Rookie Blog – Kurt Copain

It’s going to be hard to write about my experience as a rookie in only 200-300 words, because joining the skate community has had more of a 10,000 word impact on me.

I started skating about 1 year ago with zero skate experience. I was scared to join GMRD because I lacked skills, confidence, and I struggle with social anxiety. Lucky for me, GMRD looked past my inexperience and nerves, and instead celebrated how hard it can be to join a new sport. Every week I felt excited to show up and learn a little more, get a little better. Never before in my life have I heard someone earnestly yell “Nice fall!”, and be honoring the ability to get back up again.

Rookies practice is a great place to make connections with fiercely genuine women and learn a sport that encourages women of all shapes and sizes to take up space and be aggressive and not apologize for it. It has done more for my self-esteem than I could ever type in a blog post. I am grateful for all the late nights in which I pushed myself to go to practice despite feeling tired after work or drained from my personal life. Rookies practice was a place where I could get space from my daily routine and inner struggles, and instead make memories of feeling proud and supported. Like in Ratatouille (one of my all-time favorite movies), Remy’s chef idol Gousteau says “anyone can cook”; similarly, a good roller derby player can come from anywhere and with any background (i.e. no experience), and I would encourage anyone who has an inkling of interest in the sport to try it out and surprise themselves.

Girls Junior Roller Derby Camp This Summer in Essex!

July 16th- 20th from 1:30pm-5:30pm at the Essex High School Hockey Rink

For girls entering 2nd through 12th grade

Spend the week with veteran skaters from the Green Mountain Roller Derby learning all the basic skills of skating on quad roller skates: stopping, falling safely, agility, speed, and endurance. Campers will learn the fundamentals of roller derby in a controlled, safe environment while focusing on teamwork, getting to know the positions, and safe gameplay. Off-skates activities will include derby crafts like decorating team jerseys. This camp is suitable for beginners as well as experienced skaters.

To sign up today or receive more information visit the Essex Junction Parks and Recreation website- http://www.ejrp.org/rec-camps.html

Follow GMRD’s junior roller derby team the Minor Catastrophe’s on Facebook for updates and more info- https://www.facebook.com/GMRDMinorCatastrophes/

How does playing roller derby make our junior skaters feel? Let them tell you!

Green Mountain vs Fog City on May 19th!

You would think that after competing in a tournament a few weeks ago, in which GMRD moved up 13 spots to #213 on WFTDA Rankings, the Grade A Fancy would take a break for a bit. But only two days after returning home to Vermont, wheels were spinning on the floor at the Champlain Valley Expo.

Captains Seraquil, Cryptic Kablam and Breast Infection have their minds focused on taking the skills learned from Coastal Chaos and pushing the team to win the upcoming May 19 game against New Brunswick’s Shipyard Sirens (currently ranked WFTDA #233) of the Fog City Rollers.

The recent tournament gave the Fancies the opportunity to utilize the skills that they’ve been developing together all season. The team saw regular rotation jammers Vagichael Jackson and Savage Patch Kid play to their strengths all weekend, using their footwork to earn points by juking aggressively around the other team’s blockers. Meanwhile, Kirb Stomp, pushed and hit her way through most of her opponents, leaving the other team high and dry. Coach Krystina reached deep into the bench to complete the jammer rotation by pulling out veteran blockers Snatch McKraken and Seraquil. Both skaters were incredibly effective as Grade A Fancy jammers. Seraquil walked away with her first ever MVP jammer award.

In the pack, Seraquil, yet again, played a huge role as a defensive communicator and offensive partner to the jammer. Fancy veterans Breaker, Snatch McKraken, Folsom Bruise, Fox, Cryptic Kablam, Savage Patch Kid and Kirb Stomp also help guide the packs, as up and coming skaters Rad Rover, Klitorisk, TrasHer, and Beast Infection held strong defensive walls. Local veteran skaters Poison Apple and Mule Kick of North East Kingdom Roller Derby (NEK) helpfully joined the ranks to complete the roster for the Fancies by both blocking and jamming successfully through the weekend.

The Grade A Fancy spent January through April focusing on communication, building strong defensive lines and power jam offensive plays. With the team’s other skills now in check, going into this game the focus has shifted toward strategy. Coach Krystina and the Captains have been teaching some of the newer skaters more in depth nuances on the game, including how to effectively save points by outracing the other team. With only a few days of practice left, we’ll have to see how it all plays out on Saturday night.

Tickets for our game on May 19th are for sale online through Seven Days Tickets! More details are below:


 

Roller Derby at the Champlain Valley Exposition! Green Mountain Roller Derby’s A Team, the Grade A Fancy, will take on the Fog City Rollers’ Shipyard Sirens on Saturday, May 19th.

