Glasgow Roller Girls were the first flat track roller derby league to be established in Scotland and the fourth in the UK after London Roller Girls, London Rockin’ Rollers and Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames. Founding members Teri Toxic and Mistress Malicious drummed up interest through MySpace and the first training session took place on Sunday 29th April 2007.
Finding a home at GCU’s Arc Sports Centre, in March 2008 the GRG travel team, the Irn Bruisers, played their first bout against London Roller Girls. Following on from this in June 2008 the first intercontinental derby bout in the UK was hosted by the GRG when they took on Team Canada in Glasgow.
The Bruisers gained more bout experience over the following year and went on to be placed third in the inaugural European tournament, Roll Britannia, in July 2009. Membership continued to grow and soon GRG had enough bout-ready players to establish a second team, The Maiden Grrders. The Maidens won their debut bout against the Auld Reekie Roller Girls’ B-Team, the Cannon Belles, in September 2009.
The Bruisers and the Maidens both competed in the first Scottish tournament, Highland Fling, in May 2010. The quality of both teams shone through as they finished in first and third place respectively. The league grew tremendously during this year, and so at the end of 2010, it was decided to set up home teams for intraleague play. These three new teams played their first season in the first half of 2011, on top of a very full schedule for both travel teams.
GRG also became an Apprentice League of the US-based Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) during 2011, and continued to play to packed venues both home and away. In 2012 the Bruisers became a full member league of the WFTSA and the decision was made to move to a bigger venue in Glasgow’s Kelvinhall International Sports Arena for the majority of our games and practices. It was here that GRD held their first tournament Chaos on the Clyde with teams participating from Stuttgart, Sheffield, London, Edinburugh and Leeds, the Irn Bruisers took the gold. The club was also rebranded as Glasgow Roller Derby rather than Glasgow Roller Girls to reflect the athletic direction and ambitions of the club. In 2013 the Irn Bruisers travelled to the United States for the first time, starting their journey to where they now sit, in the top 30 of the world's roller derby teams.
Eight years from that first GRG training session, Glasgow Roller Derby continues to move from strength to strength while remaining true to its roots as a DIY club. Everyone involved in the club is a volunteer, and everything – training, recruitment, fundraising, merchandising, paperwork, and all of the other aspects of keeping a large and diverse organisation running smoothly - is entirely in the hands of the skaters, referees, and non-skating officials of GRD.