Photo credit:  Matthew Boggs

August WARDian of the Month: Vector

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What got you interested in roller derby?

As my inline hockey friends withered and married, they started believing that the advice about regular exercise no longer applied to them.  I complained to a couple of people at a dinner party about my frustrations about trying to organise “one last game before I threw out my skates”.  One of them was, at the time, a WARD freshie.

After verifying that yes, the rulebook explicitly stated that referees could wear inline skates (9.4.1 at the time, then 8.4.1, then moved to the Officials Dress Code), I turned up and gave it a go. It was my 6th anniversary last week.

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

There are quite a few.  Personally, it was probably being the first WA-based official to pass the WFTDA Certification Referee Rules Test (known around here as “The Test of Doom”), or near-single-handedly (thanks Connie!) organising a very successful (indeed it finished early!) BSC2016.  For Team Zebra, the realisation a couple of years back that we have the strongest officiating crew was another one. For our players, our first major interstate victory at Quad Save The Queen (2015) would have to be it – watching that game was nerve racking.

Photo credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo credit: Matthew Boggs

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

There are a couple – as WA’s biggest league, trying to get to know everyone in WARD – there are so many of us (yay!). The other is to try and work out how to increase the number of dedicated (AND importantly, interested) officials in Western Australia.  By way of example, I’ve just finished consultations regarding the latest BSC roster and we’ve had to cut games and prune structure to fit the limited number of officials available.

What brand of skates do you have?

I wear Seba recreational inline skates with 78A hardness 80mm wheels.  The wheels that came with the skates, basically.  I’m probably due for a new set of skates.  No I’m not planning to change to quad skates :) .

What do you do off skates for fitness?

I’m a member of the gym upstairs at The Rise – I go there a few times a week; I also do clinical Pilates.

Do you have an ultimate roller derby goal?

Refereeing some sort of WFTDA Playoff would be nice.  I also spend a lot of my free time working on ways to increase the level of automation used in derby; some of my ideas getting traction and being used more widely would be cool.

What is your favourite part of training?

Photo credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo credit: Matthew Boggs

Going to Leo’s Pizza afterwards.  Followed closely behind going to McDonalds afterwards.

What is your least favourite part of training?

Gearing up – I wish it was like Centurions (“POWER EXTREME!”) or Iron Man, where you radio your minion or press a button and then all your gear attaches itself to your person magically.

What extra stuff would we find in your gear bag?

Whistles, a set of black and white helmet covers, and my old mouthguard – which I threaten to offer to lend to people who forget to bring theirs to training, and a replacement brake assembly for my skates. I’ve also started carrying a roll of pink track tape with me (I order so much stuff from the good people at Qualtape that they just gifted me a roll).  I put it on my fingers when I’m JRing so that the score I hold up is extra visible.

Featured Image:  Matthew Boggs

Photo by Stuart Millen

July WARDian of the Month: Violence Baudelaire

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What got you interested in Roller Derby?

A friend and I watched our first Roller Derby game together and we loved it! She was hooked and joined WARD almost immediately. I didn’t think roller skating would be for me and it took a few months of convincing before I gave it a go – I was terrible at it, but it was SO much fun.  I fell in love with the challenge of learning how to skate, and joining WARD was a new way to do that!

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

Probably my Level 3 assessment! Leading up to the assessment I went to as many training sessions with WARD and PMD as I could and trained hard to be ready, and on the night I knew I had given it my absolute best regardless of whether I would pass or not.  Though I’m also a little proud to say that I did!

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Balancing my time between life and roller derby, and balancing my roller derby between training as a referee and a skater.

What brand of skates do you have?Violence - skates

I have Bont Quadstar boots on a Sure-Grip Avanti plate, with a combo of Atom Boom wheels.

What do you do for off-skates fitness?

I try to get most of my fitness on skates… which might be why I have no upper body strength.  Don’t be me – work on your off-skates fitness, people!!

Do you have an ultimate Roller Derby goal?

My current goal is to work towards becoming a home team skater.  Hopefully there will be goals that come after that, but I’m taking it one step at a time.

What’s your favourite Roller Derby name in the world?

Far too difficult to choose, there are so many great ones in WARD alone!

Photo by Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

What is your favourite part of training?

The people I get to train with and learn from.  I have met so many awesome people at WARD.

What is your least favourite part of training?

Off-skates warm-up (life is just better with skates on).

sin_featured

June WARDian of the Month: Sin D’Roller

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Wow! I’m so honored to be added to this list of fantastic WARDians!

