Sin Photo - Jammer

May WARDian of the Month: Sin

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I am truly honoured to receive this aWARD and it has come at a hard time for me in my Derby journey, with injuries keeping me off skates for what seems like an eternity.  I miss all my teamies and it’s easy to feel a little out of touch at times.  So thanks for letting me know I am appreciated!

I wasn’t a sporty kid growing up and never really had the opportunity to take part in team sports outside of school.  Derby was the first time that I actually felt part of a team.  This is one of the things I love the most about this crazy sport and although I found it later in life, it came at a time where I needed to find something for me.  As a Mum of two and self-employed full-time worker, it’s very easy to be caught up in the needs of family/work life and you just start to exist.  For me, Derby became my breakaway and something that I looked forward to each week.  As my skills grew, so did my confidence and my love for the sport.  I was more than happy to take my time progressing through the levels, and making it onto home teams was more than I ever expected.  So I’ve currently hit a bump in the road and have had to accept that I need to give myself time to repair.  Who knows where this journey will lead me but Derby and WARD will always have a piece of my heart.

Our leaSin Photo - Teamgue is so full of inspirational people so deserving of recognition for the time and effort they put in to making WARD what it is:  our T30 skaters who work so hard to improve themselves and also give up their own free time to coach everyone else; our refs and NSOs – without them I’m sure we would be a truly unruly bunch!; the committee members working so hard behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly from assessments, coaching plans, organising venues, liaising with other leagues, facilitating training for NSOs and Refs, and generally managing all of our member information … the list goes on.  WARD is made up of so many fantastic people and I am so grateful to be a part of that team (with or without my skates on).

I’d really like to take the opportunity to encourage our new (and old) Wardians to take that next step and offer your help as part of the WARD Committee.  As they say, many hands make light work and it really isn’t that scary.  Who knows?  You may learn a new skill and also get to spend time with an amazing bunch of people.

Matthew Boggs

April WARDian of the Month: Dean

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April: WARDian of the Month: Dean

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I ran in to a Derby skater at a general session at Morley and we got to talking. I had seen a few videos prior and had always thought it would be something that I may be able to be a part of in a coaching capacity from the skating side of things. The first live game I ever watched made no sense to me at all. I had had no explanation of the rules or how the game was played, so it was always about the skating for me to begin with.

What is something that you know about roller derby now that you wish you knew when you first started?

After shoulder surgery I certainly hit differently and advise others to do the same. Early days playing saw some skaters constantly using the pointy end of the shoulder to hit. I now wish that we had had the advice to use a more broader hitting style. Being constantly hit in this manner led to the surgery.

Matthew Boggs

Matthew Boggs

 

What is the roller derby goal you are working towards right now?

For anyone that may have not noticed I kind of love to skate, and to share my knowledge and abilities with others is pretty neat for me. I love being a part of the Fresh cycles. Nothing warms my heart more than to be a part of a skaters evolution from, “I can’t do that” to “WOW I’m playing in my first scrimmage”. There is no set time how long your Derby journey will be, but there is enough support at this club, that if you persist, you will enjoy it as you reach each of your Derby destinations.

Good skating is hard. Playing a contact sport on roller skates is even harder. Self doubt is hardest of all, but there are so many helpful people at WARD that want to see you be a part of this kooky sport and will happily give their time for you to help meet your goals.

 

What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?

Uh? Scrambled eggs with cream, bacon on cheesy toast what?

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Everyone. Anytime I see YOU try something tricky or develop new skating skills it rewards me. Then there is the NSOs and Refs that give their time to help make it possible for the games to happen. Love those people always as you can’t play without them. Those within the club itself (much more deserving than me for this gong) that make it all happen, from Manco to people helping fund raise and volley. There are so many smiles wherever you look around this place. That is inspiring in itself.

