a while so I felt a bit rusty, but when we got into it I started to feel bad for knocking people over.
We were being taught by Blissful Destruction from the travel team who was showing us how they do lateral drills, which included skating sideways with your feet pointing away from each other. It was hard, but I actually managed to skate sideways for about 2 seconds which is a feat in itself.
In the next month I hope to be able to actual lateral properly, and get the words ‘GET LOWER’ ingrained and possibly tattooed onto my brain.
And maybe next week I’ll get 27 laps.
Coco will be posting weekly updates of her progress through our New Skater training sessions. Come back next week to see her next installment!
Our New Skater sessions run every Monday night at The Thunderdome 7:00-9:30pm. It’s £6 on the door and this includes kit hire. Attend the event on Facebook.