Progress Report: The November Update

The year really has flown by and now we’ve hit December, it’s time to look back over the last few weeks at the Bees’ highlights for November.

Manchester Bees Academy

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The Manchester Bees Academy is in still full swing with members training every Wednesday under the watchful eye of coach Sam Wench.  Feedback is good and the Academy’s regular members are developing quite the tactical mind, as well as dodgeball skillset. Now developing their competitive edge, we can’t see how they get along in tournaments and friendlies lined up to take place over the coming weeks and months!

Stafford Open

The Stafford Open took place on 18 November and the Honey and Queen Bees took part in some fierce competition. Suzanne Vickers, Dodge-coach and regular Queen Bee, also attended but rather than getting bees’y, Suzie-V played with fellow Northern Irish players, for Belfast United – and took home the silver after a fantastic day’s competition!

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Belfast United’s own Suzie-V poses for a post-tournament photo with the Queen Bees!

The Queen Bees and Honey Bees came first and second, respectively, in the Plate Cup at the tournament… and the real highlight? The historical moment? Achievement of a lifetime? It can only be one thing. The now infamous moment that the one and only Vic Hind made a legendary TRIPLE CATCH versus ‘Storfs’, the Storm / Sheriffs 1 super-team.

That legendary catch, along with so much other incredible play from all Honey Bees, led to eventual winners Storfs’ only defeat of the day. Incredible.

The Woman, the Myth, the Legend: Vic Hind
The Woman, the Myth, the Legend: Vic Hind

League Update

The following week, the Killers, Queens and Workers were back in action at League on 25 November 2017.  All three teams are competing valiantly in their respective leagues, with Honey Bees ready to join the fray at Women’s League 1 , which kicks off later in December.

Bees’ Community Update

A huge thank you to all from the dodgeball community who donated their coats in support of the #WrapUpManchester campaign towards the end of the month. The coats formed part of a 51-stong donation organised by one of the Bees, which will be a huge help in keeping the city’s homeless warm over winter.

London Storm show their laces in support of inclusivity in sport
London Storm show their rainbow laces in support of inclusivity in sport

Finally, a massive shout-out to our friends down at London Storm, for participating in a wonderfully worthwhile cause; Rainbow Laces Day. Find out more about the Rainbow Laces Movement and sign up to show your support here.

Like the idea of joining a community club, whether to show off your competitive edge or support some wonderful causes and make some friends in the dodgeball community? Our All-comers sessions run on Tuesdays, from 8 – 9.30 at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. Be sure to check our facebook page for details of our training break at Christmas!

Progress Report: October kept us Beesy!

October has been a tremendously exciting month for all things Dodgeball in Manchester – we said it last month but it’s clear, there’s never a dull moment at Manchester Bees Dodgeball!

A Dodgey Donation

At the start of the month, the Bees donated recently retired dodgeballs to Salford City Academy, to be used at their weekly after school dodgeball club. The students were delighted with their new dodgeballs and the Bees were delighted to help!

Salford City Academy show off their new dodgeballs on instagram!
Salford City Academy show off their new dodgeballs on instagram!

The Manchester Open

On 15 October, the Manchester Bees played host to British Dodgeball’s first Manchester Open. The Open was a huge success, with FIVE women’s teams entering from the Greater Manchester area – and the Queen and Killer Bees both finished in second place, narrowly missing out on Gold against superb London Storm!

Did someone say #GirlPower?!
Did someone say #GirlPower?!

Later that day, the Bees also hosted a tremendous after-party in town for those who’d made the journey to Manchester. It was a fantastic evening which showed the spirit of the sport – competitive but full of sportsmanship!

Could our Dodgeball 'Joeys' BE wearing any more clothes?!
Could our Dodgeball ‘Joeys’ BE wearing any more clothes?!

A big shout out to Barkles and Flan for arranging such a superb evening of fun and games (not to mention the dancing…) enjoyed by all!

A Super start at Superleague!

The Queen Bees know how to make an entrance – only a week after taking silver at the Manchester Open, the ladies played in their first ever Superleague Meet – and won two out of two games!

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The Queen Bees’ showing off their bling after the Manchester Open

Honey Bee #Goals

In their first two opens of the season, the Manchester Open and a week later at the Yorkshire Open, the Honey Bees have not once but twice smashed one of their team’s season targets, by reaching the knockout stage of an Open Tournament!