Mitchell Photography

Mitchell Photography

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

I am really enjoying watching the enthusiasm and drive of each skaters journey. From fresh skaters trying to nail those tricky moves to higher level skaters trying to improve and grow. With time, help and persistence I believe that any skater can reach a goal they strive for in a supportive environment. It is every individual giving a part of themselves that makes a club what it is and if I can be a small part of that and begin to help others love skating the way I do then that is plenty for me.

Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

About 200 people before me that should be acknowledged. I am in awe of people like Luna who gives so much time and hair to being a ref and helping others. Beers and the sturdy crew behind the scenes that keep the wheels of the club turning. Peaches, Jimmy, Holly and Fang taking on jammer roles, the intensity of skaters like Minx that give 100% every time and skaters like Violence that just keep at it. New arrivals to level 3 like Nachos and Doughnuts have so much future. New Freshies that give their time to volley and NSO well before they can play. So many great people. Maybe I should just nominate WARD itself if that isn’t too cheesy.

Matthew Boggs

Matthew Boggs

 

Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

March WARDian of the Month: Shreddy Mercury

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

Not long after I saw the film Whip It, I bumped into Skully Crossbones at work and she was in the middle of a conversation about derby.  It took her about a year to convince me to sign up, but I haven’t looked back. (Thanks Skully!)

What is something that you know about roller derby now that you wish you knew when you first started?

That I didn’t need to be so scared!  I had no idea what the derby community was like or if I was capable of playing a contact sport.  It turns out I had nothing to worry about.  WARDians are super friendly and supportive and I’m stronger than I thought.

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

What is the roller derby goal you are working towards right now?

Having a better understanding of what’s going on on the track.  Being new to scrimmage, it still feels a bit chaotic.

What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?

My derby brain is still in training!  Right now, I’m just throwing myself into everything I can, and absorbing as much as possible.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

The other members of Team Fresh (the new level 3+ skaters) for their fantastic attitudes, especially when thrown into the deep end at scrim.  Snuggles (Suzanne) for her resilience.  Rina for her hard work NSOing, doing stats and reffing, in addition to skating.  Every WARDian who shaved their heads or waxed their legs for WARD’s Greatest Shave on the weekend.  There are so many inspiring people in WARD and I could easily keep going!

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Seeing the more experienced players’ derby skills on the track – they’ve trained really hard to get where they are. Playing other sports helps too – it adds balance to my life and it’s great cross-training too.

Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

Danna for her infectious enthusiasm both as a skater and NSO.  I’ve never seen her without a smile on her face.

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs
Photo credit: Hermione Danger

March: Roller Derby Gear – A Freshie’s Guide by Shreddy Mercury

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One of the first, and most daunting, decisions that people need to make when they join a derby league is their gear. Hopefully this guide is helpful to somebody out there!

What do I need to buy?

WARD skaters wear:

  • Helmet
  • Mouth guard
  • Knee pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Wrist guards

Skates

Most skaters start off with some kind of polyurethane (vegan leather) boot and a nylon plate. These are on the cheaper end of the scale and are very comfortable. Depending on a number of factors, these skates might last you anywhere from six months to a couple of years. Mine lasted for about a year, and I was skating a few times per week.

A good fit is very important, so I’d recommend trying on your first skates before buying (rather than buying them online). If you can, get a proper fitting at a skate shop.

Helmet

Get a good-quality helmet that fits properly (i.e. snug but not headache-inducingly tight). You want to protect your brain, don’t you? Look for brands such as S1, Triple 8, Nutcase, TSG, Pro-Tec and Bauer.

Mouth Guard

Dentist-made mouthguards will cost an arm and a leg, but they give your teeth amazing impact protection. Most skate shops sell decent “boil and bite” mouthguards too- these are often less bulky than the dentist-made ones, and they can also be easier to talk and drink with.

