Roller Derby Suomi Cup 2015 came to an end yesterday. Fighting for the gold were Helsinki Roller Derby, Kallio Rolling Rainbow, Dirty River Roller Grrrls from Turku and Tampere Roller Derby. Players were left with sore muscles and fans with tired vocal chords after the four excruciatingly exciting games of top-level derby.

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By 9 PM the final rankings were done: gold went to Kallio, silver was snatched by Turku and bronze went home to Finland’s Manchester, or Tampere. Our beloved Helsinki Roller Derby Queen B’s were left out of the medals. However, this was the first year they participated in the Suomi Cup and thus this achievement is quite noteworthy. History was made as for the first time a team outside of Helsinki battled for the gold. Although coming up short, Turku’s Dirty River Roller Grrrls have made their mark in the annals of Finnish roller derby.

johkuFor an in-depth and insigthful analysis of the game and some thoughts about the future visit the blog of HRD’s loudest and most loyal fan, Johannes Kellomäki (unfortunately only in Finnish): https://isovihree.wordpress.com/author/isovihree/

Aki Saari, coach for the Queen B’s, commended the games: “It always sucks to lose, there’s no denying that. My goal was to get a medal, and that we didn’t achieve. On the other hand the team performed well both off and on the track. Everyone was feeling good about themselves, and none of us lost the faith in our own skills. In the end it was a sum of many small things that caused the losses. Small things, which could have been avoided and without which the situation could have been different. However, it rarely happens that the entire team would have a perfect day simultaneously, so we must acknowledge our mistakes and learn from those, but also forgive ourselves.

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Blocker for the Queen B’s, Menstruella, had this to say: “Yesterday B’s played their first Suomi Cup Finals. We lost both games, I was very disappointed, and still am. But much more importantly I got to feel things I never experienced before. I pushed myself so much that at some point I was repetitively hitting Millis (jammer for Tampere Roller Derby) and making some ridiculous noises of exhaustion every time I was making contact with her. I cried during the last jam as I braced my teammates, my voice breaking down as I was communicating where the jammer was.

I know we weren’t catching up those points, the score board was right next to me, but we were holding that jammer with everything we had, until the very end. I used not to be competitive, and everyone who knows me would probably say that I care most about the process. But never before did I wanted to win so bad than yesterday. I gave everything I had, I have nothing to regret as I couldn’t have done better on that day. Never before I had been so determined to push myself this much for my team.

Roller Derby is tough and the longer I stick with it the more I question retiring, being tired of the hits in the head and back (got a good scare yesterday again), the constant soreness and the emotional roller coster it can be. But days like this one, as disappointed as they may be in term of results, really show me why I need to keep going on. Roller Derby makes me a better person and offers me to live experiences I would have never dreamed of before. But the very best thing of all, is that I get to live those crazy moments with the best people around: my hard-working, caring and bad asses teammates and coaches. We’re on each other team.

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Queen B’s jammer Kujis was also reminded of why she does competitive sports: “All these mixed feelings. So many things to say but yet so little.

How can something I couldn’t even dream about a year ago make me feel that disappointed but yet so proud? 

Yeah, we ended up losing both of our final games and it sucks. Big time. But I felt that fire inside me and shared unforgettable moments, trust and teamwork with my teammates – and that’s why I do sports. Those feelings I had missed after quitting synchro and that sparkle I don’t get from anywhere else other than sports.”

The most poignant comment however came from the star jammer Bam Yaffa who summarized the feels from yesterday: “Next year goddamnit“.

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Text: CutCut

Translation: Samu

Photos: Marko Niemelä

 

This post is also available in: Finnish