If team performance is any indication, the Honeys are looking good for League this season!

Bees do Halloween

Halloween fell on the eve of our All-Comers session this year, so the Bees dressed accordingly and rather than a truly terrifying fitness session, chose to have lots of fun dodgeball games, with spooktactular prizes on offer!

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Special shout-out to our fancily-dressed dodgers!

Committee update

This month we welcomed two fantastic new additions to the committee: Events Manager, Rafal Shawkat; and Sponsorship Manager, Alex Huband.  With the club going from strength to strength, we are very excited to welcome the two enthusiastic dodgeballers on board!

That’s almost it for this month – we leave you with a true demonstration of two of our blissfully happy Bees, Streather and Storey, in their natural Habitat: enjoying top class food and sharing a moment of love and appreciation for their complementary (and very exclusive) Very Special Hats at a local eatery here in Manchester.

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Would you like to join us for sports and/or socials – perhaps even earning yourself a complementary (and very special Hat) from McDonalds’ Eatery at a traditional 5am Bees’ family supper? The first step is by coming along to an All-Comers session, which take place every Tuesday, 8-9.30pm at Manchester Academy School M14 4PX.

Progress Report: The October Update

It’s October. The long-awaited 2017/18 dodgeball season has begun. Balls have flown. Bees have buzzed. New Season Opens have opened… well, the new season actually. How very apt.

Up here in Manchester, the Hive is as active as ever. Following the New Season Open, the Bees held their first ever Training Camp, complete with team-building, tactic talks and a marathon training session.

Training Camp in full swing!
Bees’ Training Camp in full swing!

Those who felt so inclined were rewarded after Training Camp with the season’s first official social; pizza and drinks followed by more drinks and dancing in the city centre. The social was drawn to a close with a civilised sit down meal at local eatery McDonalds, where one half of dynamic social duo ‘FlanEl’ (AKA E&E) had shown wonderful foresight and reserved a table in the restaurant’s VIP area, meaning complementary hats were provided alongside the various delicacies on offer. Great stuff.

And what of our NewBees, now official members of the Hive and enjoying their maiden voyages to Opens and Bees’ Socials?

Colm, pictured here in action for RoI, is already feeling the Buzz of the Bees!
Colm, pictured here in action for RoI, is already feeling the Buzz of the Bees!

Enjoying his first year with full Bees’ membership having graduated from student-member status last year, Republic of Ireland’s Colm Mallon says, “I’ve had a great time since joining Bees this season. They have welcomed me with open arms and it’s been a pleasure playing with them. Tournaments are just like a big day out playing dodgeball with mates – isn’t that all you could ask for?!

Last (and probably worth a mention, we suppose), is the shock announcement earlier this week by Dodgeball’s Governing Body, British Dodgeball. The one and only, Ross McGuigan, has (somehow) been entrusted with the role of ‘British Dodgeball Ambassador’.

Ambassador McGoogs Photo Credit: Adam Dodd, https://twitter.com/adpdportsuk
Ambassador McGoogs
Photo Credit: Adam Dodd, https://twitter.com/adpdportsuk

A very reliable and trustworthy source quotes McGoogs’ response to the news, “I feel truly honoured to be selected as an Ambassador for British Dodgeball. People may think that being third choice for the role would make it less special, but it really doesn’t. Some people even see me as a dinosaur of dodgeball but I’m really looking forward to help the game move forward and develop through my autumn years”.  Wow.

So, September has offered a great sample of the club’s antics at the launch of this season, but now we are on to October. With the Manchester Open and Bees hosting the Official British Dodgeball Afterparty on 14 October, there is certainly more excitement and nonsense, just around the corner.

Thinking of trying a new sport? Want to come along and help us work out how McGoogs snaked his way into his new role? Our All-Comers sessions run on Tuesdays, 8-9.30pm, at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. We hope to see you there soon!

Bees’ Hopes and Fears for the New Season

It’s fair to say that, despite being called ‘off-season’, many Bees just don’t feel right putting their feet up over summer. And what with a summer fitness plan, summer sessions at Sugden and #BeesTour2017, dodgeball has been kept happily close to hand. Now, as the spirit of summer draws to a close with a typically Mancunian downpour (or twelve) it seems a good time to cast an eye towards some of the hopes (and fears) for the upcoming season.

