National Dutch Roller Derby Championships 2016 – An insider’s account.

Guest post from Looney Legs, co-captain and blocker for the All Stars, describing the highs and lows of the Nederlands kampioenschap (Dutch National Roller Derby Championship)

Flashback Friday to the Dutch Championship, which took place in Eindhoven earlier this month. You know your derby weekend has started well when you pick up your teammates after work and one of them is dressed in a Panda onesie and has lost her phone. Upon arrival the rumoured pool party turned out to be a cool party. It was still a good way to relax and hit the bed with the muscles loosened and ready for the next day.

Food – sleep – derby.

We were honoured to play the first game of the tournament against Dom City Dolls (DCD), but not before we hoisted the infamous black and pink three-crosses flag up the hotel’s flag-pole feeling like a 16 year old on a school trip at an inhumane hour.

roller derby; sport; NK
Bludapest up against a solid Dom City Dolls wall :: First game of the NK for the All Stars (pic: Branko Collin)

We arrived in the hall, what a great location! Nerves were kicking in, we got settled in the dressing room, had a team powwow, played a random game to get the blood pumping, off-skates warm up to wake up the muscles and then on-skates warm up which we always lose. Then. The first whistle. DCD. Brilliant opponents! They have grown so much and promised to be a strong opponent not to be underestimated. Lots of our teammates have friends playing with DCD which adds to the excitement. After a fierce fight it was a relief when we took the win in that first, important game with a score of 230 vs 71.

Another pool party, a powernap, a walk hunting for food, watch all of the games, a Tigerbalm massage, a unicorn onesie slumber party, or a combination of the above. We all have our different ways to stay focused for the next game against Breda’s Suck City, the last one of the day. The strong performance of Suck City kept us sharp and we managed to keep the points coming in, bringing the game to a close with a score of 607 vs 44.

What a wonderful day!

Food – sleep – derby – repeat.

The game against Rotterdam Roller Derby (RRD) for me personally felt as the most physically exhausting game. We had to fight for every point – and the refs had to work hard to give every point. Due to ample official reviews this game lasted about 2 hours! After Rotterdam racked up quite some points towards the end of the game we were happy to see the “official final score” on the scoreboard of 346 vs 117.

Looney Legs bracing for impact with her wall :: Ready for impact of Whippin’ Red Siren of RRD (pic thanks to Branko Collin)

Up next was watching the game which would decide who was going to be our opponent: would we meet DCD again or a third time final against the great hosts of this tournament, Rock City Rollers (RCR) from Eindhoven. RCR it was!

Another long wait and then getting ready for the final! Nerves, excitement, stretching, more random games, smiles. We tell ourselves we should just enjoy ourselves, but ohhhh off course we all wanted to win and give that golden wooden shoe as a birthday present to our bench coach. We actually had a cheering squad cheering us on for which we are ever so grateful, it got and kept us in the winning mood. What a great game to play, I remember at some point our bench coach told us we had 3 minutes for water and toilet. I thought there was something wrong with the track which had to be fixed, but it turned out to be half-time already! The time just flew by and after some great derby and a tough fight we took back the win from 3 years ago, for me personally a definite first: We’re number 1!

We are the champions! :: Hugging the golden clog (pic: Branko Collin)

I closed off the game falling flat on my face in the tunnel of love, but hey it is all worth it.

Thanks to our jammers from whom we asked so much, thanks to the coaching staff for being there, making tough decisions and keeping it cool, thanks to my co-captain Party Sparkle for being awesome, thanks to Major Knocks for the awesome warm ups, thanks to my line for being a machine, thanks to the other line for being a machine, thanks to Lee’s for leaving her decency home, thanks to everyone who cheered for us, thanks to RCR for organizing this great event and thanks to Bony for winning the after party, once again.

The phone referred to at the beginning of this story has been returned to its legal owner.

Much #derby love Looney Legs

Thanks for all the brilliant pics Branko Collin