Friday, May 24, 2013

24 straight hours of roller derby madness...

Sometimes in life it happens that you come up with a crazy idea while talking to a team mate in a bus... And now here we are, turning our crazy ideas into reality. Today ADD announced that we will be hosting an actual 24 hour roller derby scrimmage marathon, or scrimmathon! :)
There will be room for womens teams, mens teams, pick up scrimmages (female and co-ed) and challenge bouts (more info, scroll down).
I'm just so stoked that this is happening. It makes me giddy, slightly nervous and hyperactive all at the same time. :)

Here is the press release from our league:

Don’t you just wish to play roller derby all day long? Did you ever wake up at 4am wanting to scrimmage? Well, hold on to your toe stops, because it’s happening. On September 7th and 8th the Amsterdam Derby Dames are hosting a 24hrs Scrimmathon!
And we are not just hosting this epic event for shits and giggles, it’s serious business. In the first week(s) of September 2013, a group of positive roller derby enthusiasts will be skating across The Netherlands in an effort to end sex trafficking. They will try to educate the public and raise awareness to all the people they meet.
This group reached out to all Dutch leagues asking them to organize something to raise awareness and funds along their trip. Amsterdam being a city where sex trafficking certainly is an issue, the Amsterdam Derby Dames want to step up to the plate and do something extraordinary to really get some attention for this great cause. For more information about Sk8 The Netherlands check out their Facebook page.
When we got the dates for this trip we realized that in these weeks the Amsterdam Derby Dames are also celebrating their 4 year anniversary. All the more a reason to make this a memorable event.
An event of this magnitude needs a lot of bodies: skaters, refs and NSOs are essential to keep the games going for 24 hours. We invite teams to play, but we will be opening the event for individual skaters as well, to partake in challenge bouts and pick-up scrimmages (girls only, but also co-ed). That’s why we are asking you right now to SAVE THE DATE! You surely don’t want to miss this.
Registration for NSO-ing, refereeing, announcing and volunteering opens up soon, and so will ticket sales for skaters. But for now, make sure you mark those calendars for the 7th and 8th of September.

For more info keep an eye out on our website.

- Furrrocious

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Communication and appreciation

I like organizing small communities, groups of people, organizations and events. It's what I do as a social worker in community development every day, and I enjoy my work.
When I got into derby, it took me a while to get "sucked" into the organizational part of the league. But I did and I enjoy it and have been enjoying it for the past (almost) 3 years.

When you are in a organization like a roller derby league, there are always people that have no idea what goes on organizational wise. And in a way that's okay, cause not everybody needs to know exactly what it takes to run your league. But it gets to be a problem when people start feeling unappreciated, taken for granted or just completely unnoticed. Everything that keeps your league rolling takes effort from somebody (or several somebodies) within your league. The hall you are skating in needs to be rented. The bills need to be paid. Posters need to be designed. Bouts need to be booked. Etc. etc.
I know it's stating the obvious, but all those tasks take time, energy and effort. Some tasks are smaller, some are bigger. But non the less, they all need to be done.

Communication is another key word in any organization. Being able to talk to each other, ask questions or help and giving each other feedback. It's all a part of making sure an organization like a derby league can keep growing and evolving. 
Again, this will feel like I'm stating the obvious. And in a way I am. But I see every day that groups of people (in communities or organizations) fail because of communication issues. 
In roller derby we have to work with lots of different people. People with different characters, language barriers (we for instance have people from a lot of different countries) and many more differences that effect the communication between members and between committees. For instance if one of your members bark, this doesn't mean they will bite too. If one of your members is super shy, this doesn't mean they don't have valuable ideas to and cannot be the greatest asset to your leagues organization. 

In order for a roller derby league to work smoothly I believe you need to have a good system of supporting everybody in the league to rise to the best of their abilities. 
There is no one right way of organizing your league. There are several ways of doing it and to each their own. We have a system with a board, committees and heads of committees.
It works for us, or it does right now. Cause you also cannot forget that what might work now, might not work in a year. And that's ok. You need to keep evolving and growing as an organization.

But one thing that will be the same everywhere is that people need to feel useful and appreciated. This is universal. I see it in my work every day. Volunteers that have a job welcoming people in the community center and giving people coffee, need to know that what they do is important. As it is. And a "pat on the back" goes a long way.

In a roller derby league, this is no different, if somebody does something for the league they need to know that what they do is important.
I know that I, as president of our league, do not tell people this enough. But I hope that by writing this blog everybody from my league who read it, will know how important I think all of our members are.
I will make it a point myself to tell people more often. As while writing this I do realize I really don't do it enough, and there are no excuses for that.

I want to end this blog with the following message:
Take care of your league. Invest in communication and in appreciating the members in your league and all the work they do. It's very important to do so, or at least I think it is. Cause nobody runs a league by themselves, it is, like playing roller derby, a team sport to run a league!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back to Blog

Its been a while... more then a while actually... its been over a year.
Two years ago I started in a masters program next to my full time job and derby. One of the things that I have let go because of it, was my blog.

"Life gets in the way of Derby"

But now I am back! Cause well, I loved keeping track of my experiences in derby. And this blog helped me do that. So I will try to keep it up again. We will see how it goes...

For now I have been updating my pages, I have updated my page about myself, I have added a page about Men's Derby, and have updated the Dutch League page. Hope all the info on there is now correct.

I have also added a page that links to the website of a very awesome company, called Deadbolt Pads. I am currently a sponsored rider for the Deadbolt team, and very proud to be part of the team too. As their pads are the most comfortable pads I have had until now. And I have not had any issues with my knees since wearing them. Yes, I am totally spamming you right now. But anyways, go check em out.

I hope you'll enjoy my blog. Make sure to drop me a line in a comment or hit me up on facebook.

Derby love,