Newport’s first and only roller derby team, the Riot City Ravens, awarded National Lottery funding to host a two-day tournament in August

The local sports team were awarded a generous grant through the National Lottery Awards for All scheme. The scheme, which is open to voluntary and community organisations in Wales, supports projects and activities which bring people and communities together.

The Riot City Ravens, founded in 2014, applied to the scheme to help fund an exciting tournament, which will be held over the August bank holiday weekend, at Cwmbran Stadium. The free event will see six roller teams go head to head to win the inaugural ‘The Chartist Cup’.

The team decided on the naming of The Chartist Cup tournament in recognition of the area’s Chartist roots and proud history of passion for democracy, equality and accountability. The same qualities, echoed in the team’s constitution, inspire their fifty plus members to empower and support each other; build confidence, mental and physical skills and to create a friendly and inclusive atmosphere to all.

The team hope the tournament will raise the profile of roller derby in South Wales, inform and engage the audience about the positive impacts of the sport and become an annual spectacle for all the local community to come together and enjoy.

The Ravens sought applications to compete in the tournament from roller derby teams across the nation, and the final line-up will include, Milton Keynes’ Rebel Uprising, the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots, as well as fellow Welsh teams – the Tiger Bay Brawlers hailing from Cardiff, Bridgend Roller Derby from Bridgend, South Wales and North Wales Roller Derby.

As well as nine nail-biting games, the free, family-friendly event will feature stalls and activities from local business and community organisations. Riot City Ravens hope the event will connect local people of all ages, gender, ethnicities, and languages from all areas of the community. The event will showcase women from a wide variety backgrounds as role models.

Riot City Ravens member and lead organiser for the event, Melanie Smith, said “I am so pleased to be able to lead this event. Riot City Ravens has provided me with so many opportunities and has become the community I had always wished to part of! I’m looking forward to introducing people to roller derby and showing how empowering as a sport it is on and off skates.”

The team’s captain, Laura Morgan, said “I’m really excited about this tournament. We’re really lucky to be given this opportunity to invite teams from across the UK to play us in the battle for the cup. We’re hoping that people from Cwmbran, Newport and the wider area will be able to come and watch the tournament for free, and get invested in a sport that empowers everyone who is involved. Signs, chanting and cheering are mandatory.”

The Chartist Cup Tournament will be held on the 24th & 25th August 2019 at Cwmbran Stadium (NP44 3YS). Tickets are free and can be booked via the Eventbrite website, at the following link:


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