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Roller Derby set to take center stage!

Added 13 Feb 2020 by GFORCE

Roller Derby set to take center stage!

We recently announced that GFORCE Sportswear is sponsoring the England Men’s Roller Derby Team and providing the squad with 66 shirts for the World cup later in the summer. Here, in our latest guest Q&A, Chrissy Andrews who is the England Men’s Roller Derby Team Manager explains more!

1. Tell us a bit about Roller Derby as a sport.
Roller derby is a full-contact sport played on quad skates, on an oval track. Each team fields five skaters at a time; four blockers and one jammer. The jammer, who wears a star on their helmet, must lap the pack (the name of the group of blockers) scoring a point for each opposing blocker they pass. Blockers must try and stop the opposing jammer, while trying to help their own.

It’s very fast-paced and makes a lot more sense when you watch it! There’s a place for everyone in roller derby - regardless of age, shape or size. Roller derby is still yet to achieve mainstream sport status, which has brought a real sense of community within roller derby. This is something that can be of great support to those who are part of the community; whether as a player, official or fan.
Roller derby seems to gain popularity all the time, with more and more nations competing at each World cup so far.

2. What’s next for the England Men’s team?
We are hosting an international tournament in Newcastle this February, and are hoping to place first at this event, although the focus is going to be on preparing for the World cup in July.

England will be going into their fourth World cup and, having taken silver at each previous tournament, this time we’re going for gold. The standard of roller derby globally has continued to increase, so it won’t be an easy task, but we are confident we have selected the best this country has to offer. The talent within our squad really is exceptional and we are very proud of all who have been selected.

3. How helpful is it for you to have the ongoing support of companies like GFORCE?
Roller derby is almost entirely self-funded. Support from sponsors with things like shirts or equipment make the sport more accessible for everyone, which is something we want to promote wherever possible.

The support means we can focus our fundraising efforts on covering our training, travel and accommodation costs. Specifically, the support we have received from GFORCE means we know that we are going into the tournaments with reliable, high performance shirts that will help us play at our best.

GFORCE supported the previous England Men’s Roller Derby Team squad, and the feedback was so positive we had to approach them again. We are proud to represent a company that provides such high quality products. Having kit you can depend on is so important for us, so we're really grateful for the support from GFORCE.

4. How did you work with GFORCE on the new kit design to create something ideal for players?
We wanted something that honoured the heritage of the previous squads, which is part of the reason our logo is a lion. This is something that the previous two squads have used and is a frequent emblem throughout English heritage. It also had to look professional, sleek and modern, which we feel we have achieved. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our artist, Natalie Fisher, and the creative team at GFORCE who have helped bring her vision to life.

5. Why is it important to have a practical kit that stands out from the crowd in Roller Derby?
With roller derby being self-funded, and yet to achieve mainstream sport status, it’s important for a national team to lead from the front and present a squad that looks professional at all times, and matches the standard of our gameplay.

6. When will the new kit be worn?
We will be wearing the kit for our Continental Showdown tournament in February, and at the World cup in July. This obviously doesn’t include the many, many times our squad members will wear their shirt for bragging rights and, rightfully so, to look back proudly on what they have achieved!

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