Kneepads, Elbow Pads and Wrist Guards

Buy the best kneepads you can afford. You don’t notice how important your knees are until you hurt them. Expensive derby kneepads can be bulky, though- at first, I thought they were RIDICULOUS and had no idea how I’d skate in them. But you’ll get used to them very quickly, and the bulkier kneepads force you to bend your knees more- perfect for derby.

Good elbow pads tend to be less expensive than good kneepads. I’d recommend the kind with velcro straps at the back (so they open right out), not ones that just slip on. I’ve learned the hard way that the ones that don’t open up at the back are IMPOSSIBLE to de-stink, but then maybe you’re not as stinky as me.

Cheaper wrist guards will often have a big “bump” where the palm of your hand is. These are fine for fresh meat. I’ve heard that they can hurt your teammates in proper game play, though- so wrist guards with a flatter palm area are a wise investment if you’re thinking longer-term.

Good knee pad, elbow pad and wrist guard brands include: Triple 8, S1, Pro-Tec, 187, Deadbolt, Atom, TSG and Smith Scabs.

Stopping the Stink: Protective Gear

Image: Some lovely clean WARDian gear from DerbyFest this year.

Image: Some lovely clean WARDian gear from DerbyFest this year.

You’ll find heaps of guides on this all over the internet. Here’s what works for me.

At minimum: take your protective gear out of your bag after every practice. If you have a tiny washing line, hang your gear up and put it somewhere airy. (A bit of sun can help, too- but it can eventually damage elastic.) You can spray it all with an alcohol/disinfectant spray if you like. Brush your mouth guard with toothpaste

Once this stops working: hand-wash or machine-wash your gear (check what the manufacturer recommends). If you’re machine-washing, separate it into separate wash bags so it doesn’t all stick together. If your mouth guard looks gross, soak it overnight in a mixture of 50% water, 50% white vinegar, then rinse it well.

Stopping the Stink: Skates

Those really well-padded freshie skates get super stinky! I used to spray them with an alcohol spray and air them out, but this often wasn’t enough to stop the stink. A number of my friends swear by the moisture absorbers sold by skate shops. Otherwise, fill a sock with kitty litter and put it in your skates.

Less-padded boots will generally get less stinky- just make sure you’re airing them out after every practice.

Interested in skating with WARD? Hit us up on the WA Roller Derby Facebook page, or e-mail info@warollerderby.com.au. We have a new skater intake every 12 weeks; no experience needed!

Shreddy x

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Hermoine Danger
Photo:Mathew Boggs

February WARDian of the Month : Luna

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Photo :Mathew Boggs

Photo :Mathew Boggs

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I’d been keen to play ever since I was a teenager but sadly PJRD didn’t exist in my day. So I waited until I was 18 and joined up then! Never looked back since.

What is something that you know about roller derby now that you wish you knew when you first started?

How much it would change me and my life – not only my fitness but my friends, community, and mental health as well. When I joined WARD I was struggling a lot with mental illness, and actually it was around the time of my first level 2 assessment that I was hospitalised and really started to recover. Derby gave me a passion, a community of support, and a reason to be healthy, both physically and mentally!

What is the roller derby goal you are working towards right now?

My goal for 2018 is to pass into level 4 and join Top 30. I’ve focused for a few years on reffing, and I’m excited to focus on my skating skills more this year.

What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?

I do all sorts! I often go to team training a a referee, I coach level 2s pretty frequently at O’Connor, and I usually am involved in ref training on Sundays before scrim. Outside of WARD training, I enjoy watching WFTDA.tv footage when I can, refereeing for other leagues, and occasionally I go to the skate park and try not to die!

Photo:Stuart Millen

Photo:Stuart Millen

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Who isn’t? There are so many inspirational WARDians. Tiny for always being such a beast during assessments. Beers for doing all the things – does she sleep?! Zed for being such a ray of sunshine in our league. I could go on all day.

What keeps enthused about roller derby?

Watching yourself progress with new skills that you never thought you’d be able to do keeps me enthused. Roller derby as a sport is evolving so rapidly and that makes it endlessly fascinating to me. Plus, getting to see all my friends at derby makes me a little more motivated to put some pants on and come to training.

