We’re just about recovered from the North American Qualifiers here at MRDA HQ, but there’s little time to relax just yet as we hurtle toward the European leg of the competition.
Hosted by Manchester Roller Derby, the European Qualifiers will take place between 18th and 19th August at the centrally located North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax and will determine who places in October’s championship playoff finals in Portland, OR.
The teams competing are, in no particular order, Manneken Beasts, Barrow Infernos, Tyne and Fear, Nottingham Roller Derby and Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder; we’ve taken the opportunity to catch up with each of them and pose those all important questions that you’ve all been dying to ask.
Today we catch up with number 2, offensive blocker Danimal Blake and number 5, defensive blocker and relatively recent transfer Robert Quadriguez.
What does it mean to be a part of MEQ?
DB: For the Brollers, it means that we’re growing. Since before we became MRDA, we have been working hard to be the best we can be. We’ve been playing teams that, while challenging, have been realistic for us. We haven’t always been winning, but we have consistently been exceeding expectations. Eligibility for MEQ and the chance to play some of the best teams in Europe is our reward for that.
RQ: It’s such a massive step forward for European MRDA teams. In the past It’s not always been so easy to get all your sanctioned games in place to obtain a MRDA ranking, so to be in a position where we have achieved that and are taking part in MEQ I hope will provide a positive example of what is possible and lead to more teams becoming affiliated and playing sanctioned games.
What will you be working on during the tournament?
DB: Head game, mostly. Keeping it together on and off the track for the whole weekend and supporting each other to do the same.
RQ: As a team I have no doubt we’ll be putting into practice what we have been working on all season and having fun. Personally, I’ve played my fair share of tournaments and I’ll be working on how to get access to the officials snack room (THEY HAVE THE BEST SNACKS).
Who are you personally looking forward to facing on track?
DB: Manneken Beasts – The only team I haven’t played against yet.
RQ: It’s a roller derby tournament in August so anybody who has febrezed their kit.
Who is the one to watch on your team?
RQ: Seriously watch them all! They are an amazing bunch of characters and I’m proud to be one of them.
What has been your MRDA highlight of 2018?
DB: Seeing the Brollers gain an official MRDA ranking, and then a spot at MEQ.
RQ: It’s most likely going to happen at this event so make sure you are there!!!
Bread: Settle an argument; is it roll, cob, bap…?
DB: I’m sure most of my teammates will disagree, but where I’m from it’s ROLL! As in “…nae rolls the day, mate.”
Finally, the question everyone’s asking, could you explain to our readers why Roller Polar Bear hasn’t made your roster for this tournament?
DB: I think it was something to do with his WOFTADAR level 5 certification. I believe that they’re a bit backwards and have this daft rule where you can’t have players or leagues that are affiliated with them and MRDA at the same time…
RQ: We need to stop kidding ourselves that Roller Polar Bear is real; it’s a myth that we all play along with to teach minimum skill skaters the difference between right and wrong. RPB comes from the old Nordic fairy tales of a troll who would give you an “ass-kicking” if you didn’t learn your one footed glides. How else is he at so many events?