NewBees

With a spark in their eye and a bounce in their dodge, NewBees have swarmed to our Sugden summer sessions recently and jumped straight in! We’re looking forward to seeing lots of fresh faces getting involved in all aspects of the club, and who got off to a brilliant start at the New Season Open last weekend.

Bees, new and old, making their 2017/18 Season Debut at last weekend's New Season Open
Bees, new and old, making their 2017/18 Season Debut at last weekend’s New Season Open

Leagues

The stage is set for our teams to show their Super League divisions what they’re made of in what will seem like no time at all. The Queen Bees are ready to capitalise their league-topping form, while the Killers look to build on their strong performance last season, fitness sessions and all! Our Worker and Honey Bees players have all been working hard during our summer sessions too and it will be great to see the fruit of their labours on court soon, focussing on the development of the teams’ enthusiastic players.

Socials

Like bright beacons signalling some wonderful joyous respite to reward our hard graft and fitnesss drives, many a’social are in the works, courtesy of the legendary social-planning, banterful Flan and Barks. To start us off this season and heralding a fresh season of social frolics, a delightful evening awaits us all after our impending new season Training Camp this weekend. We can’t wait!

Is there a better duo than the incredible pair that are E & E? (The answer is 'No.')
Is there a better duo than the incredible pair that are E & E? (The answer is ‘No.’)

Injuries

Tragically injury cut a grim swathe through the Worker Bees last season, allowing a whole division to breathe a sigh of relief. Fortunately due to a “really enjoyable” shoulder rehabilitation programme embedded over summer, this will (probably) not happen again. When recuperating, victorious, after a hard day on the dodgeball court, spare a thought for the benefit of whatever those stretchy exercise-band-things are actually called.

Headshots

The primal fear that never exactly goes away, particularly depending on which Bee is facing you across the court during training (We would usually look at Kearns at this point, But we’re too busy guarding our faces in fear). Channel this fear into every agile dodge during sessions and you’ll find yourself dodging dodgeballs as easily as mundane adult responsibilities. Congrats, you’re a pro.

France's Gremion stands firm against Kearns' best efforts...
France’s Gremion stands firm against Kearns’ best efforts…

Alex Jones – Like King Agamemnon himself, we can but pray for the demeanour of the sporting Achilles that will compete alongside us on the dodgeball court when the time comes.

Fancy your chances? We’re a great bunch, really we are (and we promise we won’t let Kearns throw at your face…) Come along to one of our All-Comers’ sessions, Tuesdays from 8-9.30 at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX, and give it (and us) a go!

Feeling dodgy? Get involved!

Dodgeball.

You may have played a bit in school, joined a club at uni or perhaps you haven’t ever tried it before. But, odds are you’ve heard of the sport (even if you thought it was made up just for the film – I did too, to be honest).

New Bees Balls 9" 7"

If you live in or around Manchester and feel like getting active, meeting people and making friends, trying something a bit different or just fancy coming along to try something a little different, Manchester Bees Dodgeball could be just the club for you.

Our all-comers training sessions are held every Tuesday at Sugden Sports Centre during preseason, from 7.30-9.30. We have qualified and experienced coaches on hand to assist those of all levels of experience and ability, meaning preseason is the perfect time to come along and give it a go!

Head Coach Bru (pictured here in his NI Knights kit) and the wonderful coaching team are always on hand to give tips and advice!
Head Coach Bru (pictured here in his NI Knights kit) and the wonderful coaching team are always on hand to give tips and advice!

We also hold members’ sessions on Thursdays (also at Sugden Sports Centre from 7.30-9.30 for preseason) which are tailored towards fitness and development, and are suitable for those who are looking to sign up and compete for the club in the upcoming season.

If you’d like to get involved, please do come along! Sessions usually cost £3, but throughout August and September you can come along to your first session for free!

You might even get a chance to meet Manchester Bees' very own Bumble the Bee!
You might even get a chance to meet Manchester Bees’ very own Bumble the Bee!

For more information, you can visit our Facebook page or contact us directly for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

The Bees 10k – from Bee-ginning to End

Two weeks ago, Bees Alex and Sam took on the Southport 10k, in an effort to raise money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. This is their story…

The steel drum band started. The whistle went off. We don’t actually know if it was a whistle, the steel drum band was quite loud and we’d been running late so missed the safety talk, and were flustered. All we knew was that we were in a pen of runners-to-be, who promptly became confused. Then we understood; it was time. Sam & Alex commenced the running.