Photo:Ishtar

Photo:Ishtar

Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

I’m gonna say Shreddy – she has such a great attitude and was such a pleasure to coach in level 2. Shreddy has really stepped up in the social media role, and I can’t wait to see what else she gets up to in 2018!

Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

January WARDian of the Month: Fang-Tastic

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How did you get into derby?

Photo Credit: Stuart Millen

Photo Credit: Stuart Millen

3½ years ago, I was in a very deep, dark hole of bipolar depression.  I was suicidal, self-harming and hated everything about my life.  I met some derby girls during star classes and thought I’d give it a go.  BEST thing I ever did.  WARD and roller derby literally saved my life.  Derby gave me not only physical activity but support, focus and a break from being a wife and mum.

What is your best moment in derby so far?

Receiving MVP jammer during my first WOTS bout.  It was the most incredible way to end the season.

Photo Credit: Ishta Photography

Photo Credit: Ishta Photography

What is the most challenging thing about derby?

Keeping up with off-skates fitness.  I know off-skates fitness is important so I try really hard but find it very challenging.

What roller derby goal are you working towards right now?

TGSS and Royal Rumble.  This will be my first interstate tournament.  I’m super excited.

What advice would you give those just starting out?

Don’t compare yourselves to others.  Your journey is your own.  Just do the best you can.

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

Fang 1

 

January: Fitness

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Get fit with roller derby pic

Every January, people muster up resolutions from health to productivity to better living habits.

At WARD, health is very important. With roller derby being a full contact sport, skaters want to maintain their level of fitness to better enjoy their track time and hold their space in their team. This is true of referees and NSOs too, with referees spending entire bouts on skates and most NSOs spending the entire bout standing up! A typical training session sees a skater burn from around 300 to up to 600 calories. Of course, while physical fitness is great for physical health, it can have a positive effect upon mental health, too. Overall, roller derby has a huge positive impact upon the wellbeing of WARDians.

This year, some of our freshies, referees, NSO and skaters have made an accountability pledge to be fitter, healthier and stronger. You will find them at their local gym, doing Parkruns, swimming, trekking, cycling, outdoor skating, at a skate park or running after their kids (that burns a lot of calories!!)

If you find exercise hard, that’s okay. It can be difficult to start with, especially if you are managing a condition. Perhaps the best thing you can do is to start small, making micro-goals. In order to do this, simply take your bigger goals (e.g. “get fit”) and break this into smaller, more achievable and measurable tasks (e.g. “I would like to run 4km in under 25 minutes.”) We do the same thing at WARD- fresh meat with us, we start small, with a chat at info night, and then we teach you how to skate. As you begin to better understand the rules of derby, we do more realistic drills, and finally, you will be ready to go to scrimmage, and then bout! Overall, we want you to achieve and hit your goals.

Get fit with roller derby pic 2

It’s also okay if you’re not successful the first time around. As much as it’s great to have wins, setbacks happen to the best of us, and are just opportunities to perfect your skills. We work in 12-week cycles whereby you can re-do a cycle if you’re not ready to move up a level. In fact, you are welcome to repeat a cycle as many times as you like- there is no pressure to move up the levels at WARD. And repeating a cycle is a great opportunity to perfect your skills! Later, we add some off-skate workouts, which is super helpful if you don’t really have time or money to hit the gym. Slowly, surely, you begin to feel stronger, more confident, and ready to join a team.

Take a look at our 2017 WARDians of the year- they all started small and developed into strong people. You can be one too. Our info nights are 20th and 21st of February but if you can already skate or play Derby let us know.

Malaga event: here

O’Connor event: here

Questions? Emails our Freshmeat Coordinator at freshmeat@warollerderby.com.au

See you in February!

Skully

Rolla WARDian Featured Image

December WARDian of the Month: Rolla

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What got you interested in roller derby?