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

My Derby journey started with a ticket to Tiki Takedown. An old school friend and I decided we would catch up and see what this Roller Derby stuff was all about. Well by halftime I was hooked and signing up, she thought I was just crazy. I have never been into team sports so finding Derby later in life was amazing, I only wish I had found it sooner. I have never been involved with a more welcoming and accepting community of people.

My Derby journey has been that of the tortoise….slow and mostly steady. I’m taking my time and enjoying the ride. As a Mum to two young kidlets Derby is my outlet, my relaxation and sometimes my punching bag. I’ve finally (almost) managed to stop comparing myself to all of the amazing skaters we have at WARD and now focusing on my own abilities and what I am able to achieve.

 

Photo Credit: Sin

Photo Credit: Sin

My Roller Derby goal was to play on a home season team, achievement unlocked!  Being on track with the awesome Atomic Sirens makes me so happy! My next goal may well be Top 30 but no need to rush these things. My short term goal is to keep my eyes off the floor for an entire game (or training session).

We have such an amazing group of people at WARD and there is always someone to offer encouragement and pass on their knowledge and skills. I’ve learnt so much from so many of you and am so grateful that I have WARD in my life.

Photographer:  Matthew Boggs

May WARDian of the Month: Short Fuse

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What do you get out of derby?

How much time do you have? Seriously, derby has given me so much and it has been one of the best life choices I have made. Derby has given me an inner strength and empowerment plus a supportive family that I cherish so much. It’s also taught me to love my body as it is. I’m strong and powerful and I love this.

Proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

Playing with the Waywards in Albany. That was such a rush and I was so proud to wear the Waywards uniform to represent WARD.

Biggest challenge in derby right now?

Life! Managing the life/family/derby balance is a challenge but I will prevail.

What do you do for off skates fitness?

Does having 3 young kids count? If I’m not running around after them I love going to the gym and will do weight sessions a few times a week, mixed in with some cardio. Even though I hate cardio I do it because it’s good for the little jammer inside me.

Any training tips?

In those moments when you want to give up and not go to training, put your gear in your car and go anyway. If you get there and still don’t want to skate, then actively observe the session. You don’t always have to be on skates to learn new things and being at training means you are surrounded by people that will understand and support you. Also, if something doesn’t make sense the first time it’s explained, keep asking different people till it makes sense! Everyone has a different way of explaining things and we won’t be offended if you need to ask someone else.

Photographer: Matthew Boggs

Photographer: Matthew Boggs

What is your ultimate roller derby goal?

To represent WARD as a WoTS at TGSS. It’s a huge goal and I am not sure I will ready for TGSS 2018 but I am sure as hell going to fight for it whether its 2018 or 2020.

What extra stuff would we find in your derby bag?

Lots of random stuff. From Disney bandaids to Rock tape, paracetamol/ibuprofen, pen and note pad (I like to write stuff down in the car after training otherwise I forget – thanks for the tip, Nails), some kind of dried fruit and nuts and some “wots that smell” spray as I am a bare foot skater and I love my teamies :)

Photographer: Matthew Boggs

Photographer: Matthew Boggs

Who would you nominate as next WARDian of the Month?

There’s so many people who help make WARD an outstanding league that it’s hard nominating one person so I’m going to nominate 2 😀  Both are skaters I admire, genuinely adore and are some of the quiet achievers/helpers of the league – Juicy M Suffer and Axe of Kindness, please stand up!

2017 April - Brie

April WARDian of the Month: Brie

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How did you get into derby?

Saw an ad for freshmeat info night on FB group Shorty had posted, I pestered her a bit to get info and came along.

What do you get out of derby?

Sense of belonging, friends, bit of fitness.

What has been the highlight of your skating career so far?

Getting out of Freshmeat 😉

Most embarrassing moment?2017 April - Brie

So far I don’t think I have one.  Others may dispute that.

Do you have any training tips?

Not really, I’m still learning it all and absorbing.

What are your derby aspirations?

To skate in a bout at home game.

Who would you nominate as next WARDian of the Month?

Kat Taylor (Mutant of Desire).

tie-knee_featured

March WARDian of the Month: Tie-Knee

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What got you interested in roller derby?

I used to skate artistically so I had grown up skating competitively. But other than a general session now and then with Deano I had pretty much hung up my skates from when I was 16 years old. It was actually Snappa that started derby and told me I should try it. I loved having skates on my feet so I thought I would give it a try. I honestly didn’t really know what I was signing up for.

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

Taking home first place with my team, the Wots, at Royal Rumble in Brisbane last year.

tie-knee_preboutWhat’s your biggest challenge right now?

