FINvitational league interviews: Stockholm Roller Derby

Interviewee: A.M. Chaos

How would you describe your team and the team spirit? What’s important for the tournament audience to know about you?

Our team has experienced big changes in the past few years but our team spirit has carried us through all the changes. Also, we have exceptionally many transfers at the moment.

Tell us something about you that can’t be googled.

Altogether the players of our current team have skated for 16 different leagues in 8 different countries.

Rankings in 2016: how was it for you? How about rankings development in the past?

We lost quite a few skaters in the end of 2015 so 2016 was pretty much all about rebuilding the team. It turned out to be a success: I think that the fact that at the end of 2016 our ranking was roughly the same as one year prior tells a lot about the team’s ability to regroup and reinvent themselves on the foundation created together. This also states once again that a team is so much stronger than its individual skaters.

Especially in the past getting the rankings boost has required heavy travelling overseas and we all know it’s not free of charge. What kind of problems you have faced regarding funding the travelling and how have you solved them?

Travelling is naturally insanely expensive. Last year we played all the sanctioned games in Europe – excluding Playoffs of course. We hope this could be done every year but unfortunately the trip to the States seems to be unavoidable in order to get a boost in rankings.

You’re just about to get your very own practise venue, congrats! Has it been hard to find practise space earlier? In Helsinki it most definitely is a struggle… Can you arrange your future games in this venue or will you still need to rent out a different venue? 

Well, we don’t have the venue yet… But the city of Stockholm has promised to build it! The construction work hasn’t even began yet though so there’s still a long way to go but we are hopeful and eagerly awaiting this tremendous opportunity. The venue will be solely for practising so unfortunately we still will have to try and find other solutions for games. It’s virtually impossible to find practise space in Stockholm: the practise space committee is probably our most active department. The only reason we can run a league this big is that in the summertime we have Gustavsberg, a roofed outdoor venue with cement floor. Winters are most definitely a struggle – eg. one of our rare regular hours is on Wednesdays at 9-11 pm. The positive thing is that you know that people who will make it there are guaranteed to be motivated as hell. On the other hand it’s really challenging to make it through Thursdays at work.

Do you ever feel like you are competing against the same teams again and again? (Last year’s both MayDay in HEL and Smackdown there were HRD, CCR and STRD, this year there will be Anarchy in the UK with the same teams plus RCRG. In addition to this KRR has also played STRD, HRD and Rainy pretty recently.) Do you see this as an advantage or a disadvantage? 

We most definitely do play the same opponents over and over again, but that’s not necessarily a huge problem. It’s amazing to have high level teams like CCR, HRD and KRR this close to us – we’ve played and developed together. Looking back it seems to have worked quite well actually. Of course it would be great to have more D1 teams in Europe but the count is increasing all the time. For example it’s fantastic to have London participating in European sanctioned tournaments – few years back it felt like an unobtainable utopia. Also, Stockholm hasn’t played Rainy since 2013 so there’s that. Things will change, I’m sure!

The stage is open: tell us something about you that you think is vital for the derby world to know!

Our team wants you to know that more than half of the team is vegetarian. Also, we all smell like flowers.