The Chartist Cup – a tournament to bring local community together

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Last weekend was very exciting and busy for local roller derby team – Riot City Ravens. They organised the first ever Chartist Cup tournament (24-25th of August) which was very successful by the way. We, Women of Newport, were there to support the event and the team for the whole two days.

The essence of the event was to bring the community together for a family-friendly festival and it was inspired by Newport’s Chartist history. The team is bound by passion for democracy and the equality. Anyone can be a skater in roller derby, regardless of physical or athletic ability. It is about empowering people and making them stronger. It is run for the skaters, by the skaters. Competition teams came from Essex, Nottingham, North Wales, Cardiff, Milton Keynes. North Wales team won the tournament, and Riot City Ravens were fourth. We lost with Tiger Bay from Cardiff with just few points. The game was very emotional and I was biting my fingernails for the last 10 minutes from excitement, and I am pretty sure it wasn’t just me.

Connection between Women of Newport and Riot City Ravens is quite obvious. The ladies were photographed for the exhibition in May. The sport is tough, energetic, sometimes brutal, and it gives you a dose of proper emotions.

One of my biggest passions is meeting new people and having conversations with them. In that two days I talked about mental health, transsexualism, HIV and support groups. And all that happened with different people. I made new connections and they will benefit Women of Newport, and my next photography project I am working on at the moment.

But there is more than that. Before I met the team, I was introduced to Georgie, probably one of my favourite human beings on the planet. Georgie’s heart is in the right place, and she is as much supportive as she can be, and her impact on Women of Newport is crucial. I know Georgie for almost a year, and we met on the set of the promo session we did for the first ever Newport Rising Festival. She is ”The girl with a torch” and a girl from the top of the Transporter Bridge – black and white photo I took in January for the exhibition, and one of the most popular the same time. A set of few photos was displayed, and received a positive feedback from people stopping by. They were happy to chat about Women of Newport and were interested to find out a bit more, I hope they will.

The event was also a great occasion to meet with Newport Rising team and Rise Propaganda. Like always, some group photos had to be taken and we all enjoyed some good friendly laugh and time together. Being surrounded by passionate and talented individuals motivates you to do more. Newport’s community is getting stronger and stronger, and there is bright future for all of us.

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