Not being able to skate as I have a broken toe. It’s only my pinkie toe so I am really annoyed it’s keeping me from skating. I am getting a bit stroppy now not being able to put my skates on. The family / derby juggle is also challenging but I am doing the best I can with that.

What brand of skates do you have?

I skate in my artistic boots! They used to be my skating partners skates 30 years ago. I love them even though they are ancient and are like having bricks on my feet. I have no desire to get new skates anytime soon.

What do you do off skates for fitness?

I worked out with Ralphie Wednesday mornings until I picked up an extra days work. So for now that’s on hold. But when work quietens down I will return to Ralph to be tortured. She can vouch for how much I hate abs! Being a mum keeps me running around all day every day – I never sit down. I randomly do push ups – I love push ups.

Do you have an ultimate roller derby goal?

Not one goal. More mini goals I think. I want to understand strategy more. Pack manipulation. Point protection. Goat parties!

 

What is your favourite roller derby name in the world?

Swish Cariboom….Who can resist not saying Swish Cariboooooooooooooom!

What is your favourite part of training?

Mexican afterwards – KIDDING, kinda! I love it when you get to the end of the night and you really feel like you had a great session. When the things you were trying to work on came together. When you feel successful and strong and things just ‘clicked’….When you can honestly say ‘well tonight, I wasn’t rubbish!’

What is your least favourite part of training?

When we are doing jammer drills and we have to hit a wall at speed. It terrifies me…more than jamming itself! Lucky for me it doesn’t come around too often as we have real live jammers to do that now and I can concentrate on being a blocker – yay!

What extra stuff would we find in your gear bag?

Being Head of Assessments I always have assessment sheets on me. I coach level 1 or 2 pretty much every week so there’s always a coaching plan lying about. And plenty of fresh shirts and socks.

Featured image credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Violence Baudelaire

February WARDian of the Month: Hermione Danger

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What got you interested in roller derby?

Some of my really cool colleagues were talking about watching a roller derby bout – I’d never seen one but it sounded so awesome and fun! So I dragged a couple of friends along with me to watch a game and just spent the entire time thinking “I *need* to do this!”. I went out and brought a pair of skates and practiced in them until I wasn’t embarrassed by the idea of people seeing me skate, and then headed off to WARDs Fresh Meat intake!

Photo credit: Hermione Danger

Photo credit: Hermione Danger

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

Finally conquering the cones. Jumping over the cones was a huge mental block for me; I was terrified of them! All my friends were so supportive though and encouraged me to keep trying and put up with me when I was feeling frustrated and sorry for myself. The day that I finally went over them was simply huge for my confidence! Jumping is still not my most favourite thing, but now I know that if I keep trying, I can conquer my fears!

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

I have an assortment of chronic injuries and illnesses, so my biggest challenge currently is working out ways to train and learn new skills without putting my health at risk. I had to take a couple of months off-skates due to an ongoing foot injury a while ago and I don’t want to have to do that again! 

What do you do off skates for fitness?

I do reformer pilates to build my core strength, improve hip flexibility, and fix up my anterior pelvic tilt. I also fence socially (the epee kind, not the building of fences kind!), which is great because it involves a lot of explosive start/stop movements and encourages fast reflexes! I also do the gym thing; I like to weight lift and use the elliptical for cardio.

What brand of skates do you have?

I wear Riedell R3s with Reckless XE Ikon wheels.

Do you have an ultimate roller derby goal?

I have lots of goals, but I don’t know if any of them are the ultimate one! Right now, I want to improve my refereeing skills so that I can ref a public bout, make the 27/5, and jump over the 6 inch cones!

Photo credit: Violence Baudelaire

What is your favourite roller derby name in the world?

Oh my gosh – there are so many! I think Princess Slaya is my favourite though – I love the juxtaposition of the delicate stereotypes of Princess contrasted with the toughness of Slaya!

What is your favourite part of training?

That feeling when you get to the end of the session and you have survived, tried something new, and made yourself a little bit proud.

What is your least favourite part of training?

Ohhhh, hitting paceline for sure! It combines the sore legs and back of endurance, the breathlessness of speed, the sheer terror of knowing everyone is going to hit you, and the confusion and frustration of trying to hit them! On the other hand, one definitely can’t say it’s boring!

Photo credit: May

Photo credit: May

What extra stuff would we find in your gear bag?

A variety of skate tools, extra laces, deep heat cream, a first aid cheat book, my diabetic emergency kit, a spare mouth guard, and a couple of whistles. It’s always good to be prepared!

