By Saturday Night Special
SFVRD’s all-star travel team, The Like OMGs, kicked off their 2015 season Down Under at The Bont Invitational in Newcastle, Australia.
SFV was one of two international teams invited to the WFTDA tournament, with a team from Finland being the other non-Australian team participating. Teams from all over Australia competed, including the top-ranking WFTDA team, Victoria Roller Derby.
The OMGs hopped on a plane and flew over 24 hours to their destination in the outback. After touching down, they piled into a car and drove another 2 hours until they reached the city of Newcastle. With less than 6 hours of sleep, the ladies rallied to play their first bout of the tournament against Convict City of Tasmania. It was neck and neck for the first half of the game, but the OMGs proved victorious in the end, winning their first bout 199 to 127. The OMGs team captain, Killo Kitty, was interviewed after the bout for the live online feed of the tournament in which the rest of the team decided to ham it up in front of the camera and show their true west coast colors for all the world to see. Let’s just say that SFV was deemed the most “entertaining” group of the tournament.
After the first bout, the OMGs headed to a local beach for a little bit of sightseeing and some R&R. Day two of the tournament, the OMGs were set to play Kallio Roller Derby from Finland. From the first jam, the bout was turning out to be a hard-hitting and intense event. The first half was an even tighter point battle than the previous bout and could have a lead change in the blink of an eye. The second half was definitely a battle. With several players fouling out on both teams, every skater on the track was fighting for victory to the very end. Although the OMGs gave everything they could, they would not take home the win for their second game of The Bont Invitational. Immediately after the Finland game, the men’s team from New York, The New York Shock Exchange, took the track to play against a men’s Australian team. In order to properly support their fellow Americans, The OMGs belted out the National Anthem from the stands while the officials were performing gear check. With their right hands over their hearts and their left hands thrusting their beers into the air, the OMGs could be heard throughout the entire venue. The Shock Exchange were so excited about this display of homeland camaraderie, they joined in.
Exhausted, but excited, from the combination of the day’s bout, heat, humidity, and jet-lag, the ladies in blue and green decided to partake in a little more sightseeing of the town of Newcastle with a team dinner. On the third and final day of the tournament, The OMGs were scheduled to play against two of the some of the toughest teams in Australia. Canberra was the first bout of the day. Our ladies knew that it would be a tough day, but they were pumped up and ready for action. Although the OMGs were prepped for battle, Canberra proved to be tough opponents. Canberra took the lead and held it strong through the entire bout.
Unfortunately, during the second half of this bout, one of the OMG players, Sassy Stone, broke her foot while holding back the Canberra jammer. Sassy was a trooper of true grit and kept a stiff upper lip the entire time while continuing to cheer on and motivate her team. The last bout of the tournament for the OMGs was against Sydney, one of the top three teams of Australia. Excited about the challenge, the OMGs took the track and gave everything they had. Even though the SFV ladies scored 133 points, the Sydney team won with 219. But to show support and respect, both teams hugged in appreciation, took many photos together, and even traded jerseys! The OMGs bench coach for the entire tournament, Iron Panda, proved to be a major asset to the team. Even though he was nursing an injured foot, he held strong and kept the team focused. And in true derby fashion, the OMGs let their hair down at the Bont Invitational after party.
With the tournament over and done, the girls loaded up the cars for Sydney to do a bit of sightseeing for the rest of their trip down under.
One stop for some of the ladies was to The Darling Tattoo Parlor to participate in the team tradition of getting a tattoo to commemorate the trip. Each person chose something local to Australia, some tattoos being a boxing kangaroo, a platypus, koala, and traditional aboriginal art. The entire team finished the day partying it up at their home base in Sydney. The last day of the trip was spent ogling over adorable animals at the Featherdale Wildlife Park, which included petting koalas and feeding kangaroos! With a quick stop to the Sydney Opera House, the last day of their trip down under was coming to an end. The next day consisted of another 24 hours on a plane, and let me tell you, everyone was overjoyed to be back home in the good ‘ole U.S. of A.
The Like OMGs would like to thank Ivanna S. Pankin’ and Trish The Dish of SoCal Roller Derby for assisting them to achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity to play roller derby in Australia. Thank you ladies for allowing us to make some amazing memories we will never forget.
You can catch the OMGs at their next home game at “The Lot” in Sylmar on Saturday, February 7th as they host the Undead Bettys from Antioch, California.
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