95 skaters and refs from Sweden (Gothenburg, Umeå, Stockholm, Jönköping, Västerås and Malmö), Denmark, Norway, Finland, England, Germany and the Netherlands converged on the site of the Winter Games and took part in two days of on-skate lessons, off-skate seminars, scrimmages and the all-important afterparty.
The skater bootcamp, run by STRD/Team Sweden skaters Swede Hurt, Mad Maloony, Twisted T and Becky Lawless kicked off the morning of 06 January. Participants were divided into three groups based on ability, with activities and classes designed for each level. In addition to scrimmages for the groups of skaters who had passed minimum skills, there was an energetic bout of “sock derby” for the girls not yet allowed to scrimmage on wheels. Off-skate classes on topics such as rules, equipment and how to design a derby-specific workout were mixed in with on-skate practice in breaking down the elements of a crossover, hitting and blocking, and a variety of other skills every derby girl needs to practice. It was exhausting, exhilarating and totally educative. Did we mention exhilarating?
Due to the huge space provided by the Winter Games, we were able to build two side-by-side tracks, one regulation size and one slightly smaller, so we could keep large groups of girls on-track without crowding. There was almost always some kind of activity taking place on one of the tracks, and in addition to our two tracks, we had a small information table selling STRD gear and handing out information to the people attending the Winter Games and watching us skate. We even got some names and numbers for potential future derby stars.
We skaters would be nothing without our referees, so running at the same time as the skater camp was the STRD ref camp, led by Stuttgart’s fantastic head ref, Riff Ref. 24 refs from Sweden, Finland, Holland, England and Germany attended the camp and like the skaters, alternated classroom lessons with on-skate sessions and reffing the skater scrimmages.
The last day of bootcamp culminated in awards, with the following skaters receiving prizes, courtesy of Swedevix:
Best Attitude: Mrs Knuckles – Umeå
Hardest Worker: Obnoxious Li – Gothenburg
Most Improved: Cursed Nurse – Norway
Finally, everyone met up at Stockholm’s Debasser Slussen for an afterparty which stretched far into Sunday.
We’d like to thank all the skaters and referees who made this bootcamp so great, and we hope you had as much fun as we did. If you didn’t make it this year, Stockholm Winter Games has invited us back next year, so be sure to join us then!