Tiger Bay Brawlers
The Tiger Bay Brawlers (TBB) are a roller derby league based in Cardiff, Wales. Founded in April 2010, the league has two publicly bouting A and B teams, as well as two Intraleague teams, the Merchants of Menace and the Bruise Birds (not yet debuted publicly). The league plays using the Women's Flat Track Derby Association rules set.
The Tiger Bay Brawlers A team started bouting in January 2011 hosting the first ever public roller derby bout in Wales as they took on the Bristol Harbour Harlots. They won this first bout by a substantial margin and this shaped their successful inaugural year. Of the 9 bouts the Brawlers' A team played in this first year they only lost two, earning themselves a stellar reputation in the UK roller derby community. Their first recruitment day was held in March 2010 which saw the league double in size, enabling them to establish and debut their B team in October 2011. The league has recently held a second full intake which has seen membership numbers grow significantly.
Opening their 2012 bouting season, the Tiger Bay Brawlers took on the London Rollergirls' Ultraviolent Femmes in Earls Court, London. Though they lost that bout it was a testament to how far the league has come to be coming up against such a well-established prolific opponent. The league's home bouts are played between Talybont Sports Hall, Cardiff University, and the Newport Centre.
As a league the Tiger Bay Brawlers have achieved many firsts. They held the first public bout in Wales, were the first Welsh roller derby league to be accepted into the UK Roller Derby Association (UKRDA), secured the first Welsh language roller derby feature on S4C and also secured coverage on BBC Sport Wales - a national television show dedicated usually to such sports as football and rugby. They have secured small sponsorship grants from Admiral, Confused.Com and Roller Derby Riot but have yet to secure a permanent sponsor.
In 2011 three members of the Tiger Bay Brawlers were selected to play for the Midlands Massive - an all star team made of skaters around the UK.
In February 2013, the Tiger Bay Brawlers became the first ever European team to win against the London Rollergirls' B-team, the Brawl Saints, in a historic victory in their home venue.
The Tiger Bay Brawlers is run by a management committee made up of league members including skaters, non-skating officials and referees. All of the time given to managing the league is voluntary. The management committee make decisions which affect the whole league and meet once a month to establish priorities and coordinate activities. Sub-committees involve all league members in the league operations and an annual AGM establishes objectives going forwards.
Coaching and training
A coaching committee of Tiger Bay Brawlers' league members coordinates and runs sessions for the league which are held four times a week. Mondays are for recreational skaters - a session which feeds in to the fresh meat programme. Tuesday's are for fresh meat training (new recruits) until they are ready to join the veteran league which trains on Wednesday evenings. A Sunday session brings all league members together in a training session of mixed abilities including drills, endurance, fitness and scrimmage (bout-style situational training).
The Tiger Bay Brawlers have recently established a junior roller derby league (The Tiger Cubs) which trains for one hour a week on a Wednesday in Cardiff. League members are between 11-16 and although all are female at the moment it was initially established as a co-ed team. This team was set up with the help of the 5x60 initiative and has gone from strength to strength. Slightly different to the main league, the juniors will play to the Junior Roller Derby Association rules set.
The Tiger Bay Brawlers, in yet another first, hosted Europe's first ever public Junior bout on Saturday, 8th December 2012 at Talybont Sports Centre, Cardiff.
- "WFTDA Accepts 35 Apprentice Leagues", WFTDA, 16 July 2012
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