Monday, November 26, 2012


This weekend, I was coaching in a BootcRamp in Bourges (fra) together with Wheely Wonka and Cherry LieLie, while Maëlstrom and Watzé were running a ref clinic in parallel.
The Paris RollerGirls were in da place, baby!

The event was extremely well organized and ran smoothly from A to Z. Seven out of the nine of us who were staying at Mojo Mama's place were sleeping in Oto's room (her two-year old son). Three words: Pa-ra-dise. It is only one word indeed, but it is worth three at least. Tons and tons of toys. A room carpeted with mattresses. A childhood dream!

Thank god the bootcramp participants did not see us like that, we would have lost all credibility. Forever. Ever.

Saturday. Cracking start.

Most of us arrived on Friday evening, but the event started on Saturday at 1PM. Yet, we were in the gym at 9AM to help setting up the track and everything, and we all had lunch together after a brief but efficient general presentation: organizers, coaches, refs and participants.

A sandwich later, it was time for the off-skates warm-up, which I was in charge of. A pretty heavy one-hour program browsing most of the important body parts to work out. For my defense, I had warned everybody beforehand that it was going to be hardcore and that the point was to have a try, understand and remember the drills to work on them later...

Followed the three-hour derby on-skates practice, run by Cherry LieLie and assisted by yours truely for Group A, while Group B was attending Watzé and Maëlstrom's rules workshop and Wonka's equipment course. We switched groups for the next three hour.
The content of the on-skate practices was basically the same for both groups, only with more detailed steps for the Bs and pushed further for the As. That first day was about walls management, building and breaking.

In the evening, we all crammed into a restaurant for a bootcramp buffet topped with a rock'n roll concert by none the less than the local band Deltabonds.

Sunday. Round 2.

Our tired bodies woke up slowly and we resumed a bit late with the first courses: on-skates agility run by myself and assisted by Wonka, and strategy course run by LieLie. I had held a sadistic surprise in stock and gently asked the participants to take off their toe stops. We spent one hour and a half with each group working on alternatives using wheels only.
The refs requisitionned the players half an hour by the end of the morning to work on pack calling, which proved to be very useful for both parties -- and very welcome for me and Wonka as we could enjoy a little coffee break!

After a gargantuan lunch offered and cooked by the Berry Furies' nimble fingers, the minimum skilled players were invited to take part in the afternoon scrimmage, reffered by the trainee refs following the brand-new WFTDA rules: One whistle blow at the start and no minors!

The Centrifugeuses requested to play in the same team in order to train together: the team is made of the players of the center of France. They were just enough to constitute a whole team, they wore black and were benched by Cherry LieLie. The trick was to find enough girls to make a white team for them to play against, which was benched by Wheely Wonka. I entered the white roster and essentially played as a pivot.
The game went well, although lots of penalties were not called (the beginner refs' eyes are not sharp enough yet, no offence: we are all here to learn!) which led to quite a tough play.
I do not explain why I am usually in the losing team when I scrimmage... But for once, we won! "MI-MI-MIXER!" (that was our war cry.)

Special features and epilogue:
A dozen hours of skating in two days, a private after-party in a two-year old's room, a male skater attending the players' bootcamp, a first scrimmage with brand-new rules, do the evolution baby!
We spent our trip back in a bike room because we could not find eight seats together in the crowded train, and met these fourteen-year old high-school girls who were squatting the same compartment.
Today, my whole body hurts and I am sick.

"(only heaven knows how)

And I would do it again anytime!


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