In November 2019, OWG celebrated a whopping eight years since the first – official – team practice. To celebrate and reminisce, we asked Pina Collide Her (aka our Fearless Leader/Twinkle Toes) to tell us about the origins of the team, and the ups and downs of almost a decade on wheels.
So, 8 years! Wow. Where to start? Probably at the beginning would be a good place. So, sit back dear reader, we’ve got a story for you…
OWG originally started life 9 years ago, inspired (like a lot of our Derby careers, I’m sure!) by Whip It. Jane Cameron and Nic Marlow saw that there was a gap in the market for an Oxford team (yep, that’s me!), and so was born Oxford Angelz of Anarchy. We set up the team, went to train with the Milton Keynes Concrete Cows to learn what roller derby actually is and off we went.. flyers, posters, recruitment… we finally had a team of people who all wanted to see what this crazy new sport was all about.
After about a year there was a split in the team, and several people left to form what is now Oxford Wheels of Gory. Angelz of Anarchy rebranded as Oxford Roller Derby (much better name!) and continued their journey onwards (and upwards).
OWG have had many highs in the past eight years, and also many lows. Our high highs include winning against Coventry Roller Derby in our 2nd open door game, by a tiny five points in the final jam, to our 255 point victory over Severn Roller Torrent last year (2018). Low lows include a massive loss in our first ever open door game (at home no less) to Furness Firecrackers – ouch – swiftly followed up by a soul crushing defeat to Leeds Roller Derby B team. Two British Championships seasons have taught us a lot, and whilst we’re taking another year out from it (hoping to come back in 2021), we’re by no means slowing down or stopping (except at training when we’re told to!). We’re building and making sure our team can take on the very best and come out fighting. We may be small but we are mighty.
Despite the lows, the highs have always made up for it and the team has seen its fair share of changes in the past eight years it’s been running. People have come and gone, people have come back, people have switched roles. One thing has stood the test of time though (no, not me although clearly I’m still here), the love and respect that every team member has for each other, no matter their position or ability. We are a unit. A solid one and we prove that time and time again. I wouldn’t still be here if the team wasn’t what it is. I love these people with all my heart.