Pool 3 of the Roller Derby World Cup has three teams new to the tourney in West Indies, Chile, and Japan, who is the lone Asian country in the tournament. They join Sweden, who finished 6th place in 2011 with 4 wins and 3 losses.
Team Sweden contains a long familiar face on their squad – people with an eye on the crowd at WFTDA Championships this year might have noticed Gotham A-Team Player – turned Stockholm founding member – turned Gotham A-Teamer again, Swede Hurt as an alternate role for Gotham, having recently returned to New York.
The team is captained by England-inhabiting Ylva Arnberg, of the London Rollergirls, who’s joined by her teammate and former Malmo skater, “FeniX” Chronholm.
Stockholm Roller Derby (Lil’ Slinky, Österman, CaRollin’ Thunder, Mad Maloony), along with Crime City Rollers (hosts of the recent WFTDA European Tournament) in Malmo (Dilton, Tjutet, Grönberg Hernández, Jordy Hofmann, Eriksson “Kix”, Thylin “Bompa”, Curly Håår) are well represented on the team. They are joined by standouts from the Dock City Rollers (Skånberg, Ihlberg, Frisk), Umeå Roller Derby (Elin “Knuckles” Jakobsson), and Gothenburg Roller Derby (Fred Finta).
Sweden don’t exactly enter this competition as wild cards, as they made a solid showing in the 2011 World Cup in Toronto with a 4-3 record and a 6th place finish.
They used the Spring months this year to play expos against Team USA, Team England, LRG Brawl Saints and Team Finland.
With two games on Thursday, first at 2:20pm against West Indies then 7:40pm against Japan, and one on Friday against Chile at 11:50am, this team is likely to show their experience against the other teams who are new to the competition. Whether this will guarantee them wins and a ticket to the round of 16 remains to be seen.
Team Sweden Roster
Skånberg, #79 // Lil’ Slinky, #87 // Dilton, #610 // Tjutet, #1337 // Berglöf “Swede Hurt”, #46 // Österman, aka CrackHer, #131 // Elin “Knuckles” Jakobsson, #138 // Grönberg Hernández, #159 // Fred Finta, #1618 // Jordy Hofmann (derbyname: Aloha Riot), #040 // Ihlberg, #6 // Eriksson “Kix”, #9 // CaRollin’ Thunder, #03 // Thylin “Bompa”, #800˚ // Curly Håår, #100 // Mad Maloony, #22 // Frisk, #11 // “FeniX” Chronholm #180 // Ylva Arnberg, #44 (C)
Team West Indies
While words like ‘controversial’ get bandied around a little too often, Team West Indies is certainly an interesting regional inclusion in a tournament that’s based otherwise around country groupings. Given that the West Indies Federation as an official entity lived for only a handful of short years (1958-62), all of which were likely prior to the birth of this team’s players, its inclusion as a regional entity is certainly contestable. But the region has a strong sporting history, with the West Indian cricket team being well known for its standing in international play.
When the team takes the track tomorrow, however, they will show that no matter what their picture ID says, they’ll be skating under the banner of West Indies. Featured on the team are Mah-Ko (aka Kendal-Brown) of Windy City Rollers, Rammit and Jac Attack of London Rockin’ Rollers, and three Birmingham Blitz Dames – Violet Attack, Sammi L. Smacks’Em and Suzette la Flamme.
So far Team West Indies has had had practice sessions with the help of the Birmingham Blitz Dames, at their Birmingham Futsal Arena, but it remains to be seen how this team will fare against the likes of a more experienced, and cohesive team to be found in Team Sweden, who they play first at 2.20pm Thursday.
If you’re interested in supporting these ladies, as we suggest you do, you might want to check out their fundraising page.
Team West Indies Roster
Ida Bomb #1080 // Lafond aka Zed.Z.Sputnik #11T2 // Cookie D’oh! – 13 // Kylie Volatile #138 // Violet Attack #16 // She-RARR #242 // Sammi L. Smacks’Em #31 // Tantrum #328 // Jobson aka Victory #37 // Toni Smaxton #42 // Disorderlee #45RPM // Polly Filla #5 // Rammit #6 // Kendal-Brown aka Mah-Ko #62 // Suzette la Flamme #66 // Enemy #M15 //
As the only team representing Asia at the World Cup, Japan might be said to have a lot weighing on their shoulders. And in fact, given that the only Japanese-passported skaters in the country come directly from the Tokyo Rollergirls, it might be said that most of the country’s derby dreams rest on that city alone.
Although Japan has long had an interest in roller derby of various sorts, WFTDA-style gameplay was introduced in the main by expatriate American players, many of them connected to the armed forces presence. Given the frequent movement of service members, this might have been a reason for derby to falter in the country, but instead it’s carried on strong enough to present a wholly Japanese passport-holding team (with a handful of highlights from expatriated Japanese nationals whose usual habitat is the USA). However, Team Japan apparently accepted applications till August 31st, possibly the last confirmed National Team represented at the World Cup, and is only bringing 15 skaters.
Team Japan will no doubt be a special highlight of the Cup for many. Certainly the delightfully named and coiffed Vagichael Jackson has got many an international derby skater talking. And everyone seems very invested in seeing them do their country and their continent proud, no matter how new their team may be. In a few years time, they might be joined by teams from other Asian nations, such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, who also have burgeoning leagues.
Team Japan play Chile at 3.40pm on Thursday, followed by Sweden at 7.40pm. On Friday, they play West Indies at 10.30am.
Help them out by contributing to their fundraising.
Team Japan Roster
Hell Oh Kitty #13 // Ninja Please #143 // Ayami #17 // Mark #229 // Nobue #30 // Secret Asian Slam #303 // Chee Fighter #31 // Vagichael Jackson 5umo // Aya #54 // Miho #555 // Slamurai #7 // Chikai #719 // Axel Managarmr #75 // Thunder Bell #950 // Mocha Panic #PA29
Team Chile is definitely looking to make an impression in their World Cup debut, visually as well as on the track. Their logo happens to bear a striking resemblance to the headgear of the infamous Sorceress Grayskull from the He-Man series. But even more generally, this team has a strong visual presence … just check out their Instagram account.
And of course, there’s the video teaser with team roster introductions and training and scrimmage footage:
The team’s final pre-Dallas practice session was at Metropolitan Roller Derby, a team they owe a large part of their roster to. Their joined by highlights from Complot Derby Club, Chillanrolleras, and one skater repping from Calgary. Want to support them? We’d advise it!Head to their fundraising page.
Chile plays just one game Thursday, at 3:40PM against Japan. And then Friday they go on to play against Sweden at 11:50am and then the West Indies at 2:30pm (which is immediately followed by the Vagine Regime expo bout).
Obligatory team selfie in Dallas:
Team Chile Roster
Endorfina #205 (C) // Pink Cat #2 // Dulce Boop #07 // La Chilenita #3 // Verotika Fearless #333 // Estigia #419 // Maravilla # 2.0 // Rapaz #22 // Taliwanna #007 // Mamasita Muerte #38 // Killer Cat #666 // Madame Peligro #7 // Zatanna #88 // Annimal #10 // Teluri-K#27F // Chela Navaja #78 //
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