Alex & Sam smile for a selfie whilst not realising the race was literally starting behind them...
Alex & Sam smile for a pre-run selfie whilst not realising the race was literally starting behind them…

The first km was doable. A couple of people obviously thought “sod this, there’s a lot of us here, I’ll walk” and downed the pace after 20m. Alex & Sam were not those people. Those people had not been sponsored by friends of bees. They were not running in aid of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Unlike Alex & Sam.

At 2km, Sam Wench’s knees were still struggling. “My knees are struggling ” admitted Sam, because #realmen aren’t afraid to admit when their knees hurt. “Go on without me” said Sam, (Alex thought this was maybe somewhat sarcastic, as actually this slow-and-steady pace suited her very well, thank you very much), but Alex (somewhat heroically but also hilariously, without any slight hiss of snakey behaviour) responded “SAM, DON’T BE SILLY. We may not have signed up for Alderley Edge together [lol, soz, that was down to snakey behaviour] but we are going to get through this 10k together. I won’t leave you.” #Loyalty. Together, they continued.

It was just over 3km through the race. Alex was bored tbh. Sam’s knees hurt. A turning point was quite literally ahead for the Bees. Sam turned to Alex; “10k runners keep going straight here”. “Okay”, says Alex. Confusion shortly ensued. Sam, exhibiting extraordinary snakey intuition at 3.5km, had tried to send Alex off on the half marathon route. Hiss. At least the other 10k runner nearby found it funny… The course marshal corrected Alex just in time. Alex went full #Nibs and avowed revenge.

The Bees' momento from the 10k: snakes won in the arcade, to commemorate the snakey behaviour exhibited during the 10k
The Bees’ memento from the day: snakes won in the arcade, to commemorate the snakey behaviour exhibited during the 10k

Alex, being a forward thinking sort, had brought headphones along. Sam hadn’t. Sam decided the two should listen to Sam’s favourite, most played songs to  get them through. Almost immediately, the Spice Girls started playing. Naturally, Sam went full #SportySpice and serenaded Alex with the entire rendition, mid-run. Wannabe got these #WannaBees through to the 6km marker. Great stuff.

Not long before 7km, Alex and Sam saw ducks (“I bloody love ducks”, Alex had gasped, when they saw ducks) and were proceeding along the designated route. Alex was tired. Sam was being a bit too excitable and energetic for this far into a race (his knees had stopped hurting at around the 4.5k point). Sam, somewhat awkwardly decided to suggest that he and Alex “step it up” for the rest of the race. Alex didn’t particularly appreciate such a ridiculous suggestion, and politely let Sam know this.

Alex & Sam made it through 8km. As the sign for 9km neared, Sam looked across at Alex. “Shall we sprint finish?” He asked, clearly not realising how absurd this idea was. “I’d really rather not, my dear Sam Wench” replied Alex, definitely without swearing. Alex confirmed that Sam should indeed sprint away and try for a good time. Alex was quite happy to struggle on towards the finish on her own, and would see him at the finish line soon anyway.

Alex struggling on towards the finish line
Alex struggling on towards the finish line (which Sam had already crossed…)

Sam ran on. Alex isn’t entirely convinced the whole “oh my knees don’t work” story wasn’t just a ploy to lull Alex into a false state of security over the pair’s pace. Alex was very tired. Nevertheless, she persisted. Stepping up the final running pace just as much as she could, she soon noticed she could see Sam; slowing slightly in his brilliant efforts to sprint a finish. “GO ON SAM” bellowed Alex, in her freakishly loud shouty voice. Sam raised a hand, and raised his game.

Crossing the finish line, Sam had hit the time of 1:03:48. Alex, just over a minute later, crossed the line in 1:04:59.

Nyot bad.

The look of pure happiness when the race is over...
The look of pure happiness when the race is finally over…

Special thanks go to Christian Hadfield & Elliot Barker, who showed splendid swarmly support to Alex & Sam and generally made it a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable day overall. Excellent cheer-bee-ding form from both, 10/10, would recommend.

If you’d like to donate to the Bees’ fundraising efforts, you can donate via their online fundraising page, which will remain live until Friday 21 July 2017.

A massive thanks to all who have donated already donated and helped us reach our target of £250! You’re all absolutely wonderful.

