History of ARRG

Back in 2008, a few folk who’d heard of a thing called ‘roller derby’ met in an Edinburgh pub to talk about it. Could it happen in Edinburgh?  Why not give it a go? And so the Auld Reekie Roller Girls were born, and that idea of aiming high never left us.

From the first practices in church halls, with cheap skates, minimal protective equipment and an even more minimal grasp of the game itself, to a league that’s bursting at the seams, boasts three competitive travel teams, a regular new intake and a very loyal fan base… what on earth happened in between?


– First meeting in Bannermans, league begins to form, members learn how to skate, officiate, and build up a committee based league! Also, lest we forget, how to set up a MySpace profile.


– First home bout, Fishnet Burns, between two home teams, Celtic Chaos and Highland Heathens. Guest skaters from London Rollergirls help to make up numbers.
– First travel team is born, the Twisted Thistles
– Twisted Thistles participate in first European tournament, Roll Britannia, placing 4th
– ARRG form a B team, the Cannon Belles.  First double header game is held at Meadowbank Sports Centre, against Glasgow
– Played ‘Fear and Lothian’ away game v Birmingham Blitz Dames – our only ever recorded draw (117 – 117) now impossible!


– ARRG participate in first Scottish Tournament, Highland Fling, in Aberdeen (pictured above)
– ARRG beginners programme starts
– The Thistles have their first trip abroad, to Stuttgart, where they skate out holding hands to Donald Where’s Yer Troosers
– ARRG become all official as a limited company


– ARRG kidnap Montreal’s New Skids on the Block when they’re over in London and bring them to the Jack Kane Centre so they can play a sanctioned game
– After a highly contentious name vote, the new ARRG Home Teams are born – the Skatefast Club, Cherry Bombers and Leithal Weapons battle it out on track.  The Leithals take the win.
– ARRG skaters represent on Team Scotland for the first Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto, our refs Ella Bella, Cherry Fury and MegLe Maniac become the first Scottish refs to officiate a World Cup/Internationally
– ARRG become the first Scottish WFTDA full member league


– The Thistles placed fourth at Euro tournament ‘Track Queens: Battle Royale’ in Berlin. (Skate out video above)
– The Thistles first trip to Finland!
– First ever School of ARRG Knocks bootcamp is held at Meadowbank!
– The Thistles take 3rd place at the ‘Chaos on the Clyde’ Tournament
– Attended the first European Roller Derby Organisational Conference (EROC) in Berlin

2013The poster for ECDX 2013

– School of ARRG Knocks 2: Even ARRGer.
– First trip to America!  The Thistles are one of the first European teams to participate in the East Coast Derby Extravaganza in Philadelphia, PA, defeating teams ranked up to sixty places above them.
– The Cannon Belles have their first international game, in Amsterdam. Almost the entire league comes to cheer them on.
– The second home season – the Leithals do it again!


– School of ARRG Knocks 3: ARRGer than ever.
– The Thistles go to America again – this time to compete in the Big O tournament in Eugene, Oregon.
– The third home season – aaaand this time it’s Skatefast for the win!
– The Belles head to Oslo for a hammering in two tough games.
– ARRG skaters represent Team Scotland and Team Belgium, at the Roller Derby World Cup in Dallas, Texas.


– ARRG ups its marketing game, and renames the Thistles and the Belles – they become the Auld Reekie All Stars, and the Auld Reekie All Stars Reserves (don’t try and say that too quickly)
– The All Stars travel to Berlin for two tough games. Doom is flown out as last minute reserve. #WheresDoom is born.
– School of ARRG Knocks 4: HungARRG games.
– The All Stars megabus round the UK to compete in the first British Champs (Tier 1), for which ARRG host an amazing day at Meadowbank.  We place second! There were medals!
– The fourth and last Home Season (RIP) – and the Leithals swing it back one last time.  ‘Mon the Cherry Bombers!
– The All Star Reserves head to Copenhagen for their hammering this time…but at least there was karaoke.


– ARRG make a short video with BBC The Social and approx 17 million people watch it.
– School of ARRG Knocks 5: SOAK5al!
– The All Stars head stateside again – the call of the Big O was just too strong.
– All Stars qualified but declined Division 2 Play Offs place!
– ARRG has GROWN!  So many skaters!  Nothing else to do… let’s form a C team – the All Star Rookies, or ASTROs, are born. They host and win the ARRGmageddon tournament, not bad going for the babies of the family.
– Fresh Meat is renamed Skate Skills 101, and we manage to get funding for loaner kit, so even more people can join us!


– British Champs again – but this time, it’s the All Star Reserves who get to bus around the country! Yay!  They place second in their tier, and get promoted for 2018.  Amazing.
– All Stars compete in the first ever EuroClash, hosted by Newcastle Roller Girls. Everyone’s highlight was Dr Watson, the resident dog.
– All Stars second trip to Finland!
– the All Stars make it to D2 Play Offs in Pittsburgh, aka PittsbARRG. Division 2. Play Offs.  (Ok so we bombed out in the first day, but we made it!)
– ARRG host the first ever Big Blether – bringing together roller derby leagues from all over Scotland to chat about working together to make things even better.
– The ASTROs host and win ARRGmageddon, again!
– We say a tearful goodbye to Meadowbank Sports Centre, the venue for all our home games since 2009, as it gets knocked down ahead of being completely rebuilt.


– ARRG skaters represent yet again at the 3rd Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester, UK (Team Scotland, Team Poland and Team Baltic)
– ARRG is 10!!!!