High roller Kelly gets her skates on
Source: Liverpool Post
Kelly McBride is HR administrator and office manager at Liverpool Vision, and a member of the Liverpool Roller Birds roller derby team.
I AM HR administrator and office manager at Liverpool Vision the city’s economic development company. I am also a wife, a mother, a Canadian, and a member of the Liverpool Roller Birds – Liverpool’s first and only Roller Derby Team.
I left Canada in January 2001 to begin my adventures of travelling around the UK.
After sowing my wild oats and spending all my money, I stopped in Liverpool.
Initially, Liverpool was just a stop gap to gather together some funds, but the more time I spent in Liverpool the more I fell in love with the culture and buzz of the city, not forgetting to mention that I fell in love with my husband as well.
We married in 2003 and had our wonderful daughter in 2007 and in September 2010 I started my training as a Liverpool Roller Bird.
Roller derby is a predominantly female full contact sport, played on quad roller skates on a flat indoor track.
Its roots lie in America, where it has been played since about 1920.
Roller Derby consists of two teams of four defensive players and one jammer – the point scorer.
The game begins with the pivots and the blockers (defensive players) skating in front in a tight formation (the pack).
The jammers race to pass through the pack once, at which time no points are scored – but a “lead jammer” position can be established.
They continue to race around the track a second time and attempt to pass the pack again while the blockers in the pack try to stop her with the use of well-timed shoulder or hip checks.
The jammers score one point for each opponent they lap as long as they pass that player in bounds and without penalties.
The jammers may continue to race and score points for two minutes, or until the lead jammer “calls off the jam” (by putting her hands on her hips).
Generally, a jammer scores four points each time she makes it through the pack within bounds and five points if she laps the other jammer.
Joining the Roller Birds I have forged what I believe to be lifetime relationships.
Roller derby is an all-inclusive sport, – there is a place for everyone, and you don’t even have to skate to get involved.
They are the most amazing group of women (and men) I have ever had the pleasure to get to know.
Skating has helped me to become fitter, stronger and happier.
It has been a great confidence booster, so much so that when the Gok Wan show asked for some volunteers from the Roller Birds, I jumped at the chance.
Four of my fellow skaters and I were given the opportunity to be clothes testers in the past series of Gok’s clothes roadshow.
For the past year I have been fortunate to work for Liverpool Vision.
From the moment I joined the company I felt like part of a family.
Vision is focused on helping entrepreneurs’ businesses develop, as well as assisting to bring investment to Liverpool.
Roller derby is focused on very similar goals, helping people to develop, assisting in community spirit and, of course, celebrating our great city.
Roller derby and Human Resources are an unlikely pair, but they work wonderfully together.
Many of the skills that I use in my role at Liverpool Vision, I also use in roller derby, namely communication, time management and, of course team work.
We have our next home bout on Saturday, September 29, in Greenbank Sports Academy.
Liverpool Roller Birds will take on Sheffield Steel Roller Girls in a ‘Cherry Popper’ and B-team double- header in a Hitchcock ‘Birds’-themed clash.
The first bout features girls from all around the UK who will be playing in their first roller derby event.
Then, the LRB Chicks will go head-to-head with Sheffield Steel Roller Girls B-team.
Doors open at 2pm and tickets are now on sale through the Liverpool Roller Birds website: www.liverpoolrollerbirds.co.uk
[Image: Kelly in her skating apparel with her daughter Daisy]