 

The Manchester Junior Bees: Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Given dodgeball’s ever-growing popularity, this week we take a look at the future of the sport, focussing on the players and clubs affiliated with Mr Dodgeball’s Manchester Junior Bees!

MrD's MJB

Mr. Dodgeball clubs are now coaching over 200 children a week across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire.

The Manchester Junior Bees’ team is selected from members of all the clubs.

We are delighted and immensely proud of our Junior Bees for qualifying for this year’s National Finals in Leicester!

Having a clear pathway of progression from our junior clubs to the Manchester Bees Academy then on to the adult section is an exciting step forwards for dodgeball in the Manchester area.

The club sessions aim to teach the basics of dodgeball through varied drills and games, focussing on different skills each week and developing strategies and team play.

The standards of play at each club improve week on week. The Heaton Hurricanes broke all records recently with a fabulous turnout of 57 – and to top it off, the Hurricanes recently won the first ever Manchester Cup!

Mr Dodgeball lines up with the Avondale Avalanches and Heaton Hurricanes after the Manchester Cup final
Mr Dodgeball’s Avondale Avalanches and Heaton Hurricanes after the Manchester Cup final in May

The friendly rivalry between the Hurricanes and their neighbours, the Avondale Avalanches, is demonstrated at our monthly inter-club tournament.  Members of Manchester Bees’ various grown up teams regularly go along to help out and love watching the play and fantastic team spirit on display – the players are a true credit to their clubs and to Mr Dodgeball.

The quality of play at Handforth Hawks, a club launched by Mr Dodgeball around 18 months ago, has improved tremendously and the Hawks are now the lower junior trophy holders for the last 3 tournaments in a row!

Hanforth Hawks celebrate another win alongside Upper Junior winners Avondale Avalances, Mr Dodgeball and some of the senior Bees!
Recent Lower Junior winners Hanforth Hawks and Upper Junior winners Avondale Avalances

What is also evident at these tournaments is the nurturing role the older children at the clubs take with the clubs’ younger players.

The growing popularity of Dodgeball means that Mr Dodgeball is about to open his 13th club in the region. The Macclesfield Marvels will be having their first session on Saturday 10 June  (details below).

Our current junior clubs sessions are:

Horwich Heat Tuesdays, 5-6pm St Elizabeth’s Church HALL, Horwich BL6 6EU

Heaton Hurricanes Wednesdays, 6-7pm St Anne’s High school, Glenfield Road, Stockport, SK4 2QP

Altrincham Dodgers Thursdays, 5.20-6.20pm The Hub, Pownall Road, Altrincham, WA14 2SZ

Avondale Avalanche Thursdays, 7-8pm, Stockport Academy, Heathbank Road

Handforth Hawks Saturdays, 9-10 Handforth Scout Hut, Old Road, Handforth.

Macclesfield Marvels Saturdays, 10.45-11.45 St Pauls Parish Centre, Glegg Street Macclesfield.

And what does Mr Dodgeball’s Chris Riley have to say about the Bees?

Our hope is that our grass roots approach and affiliation with the Manchester Bees will lead to the next generation of international dodgeball players. We have some exciting talent at our clubs and can’t wait to see how they progress!

The boys’ standard is really high and we have high hopes for the girls too, in particular Caitlyn from Horwich Heat and Belle from Avondale Avalanche – so watch this space!

We can’t thank the Manchester Bees enough for their continuing support of Mr. Dodgeball’s clubs, members and the invaluable input given at our tournaments and events. We really couldn’t do it without you!!

For grown ups who are interested in taking part, the Manchester Bees hold all-comers sessions on Tuesdays at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX.  You can find out more on the Manchester Bees facebook page! For those interested in Mr Dodgeball’s junior clubs, you can find out more by visiting Mr Dodgeball’s website,  facebook page or instagram.

#ManchesterBeesDodgeballFamily #DodgeballForAllAges

International Bee Network: The Anzac and Asia Beach Tournaments

Whilst we all know the hive is based in Manchester, there’s no denying the Bees who call it home, like to migrate all over the world from time to time.

In April, one of our student member Bees, Sam Wench, flew all the way to South-East Asia to compete for Outkast International Wolfpack in the Anzac International Tournament, this year held in Singapore, and Bali’s Asia Beach Tournament.