Featured image photo credit: Violence Baudelaire

Carnosaurus, WARDian January 2017

January WARDian of the Month: Carno

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How did you get into derby?

I googled unique sports in Perth and Derby came up top of the list. I got exactly what I googled.

What do you get out of derby?

A permanent scar on my behind!!! Drive, determination, friends, laughter and so much more. I enjoy being around a great bunch of people who are like minded.

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

What has been the highlight of your skating career so far?

Playing with the AwkWards, When Lorrae praised my blocking skills, Getting MVP blocker as a Doom, WW MVP blocker and home season most improved Blocker all in 2016. Skating with the WayWards against PRD Bs and bringing the point differential down. So many highlights and hoping for many more.

Most embarrassing moment?

Writing this!!!! I’m my worst critic so writing about myself doesn’t come naturally.

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

Do you have any training tips?

Get to training!! And have a positive can do attitude whilst there. Pick that person that you always avoid because you don’t like their skating style. Then learn to skate with them, you are never going to get the perfect opposition team so get that practice in now and be the stronger person.

What are your derby aspirations?

To be an effective Pivot. Everyone remembers when Modern Warfare took the first points for the WOTS against VRDL!!! THAT PIVOT………

Who would you nominate as next WARDian of the Month?

Every coach, every person I have skated with and every future coach and skaters- teach me all the Derby things!!!!

 

Featured Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs.

 

bex_screams

December WARDian of the Month: BexPloitation

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How did you get into derby?

I got into derby quite a few years ago now (back when there were major and minor penalties) when I was looking for a bunch of likeminded cool people in a new town in far north QLD; I saw a poster for fresh meat and have not looked back since.

Photo Credit: Peter Chan

Photo Credit: Peter Chan

What do you get out of derby?

Derby provides me with an avenue to let go of all my worries, when I am training or bouting, that is where all my focus is and everything else melts away. I have met some of the best people through derby, built comraderies and made solid, lifelong friendships that would not have come into fruition otherwise. Derby has allowed me to travel with a group of awesome people and become happy and content with my body, focusing on the good rather than the bad.

What has been the highlight of your skating career so far?

The highlight of my derby career has been to travel with the team that I have trained so hard alongside but from the sidelines, I also LOVED watching our WOTS skaters go up against VRDL this year, which reminded me to not get shaken by the teams we go up against but instead focus on our playing how we train.

Most embarrassing moment?

There are so many, I don’t even know where to begin… but suffice to say there have been a number of moments that I have tripped over my own skates with no one else around me to share the moment. It is moments like this when you realise that having the ability to laugh at yourself is invaluable.  

Photo Credit: Adrian Slee

Photo Credit: Adrian Slee

Do you have any training tips?

The best training tip I can give to others is to go to training even when you don’t feel like going, don’t talk yourself out of it as these are often the best sessions that you get the most out of. Do yourself the honour of trying new things, extending yourself beyond your comfort zone and reflect on how far you have come rather than focusing on what you are still yet to achieve. It can be challenging to see your own improvement so ask for feedback and most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others, your journey is yours alone.

What are your derby aspirations?

To continue to represent WARD as a travel team skater hopefully in interstate games, and to continue to develop upon the cohesive, inclusive league environment that WARD has to offer.

Who would you nominate as next WARDian of the Month?

Narrowing it down to one person is not easy… it takes a village to make the league run as seamlessly as it does. In saying this, Crash is an integral part in the well-oiled machine that is WARD so I would like to nominate her.

Featured Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

boulder_over

November WARDian of the Month: Boulder Over

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“For me, roller derby is like an epic journey. You start off determined and focused, maybe get a bit sidetracked and follow something shiny, pick up friends along the way, walk faster, walk slower – but never lose sight of your goal.

I started my journey a few years ago, totally new to roller skating. I fell many times in the first five minutes, but went home determined (and bruised!) to nail this skating thing. I’ve never passed fresh meat training – problems always seem to get in my way, whether it be mental, financial or physical. The wonderful friends I’ve picked up along the way have helped me through everything, and got me back on skates. 

Being a non-skating official is the shiny thing that’s occupied much of myboulder_wives time – learning, teaching, travelling, becoming certified – it’s made my derby journey that much more awesome and fulfilling. I’ve gained a Best Wife and Favourite Wife. I’ve travelled to various parts of Australia with derby. I hope to become a Level 3 NSO, an Atomic Siren, a strong blocker, and understand the strategy behind this amazing game.

I’m so honoured to be WARDian of the Month – there are so many hard-working, dedicated people in this league – I’m in awe that I was considered to be one of them.”