By Jacqueline Grima
Manchester’s Rainy City Roller Derby Team are heading to America this September after qualifying for the 2016 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Championship Playoffs. The team are only the second English roller derby team ever to make it to the Division One rounds.
Roller Derby is a women’s full-contact sport played on roller skates, with two teams of five skaters competing to score points by passing opposing players on an oval track. The Rainy City team was founded in 2008, establishing their own venue at The Thunderdome in Oldham shortly after. The team currently has 96 members, including skaters, officials and volunteers. Thanks to a recent five-game winning streak, the team now ranks 26th in the international rankings.
The WFTDA Championships have been running for eleven years and bring together highly talented skating teams from all their member leagues. The Rainy City Allstars team will head to South Carolina in September to play against Steel City Roller Derby from Pennsylvania and the top three teams from the Division One playoffs will go on to compete in Portland, Oregon in November.
Rainy City Allstars Captain Vivien Leigh-thal said, “Getting to playoffs was our number one goal this year as a team, and we’ve worked really hard to make that happen. It feels amazing to have all of our hard work rewarded and be invited over to America to play in such a massive tournament.”
She added, “We’ve increased our training time to get ready for the tournament, but we’re also working hard to raise enough money to cover our travel costs to get across to America.”
To help with travel costs, the team are inviting supporters to make a donation, however small, on their Go Fund Me page
The next Rainy City game will take place at The Thunderdome, King Street, Oldham on 3rd September. For more information and to find out more about the team, visit the Rainy City website or find them on Facebook.