There’s a lot of change ahead for roller derby in Herefordshire, as the county’s only senior league, Hereford Roller Girls, aims to boost its members.
Following a successful 2015 British Championships season for HRG’s A Team The Horror Bulls, the club has collectively decided to withdraw from the competition and concentrate on developing and growing the squad on a long term basis. Despite being ranked 30th in the UK and 90th in Europe, The Horror Bulls have never competed in a game with a full squad in its history. With this and injuries taken into account, competing in a tournament comes with multiple risks, so the aim for the club now is to boost its number of members, as they continue to play competitive games outside of the British Championships structure.
The club has also bid farewell to two key players for The Bulls, Kim Wild (top photo, Horror Bulls Jammer) and Jess Warrington (left), who have recently transferred to other leagues. Kim took part in trials for one of UK’s top teams, Cardiff’s Tiger Bay Brawlers, and was selected to join the club. Jess moved to Cheltenham some time ago but although she commuted regularly to remain a Horror Bulls skater during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, she has now joined Gloucestershire’s Severn Roller Torrent. Everybody at HRG is sad to see these two brilliant skaters leave, but collectively thank them for their incredible contributions on and off skates to the club, and wish them all the very best for their future derby careers.
As is the case for many clubs, recruiting for roller derby in a small city has proven challenging for HRG, but with more regular skaters than ever, it’s a promising time for the club. Many skaters are on the cusp of training and being eligible for selection with The Horror Bulls and with the focus on training and recruitment in the first half of 2016, the squad is sure to grow. In addition to building The Horror Bulls, the club is still hoping to develop a men’s team, as well as its team of officials – referees and non-skating officials.
If you’re 18+ and of any gender, and you’d like to learn to play roller derby or become a referee with Hereford Roller Girls, the club is offering skating lessons from Tuesday 19th January at Weobley High School. For competent skaters or those who have completed the learn to skate programme, the next novice intake will begin on Tuesday 1st March. Visit facebook.com/herefordrollergirls for more information on the sessions and how to book. If you’re interested in joining the club as a non-skating official, you can contact the club via Facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry if you have no experience, HRG will teach you all you need to know!