Croydon’s Riot Squad defy broken bones to reach play-offs

Croydon’s Riot Squad is rolling into action again this month.

Croydon Roller Derby's President Garfield (left, with star on her helmet) takes on Portsmouth's Malibash Stacey in the recent Eastbourne Extreme. Photograph by Vicky Walters

Croydon Roller Derby in bone-crunching action. The play-offs beckon Photograph by Vicky Walters

No, not the Met’s riot squad, but Croydon Roller Derby’s Riot Squad, who are travelling to Birmingham on September 26 to undertake one of its biggest challenges, the Tier 3 Play-offs of the UK Roller Derby Association championships.

Croydon is the newest and smallest of London’s roller derby teams.

It has already earned a reputation in the roller derby world as a force to be reckoned with. Ranked 26th in Europe and 17th in Britain, Croydon’s A-team has lost only one game in the past 12 months. But the Playoffs may just prove to be their greatest challenge yet.

Croydon have fought long and hard for this opportunity, taking on teams from the Tier 3 East Division such as Oxford, Cambridge, Lincolnshire, Kent and Milton Keynes.

In that time, the only unbroken thing about the Riot Squad has been its string of victories, as its skaters have formed a lengthening casualty list, suffering all kinds of breaks and bruises along the way.

But Croydon have truly earned their divisional title, as well as their place in the finals.

The play-offs is a one-day tournament which involves the possibility of playing three full games against teams from the top of Tier 3. The outcome of their first game, against the Birmingham Blitz Dames, will determine whether or not Croydon are promoted to Tier 2. The games are harder, the teams are tougher, and the stakes are higher. There’s everything to play for…

To support CRD at the play-offs – book your tickets here

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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