 

Doors open at 5:00pm, first whistle at 6:00pm

Special half-time demonstration by Vermont’s only junior roller derby team: The Minor Catastrophes

Grab a drink in our enormous beer garden with your friends, or bring the whole family. Our Spring Slam Jam will have something for everyone! Face painting, kids games, a special halftime event with tons of prizes to win. You won’t want to miss this!

Visit our merch table to get your hands on our brand new shirt designs for 2018, and learn how you can get involved in roller derby!

Join in all the excitement, athleticism, and fun of women’s flat track roller derby right in your own backyard. We’ll see you track side!

Purchase your tickets in advance online before ticket prices go up at the door.

Door Prices:

FREE Ages 6 & under

$6 Ages 7-12

$10 Seniors, Students, & Military

$12 Adult

Plus fees & taxes

Don’t forget to join us at our after party, hosted at McGillicuddy’s Five Corners! Meet the crew from Green Mountain, Fog City, and more while you get a bite to eat and a drink after the game. See you there!

Coastal Chaos 2018!

For the second yard in a row, Green Mountain Roller Derby’s Grade A Fancy is traveling to Rockport, Maine at the end of April to skate against competitors from all across the country in a multi-day, internationally ranked tournament called Coastal Chaos.

Coach Krystina, along with team Captains Cryptic Kablam, Quil, and Beast Infection, have created goal-specific practices leading up to Coastal Chaos in order to prep the team for the weekend-long competition.

“Bringing up our team both on and off the track is our primary goal this season, and winning games will be a side-effect,” explained Kablam.

From GMRD’s home venue at the Champlain Valley Exposition, skaters have been working on footwork, lateral movements, and landing solid hits. While Coach has been focusing on endurance and strength in skating skills, Captains have been stressing to the skaters the importance of being able to talk to one another on the track, while simultaneously skating and playing a game. A task that, according to most skaters, is easier said than done.

“Our communication drills involve blockers making sure that they’re talking to their teammates while doing the physical blocking, both one on one, and working our way into a small pack,” said Kablam.

This year‘s roster for Coastal Chaos includes an amazing mix of new and older skaters including Trasher D, Cryptic Kablam, Rad Rover, Kirb Stomp, Quil, Snatch McKraken, Folsom Bruise, Poison Apple, Risk, Beast Infection, Savage Patch Kid, Maulin’ Mulekick, Vagicheal Jackson, Breaker, Fox, and ‘Risk.

Newly chartered Fancy skater, Trasher D, is looking forward to playing in her first ever WFTDA sanctioned tournament.

“I’m so excited to play with my team, and to meet all the people we will skate against,” she said. “Even more exciting though, is the opportunity to hang out with my teammates for 72 hours!”

To help curb traveling costs, GMRD is hosting a merch fundraiser. Fans can got to our online fundraiser page and order GMRD tee-shirts, tank tops or bags. Proceeds from the merch goes towards skaters’ travel fees, which are all self funded.

2018 Season Opener – Green Mountain vs Granite State on March 3rd!

Vermont’s Green Mountain Roller Derby (GMRD) hits the track this weekend with it’s 2018 season opener against neighboring state rivals- New Hampshire’s Granite State Roller Derby (GSRD). Green Mountain has anxiously been preparing for this game!

Green Mountain’s history with Granite State goes all the way back to 2011, when both teams were still in their early beginnings. That year GMRD took the lead with a killer score of 244-36!

It took another three years for the teams to face off again, this time as WFTDA sanctioned teams competing for international rankings. GMRD took the win that February with a staggering 345-76 and again later that same year leading ahead 297-86.

Granite State and Green Mountain haven’t skated publically against each other since. Back in March of 2016, GMRD took the win in a closed scrimmage with only eight skaters, but the competition was tough! Granite State’s skill set was catching up!

March 2016 GMRD vs GSRD scrimmage

Now, two years later, a lot has definitely on changed on both teams! GMRD had a rotation of skaters retire after almost a decade of play. Other skaters moved out of state or transferred to higher ranked leagues. Many new players have come up through the rookie program and some transferred into GMRD after moving to the area. Granite State is likely to have had many of the same changes to their roster and challenges to overcome as well! The unknown is unnerving! This New England showdown will be one to remember!

Join the action packed fun this Saturday at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center in Essex VT. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first whistle is at 6 p.m. All GMRD games are family friendly, but our venue does include a beer garden for adult beverages. Get your tickets ahead of time through our event page on Seven Days Tickets in case we sell out at the door!

October 21st Home Game and Summer 2017 Recap!