Sam representing the Manchester Bees kit enjoying the Singapore sights
Reppin’ the Manchester Bees kit, enjoying the Singapore sights

Sun, sports and ‘Stingapore’ – The Anzac International Tournament

Having landed in Stingapore and attended a training session with Outkast to grapple with the six-ball rules and foam play, Sam played in the mixed and men’s tournaments at the Anzac International Tournament, held in Singapore on the 20 and 21 April.

With intense competition and experienced teams from countries including Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, the Outkast men made it through the group stages but succumbed in the quarter finals to Malaysia’s Earthshakers, who were the eventual winners of the contest, having demonstrated superb and consistent play throughout the tournament.

Sam with his Outkast team, lining up with New Zealand’s Canterbury Vikings for a post-match photo

The Buzz from Bali’s Asian Beach Dodgeball Tournament

On 28 and 29 April, nine teams from six clubs went to Bali for the two-day dodgeball extravaganza, which included one cloth-ball division and a separate foam-ball division, both playing six-ball rules! Competition was strong with representatives from nine different countries, including Germany, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and England (Go Sam!) around the world, competing for the titles.

The teams had a great time over the two day tournament and the finals involved not only some tough competition – the teams ended up fighting the setting sun, incoming tide and tiredness.

Life's a beach: running off in the sunshine
Life’s a beach: running off in the sunshine

Outkast’s performance throughout the tournament was strong, with the team coming second in the foam division and fourth in cloth. Highlights included some great hits and catches and one particularly awesome triple catch, with our very own Sam making three catches in immediate succession… if only it was on film!

Check out Asia Beach Dodgeball’s video album of the tournament, below.

“It was an absolutely brilliant experience and goes to show how dodgeball can really open doors for travelling and making friends all round the world. It’s crazy that, a year after the Dodgeball World Cup in Manchester, I was on a plane to visit and play alongside friends I’d met there. It was great – and I’ve learned a lot about my own dodgeball technique and how to strengthen my performance. Plans are already in place for next year’s overseas adventures – Roll on Melbourne #Anzac2018!”

Like the sound of international friendships,  travels and overseas competitions? Why not give dodgeball a go a bit closer to home – the Bees’ all-comers sessions run on Tuesdays, 8-9.30pm at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. We hope to see you there!

Halftime Highlights: Ladies’ Corner – A Bees’ One-Two? You’d better Bee-League it!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve presented the A to Z of being a Bee, you’ve been treated to the first and second instalments of Keeping Up With The Killers, and you’ve seen the thrilling account of the Worker Bees’ rise in the face of adversity, to their first league victories, aptly titled Workin’ 9-5, What a Way to Win a League Meet.  You lucky things – we’ve been spoiling you.

But whilst the lads have been commanding respect in the Midlands, our ladies’ teams have been getting pretty dodgy up north in Sheffield. Just over halfway through Women’s League 1 North, it’s time to catch up with the Queen Bees and Honey Bees, with a selection of  their Halftime Highlights.

“At the first league meet, when the teams realised we’d both done so well, having had an unbeatable day… We were top of the league table right from the start!” – Helena Law, Queen Bee, Ladies’ Coach

The Queen and Honey Bees celebrate a full house of wins at League Meet 1
The Queen and Honey Bees celebrate a full house of wins at League Meet 1

“When I moved to Manchester I had several clubs asking me to play for them. I’m really glad I chose the Bees because it’s a special thing we have going here. I just wish I’d signed up for tour in time #beegret” – Imy Young, Queen Bee,  Deliverer of fantastic shutdowns

“I’ve really enjoyed the team road trips up to Sheffield and back, especially with two teams’ worth of cars in the convoy!” – Cat Bawtree, Honey Bee, Scotland Highlander

“We’ve got a great team spirit and with our #Bees1and2  so far this season, it’s only going to get better! Plus it gets me away from Aden for a while. I do love him but it is nice to have an afternoon off.” – Sian Ellis, Queen Bee, Supplier of Drugs (don’t worry, she’s a pharmacist)

h
#Bees1and2 – The league table as it stands after Meet 4 of 7

“Just because I’ve collected fellow honey Vic en route to each meet, I’ve earned a chocolate milkshake from Maccies to enjoy on the way. The meets have been great and I’m full of love for the bees and our honeys squad is just #newbeegoals – and, well, #goals generally – but those chocolate milkshakes…” – Alex Charlton, Honey Bee, Blog Aficionado 

“The general camaraderie of the two ladies teams, trips over the hills (rainbows!) Hair plaiting, glitter, having the honeys – and the lads who’ve come along too – support and cheering each other on in matches.” – Suzanne Vickers, Queen Bee, Northern Ireland Knight

Queen and Honey Bees' Squad Selfie with women's coach Alex Bembridge
Queen and Honey Bees’ Squad Selfie with women’s coach Alex Bembridge

Interested? We’re always on the lookout for more bees to join the hive. Our all-comer sessions are on Tuesdays, 8-9.30pm at Manchester Academy School, Moss Lane East, M14 4PX. Come along and give it a go!

