Skaters Prepare For The First-Ever 2018 WFTDA European Continental Cup

After a two month pause, the 2018 WFTDA Continental Cups are back, this time with the first-ever European Continental Cup in Birmingham, England. This will be the last of the three inaugural Continental Cups, following the North America East and North America West Cups that took place in August. The tournament, hosted by the Birmingham Blitz Dames, will feature eight teams from five different countries contending for the Cup over the span of two action-packed days.

You can follow the Cups live with your watch pass. On Sunday, the last two games of the tournament will be available for UK viewers on the BBC Sport website starting at 3:30 p.m. GMT and for free on outside the UK.

Read on to see what skaters had to say about how they’ve been preparing for the tournament, what the Cup means for European derby, and the match-ups they are most excited for this weekend.

Kallio Rolling Rainbow's Sara Gilbert
Photo: NSP 189

Kallio Rolling Rainbow

Helsinki, Finland (Seed #1)

“Kallio is absolutely thrilled to take part in the first European Continental Cup this weekend. We are prepared to meet some new and some old friends on track. Our first game will be against Middlesborough, which is a new opponent to us, and I can’t wait to play them. Personally I would love us to have a game against Dublin Roller Derby but we will see how everything ends up!”

—Sara Gilbert, jammer and captain of Kallio Rolling Rainbow

Dublin Roller Derby
Photo: Joe Mac

Dublin Roller Derby

Dublin, Ireland (Seed #2)

“We’ve worked hard to embody our mantra: MightyAF. We’re determined to leave this season on another high note. I’m excited we’ll be counted among the incredible athletes and teams represented at the European Cup.”

—Brewdoll E. Lowcock, pivot, Dublin Roller Derby

“Having the Continental Cup ahead is such a great motivation to work hard every training session and bring the best version of ourselves to the track for each other. I’m looking forward to seeing what other teams will be bringing!”

—Manija, jammer, Dublin Roller Derby

Malice Babs - Dock City
Photo: Patricia Davidsson

Dock City Rollers

Gothenburg, Sweden (Seed #3)

“We’ve kept moving up in the rankings since our first trip to North America in 2016 and we’re super excited to be ranked as the number three seed in the first ever European Continental Cups. There’s so much good derby going on in Europe at the moment. We would love to play every team in the tournament, but it would be great fun to play Kallio again!”

—Malice Babs, jammer, Dock City Rollers

Kid Block - Tiger Bay
Photo: Anja Wettergren

Tiger Bay Brawlers

Cardiff, Wales (Seed #4)

“I’m so excited for the Continental Cups! The European Cup has already noticeably increased the competition and level of play in Europe.  For the Tiger Bay Brawlers, the Cup has provided us with the opportunity to extend our season and set solid objectives and a final goal to work towards.”

—Kid Block, Tiger Bay Brawlers coach and captain

Jelly Mean - Central City
Photo: Floyd King Derby Photography

Central City Roller Derby

Birmingham, England (Seed #5)

“We are incredibly excited to compete in the new Continental Cup structure. European Roller Derby continues to rise and demonstrate its strength so we are pleased to have a platform on which to showcase this. CCR is one of the oldest leagues in the UK, so we couldn’t be prouder to see Birmingham represented  on home turf by not just one, but two teams. Our competition is fierce but we are ready for the challenge.”

—Jelly Mean, blocker, Central City Roller Derby

Birmingham Blitz
Photo: Zero G Photography

Birmingham Blitz Dames

Birmingham, England (Seed #6)

“Hosting the Continental Cup will be the biggest milestone in the Blitz Dames’ history to date. It will also mark our league’s, and my own, 12 year anniversary. We’re going to give this tournament everything and we can’t wait!”

—Violet Attack, Birmingham Blitz Dames.

“We are so honoured to be hosting the inaugural European Continental Cup. This tournament is testament to both our growth as a league and the current strength of competitive European roller derby.

We can’t wait to welcome all of the teams and to skate against them; all of the participating teams are currently closely ranked, so we are expecting to have intense, nail-biting games with tight scores across the weekend. Everything will be left on the track!”

—Rollo Tomasi, captain of the Birmingham Blitz Dames All-Stars

Newcastle Roller Girls
Photo: Paul Jones Photography Cardiff

Newcastle Roller Girls

Newcastle, England (Seed #7)

“Newcastle Roller Girls are so excited to be playing in the first ever WFTDA Continental Cup in Europe! We’ve been working really hard — we’re at our highest ever ranking after some hard-fought wins in Canada and Sweden earlier this year — and we’re looking forward to match-ups against really strong teams. We can’t wait for our first Continental Cup game against Dublin — we saw them in action at our EuroClash tournament in May but we haven’t played them since Beach Brawl in Fort Lauderdale three years ago and both teams have come a long way since then!”

—Newcastle Roller Girls head coach and A-team skater, Kalamity James

Ella Storey - Middlesbrough
Photo by Kodak Kojak

Middlesbrough Roller Derby

Middlesbrough, England (Seed #8)

“We’re super excited to be a part of the first ever European Continental Cup and to play Kallio in our first game. We may be a small league but we’re hoping to do big things at the tournament!”

—Ella Storey, Middlesbrough Roller Derby jammer and co-captain