The past few months have been awesome for Green Mountain Roller Derby. The summer started with us visiting Rockport, Maine, home of the Rock Coast Rollers, for the Coastal Chaos tournament. There, we took home third place, and had a ton of fun doing so! We played three games, and probably the most memorable was playing against Gothenburg Roller Derby from Gothenburg, Sweden. While we did not win that game, we were mesmerized by their skill and teamwork which gave us new skills and goals to work towards.

With teamwork in mind, during our off season, we focused on doing fun activities together. Anywhere from skating local bike paths to trying out a boxing class. You may have also seen several skaters rolling in parades in Central Vermont and Burlington.

As summer is coming to an end, we are gearing up for our fall season!

On October 21, 2017 at 6pm, we are taking on the Bay State Punishers of Fitchburg, MA. Ranked at 148, this game is one you don’t want to miss. Bay State Punishers are known to be heavy hitters, and we are ready to step up to the challenge. Tickets are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3093126 or from your favorite skater. Also make sure to keep an eye out for several skaters making their Grade A Fancy debut!

GMRD skaters at the 2017 Open Streets BTV

3rd Annual Skates Take Over Akes

skates-akes

On Friday, September 29th Green Mountain Roller Derby will return to Akes Place for our 3rd annual fundraiser: Skates Take Over Akes!

Come out, grab a drink, and join us for a night of fun as we raffle off themed gift baskets generously donated by our sponsors and skaters. Details below:

Where: Akes’ Place
When: Friday, September 29th. 6:30- 9pm

Raffle tickets are $1 each/$5 arm’s length/$10 wingspan

All of the money GMRD makes goes back into the organization to help put on our games and pay for practice space. Donations are always welcome!

This event is 21+.

Interested in sponsoring us? Let us know!

Yard Sale Fundraiser

Coming Up: July 22nd 2017, Green Mountain Roller derby will be holding a Garage Sale fundraiser in Milton Vermont. We will have a ton of items donated by skaters, their friends and family. Guaranteed to be  something for everyone!

Have an item or two you want to donate? Contact us on Facebook and we can come pick it up for you!

2017 Updates!

Some fun and amazing things happening with Green Mountain Roller Derby as we wrap up our spring season!

On April 29th, Grade A Fancy played against Twin State Derby in a game titled Skating for a Cure, Strength of Body and Mind. Grade A Fancy, despite having low numbers due to injury and a few penalties, was able to pull out the win with a 207-155 score. The game was exciting and we can’t wait to play our neighbors, TSD, in the future! This game supported the Michael Zemanek Memorial Foundation, Inc. MZMF supports sworn VT Law Enforcement Officers and their immediate families who are faced with catastrophic situations which pose a significant financial hardship. Vermont State Police Officer Dan Marcellus was the beneficiary of some of the proceeds from our last spring home game against TSD, thanks to MZMF. Trooper Marcellus continues to fight brain cancer. He and his family continue to be in our thoughts. MZMF was started by Officer Michael Zemanek’s family after he passed away due to Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS). Officer Zemanek was an officer with great integrity and was well respected throughout the law enforcement and the public safety community. Green Mountain Roller Derby is honored to have partnered with MZMF in order to raise money for their organization and for Vermont State Police Officer Dan Marcellus. Please visit their website: http://www.mzmf.org/ and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MZmemorialfoundation/

 On June 9th, Grade A Fancy will be heading to Rockport, Maine, to participate in Coastal Chaos 2017! This WFTDA sanctioned tournament has teams coming from as far as Gothenburg, Sweden (Gothenburg Roller Derby). We will open the tournament by playing against Fog City Rollers, based out of St. John, New Brunswick on Friday, June 9th at 3pm. Other teams participating in this tournament are Bay State Brawlers out of Mass, Connecticut Roller Derby, Central New York Roller Derby, and Low Country High Rollers, from South Carolina. GMRD wants to thank the Rock Coast Rollers for hosting this tournament. We also want to share that a portion of the proceeds for this tournament will be donated to New Hope for Women (www.NewHopeforWomen.org). Again, we are looking forward to playing in this tournament. As a team, we have chosen to camp together while in Maine. Keep an eye or for bout pictures and team camping pictures.

On June 3rd, we are hosting a bottle drive at two locations in order to raise money for league expenses. From 12-3pm, you can drop your bottles off at either Spring Bottle Redemption (1130 North Ave, Burlington) or Cap’n Cork (164 Porters Point, Colchester). Drop off your bottles and say high to your favorite skaters!
Remember to check our schedule and Facebook page for upcoming events! Also, keep an eye out at the various paved bike paths in the area, you may see your favorite skater cruising by! Skaters have been known to visit the Waterfront Bike Path, Stowe Bike Path, and Montpelier Bike Path. After skating in circles all winter, it feels great to be able to skate in a straight line.