Workin’ 9-5, What a Way to Win a League Meet…

Sunday March 26th, judgement day for the Worker Bees. After 4 disappointing league meets the boys knew it was imperative to return from Leicester with some wins to keep their hopes of survival alive.

The clocks had gone forward the night before, causing mass confusion in the ranks. Undeterred, the Workers set off on time under the stewardship of Thomas B. Shelbrooke, Welfare Secretary of the Bees and the sort of chap you can trust to know the time of day.

#roadtripselfie
Workin’ it for the classic #roadtripselfie

We made good time, stopping off at the Uttoxeter McDonald’s for a coffee to break the journey down. Familiar turf for the boys, frequented after most tournaments in the East Midlands. As deputy social sec I enquired if we could reserve a table for 7pm (BST). Sadly McDonald’s don’t take reservations at such short notice.

Upon arrival at New College Leicester we met up with Akshay “Ashley” Shaw, a member of the Hive who has migrated south for the warmer climes of Birmingham as Royton wasn’t quite cutting the mustard.

It was good to see Shaw as there had been rumours flying around of his impending transfer to London Storm to fill the gap on the wing of their 3rd team.

Ash
Caught red-handed: Ash discusses his defection to London Storm, shortly before being handed a yellow…

With the team fully assembled we changed and limbered up ready to take on Hinckley Revolution.

Disaster struck before the game had even begun! Shaw receives a yellow card, after absent-mindedly wandering across a game in progress. Our friends in Italy at the Ravenna Diablos have a phrase for such an act – ‘molto villaggio’. I forget how it translates into English. It should also be noted that David Streather “allegedly” committed the same crime but fled the scene, a real indictment of the Criminal Justice system.

In Shaw’s absence, the famous five got off to a cracking start, taking a 4-0 lead. After Shaw’s  reintroduction things got a little shaky but the boys pulled through for a hard fought 9-5 win.

That’s right, we finally won a blinking match!

Next up for the Workers were Cardiff Dragons – the boys were keen to avenge their early season loss. Former Bee and Wales coach, Scott was amongst the Dragon’s line-up and as a former team-mate of both Storey and Barker, they were keen to win this battle. The opening forays of were close with neither side gaining the upper hand. Rising from the mist of old team-mate mind games was Kevin Johnson, wielding the sword of St George, who turned the tide in favour of the Bees. 11-3. Kevin, the Dragon Slayer.

Two wins from two matches! The boys went into the tea break with spirits high. Ash had to teach Barker how to drink juice through a “sippy cup”. Despite the unbeaten record, the boys remained fallible.

Next up were the league leaders, Raiders. A strong outfit enjoying the sort of season akin to Arsene’s invincibles of 03/04. The boys knew they’d have to be at their very best to even take a single game from the league leaders. Against all odds, going into the 6th frame of seven, we were still in it!

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. A couple of chances were missed, Elliot was caught out accidentally kicking a ball to the opposition and the Raiders triumphed 10-4. A respectable showing against a side who will do well in the DPL next season.

I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Andy “Angry” Lowther on avoiding another booking and thus avoiding a suspension.

Two wins for the day, something to build upon for the next two meetings. Survival is still in our hands.

The post-match shower is an integral part to any game day. It leaves you feeling fresh and ready for a potential lemonade later in the evening. New College’s showers receive a 4 thumbs up rating. Good warmth and power, just what you need after a hard day’s dodgeball.

We made our return to Uttoxeter’s finest eating establishment where much to our horror people were queuing out of the door. If only they had accepted our reservation.

McBees...
McWorkerBees…

The food was excellent as ever. Mike even managed a third win of the day earning himself a free milkshake on the McDonald’s Monopoly game, much to his delight.

General feelings after the day? Relief, happy and tired.