Thursday, November 11, 2010

Upcoming guest blogger: Reckless Rowly

It's time to welcome our next guest blogger: Say 'Hello' to Reckless Rowly of Helsinki Roller Derby! Reckless will be bogging on the topic of Fun and Games and as an added bonus you will all get to see some one-of-a-kind helmet-cam video of some of the drills :)  Reckless has had a long and complicated relationship with roller skating so I am introducing him in his own words:

Reckles Rowly, Ref
"Ever since I was very young I always wanted a pair of roller skates. Unfortunately my parents were over protective and thought they were too dangerous. So it was not until I was eighteen that I purchased my first pair of quad skates (this was back in 1979 – Inlines had not been perfected then). I loved them and lived in them, hardly took them off for the next three years. I think I took them off for a shower – Ah, so that’s why my bearings kept on going rusty so quickly.

Unfortunately I’m English, and England is not a good place to skate. The typical attitude to roller skating in the UK is 'It’s something you do as a kid and grow out of.' There are pockets of skating communities in the UK, and they do thrive. However if you are not living near one of these pockets then skating is pretty grim.  And I was not living near one of these pockets, and to do any sensible skating had to drive several miles. Alas by 1982 I’d hung my skates up.

In 1997 the inline skate craze was at its peak. And I decided to purchase a pair of inlines. This coincided with me moving to Germany where they have very good cycle tracks (almost as good as the Finnish ones). I spent 5 years there skating along the cycle tracks knocking out several kilometers at a time.

In 2003 I returned to England and stopped skating, again because I had no where local to skate.
In mid 2009 I moved to Eastbourne. I did not know this at the time but Eastbourne may well be the best place to skate in England. There are 2 very big skating clubs there. There’s a 5K promenade (along the seafront) that’s perfectly skatable with other routes as well. The two clubs also run regular roller discos. During the last year I was there I shared my time between my inlines and quads about 50/50.

It was in the Roller Discos in England I learned these games that I’m writing about.

Since August this year I have been working in Helsinki. When I first arrived I eagerly looked for skating clubs. Needles to say I found Helsinki Roller Derby.  I donned some quads and attended the crash course in September. I instantly decided to become a referee for the league.

So over the last 30 years I have been skating for 9 of them, been reffing for just over 2 months.

The quads I use today I bought 30 years ago. They’re not derby skates, and at 4.5 Kilos they are not the lightest either, but I love them.

If anyone asks me which skates do I prefer, that’s easy it’s the quads.

If I have any regrets, it’s the periods when I did not skate. I wish I’d kept the skating up throughout the 30 year period. I’d be so much better if I had."

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