My sister-in-law got involved in QLD and told me it might be something I would like, too.  I grew up skating out the front of my house on the cul-de-sac then moved on to doing Artistic Skating as I got a bit older.

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

Being a part of our travel team a couple of years ago, travelling to Royal Rumble and being on the team that year that walked away with a trophy for the first time in WARD history!

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

The pull towards motherhood and the thought of walking away from my teammates for some time while I become a Mum.

What brand of skates do you have?

I still wear my old Freshie skates – Riedell.

What do you do off skates for fitness?

I am trying to get back into the rhythm after Christmas and New Year, but it will be mostly core and endurance.

Do you have an ultimate roller derby goal?

Be happy on skates, be a good person.  I don’t want to be the best derby player in the world, I just want to have fun playing the sport I love and be surrounded by my friends.

Rolla WARDian 1

What is your favourite roller derby name in the world?

Tiny Dancer – but that’s because I love her.

I think that Juicy. M. Suffer is a pretty cool name.  It took me FOREVER to understand it – but it is clever and fun.

What is your favourite part of training?

That this is actually exercise but it is fun!  I love learning new skills and pushing myself to do things that scare me.

What is your least favourite part of training?

I am not sure… I don’t particularly like it when people don’t pay attention to the coach.  It is distracting and is disrespectful to the person who has given up their time to help develop us as skaters.

What extra stuff would we find in your gear bag?

Dirty old socks?  Ewwww …

Rolla WARDian 2

 

November WARDian of the Month: Carno

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November WARDian of the month

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

2017!!! This year has been amazing and such a confidence boost. From being a Doom again and not only getting MVP blocker twice but also an MVP Jammer to joining the WayWards on multiple journeys and for the last game being MVP blocker. Then there was the AMAZING weekend where I got to join the wonderful WOTS at Royal Rumble, OMG I actually did that!!! Then finally to top it off I got to play as a WOTS in WA.. #Boom

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Head of coaching… I have so many ideas to help develop the league but there isn’t enough hours in the day.

Carno 1

What brand of skates do you have?

Blue Streak Riedell (I had to look this up).

What do you do off skates for fitness?

I’ve taken up yoga this year, so far loving it and still feeling inspired even though it hurts to stretch because I’ve destroyed my body. On top of this I go to the gym, walk and run around after other peoples children.

What is your favourite part of training?

I love training, seeing mine and my team mates improvement over the year is the best. Although every training session feels like a bad one :( Got to stop with those human thoughts.

Carno 3

 What is your least favourite part of training?

Goal setting because I struggle with self belief.

What extra stuff would we find in your gear bag ?

First Aid/ wellness kit for myself and my skates.

Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

October WARDian of the Month: Skully Crossbones

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Skully 1What got you interested in roller derby?

I watched Whip It in 2014 and the following day was given a ticket for a Halloween bout at WARD.  I had only been in Australia for about a year and I was looking for something new in my life, something more ‘me’ than Zumba – I used to be a Zumba instructor.  Roller derby looked really interesting – a good mix of speed and toughness.  I tried out for Fresh Meat soon after.

Roller derby has been the most positive thing in my life after my little girl and my husband.  I didn’t find my home league for a while … although it stared at me in the face from day one (OK, day 2).  WARD has enabled me to develop exponentially as a player and as a human.

The biggest lesson so far in derby for me is:

If it feels wrong, it is wrong but it doesn’t mean it’s your fault.
Don’t wait to find happiness; create it.
Don’t wait for an injury to heal; go to the doctor.
And don’t wait for the penalty call; play clean.

What’s your proudest moment since becoming a WARDian?

Proud and humbled to have been asked to play at Boom State Clash by my amazing coaches.  I loved every moment of it and played as well and hard as I could.

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

I have a couple.  The first is in fitness.  I am trying to change my body composition.  And the other one is a confidence thing.  I may not be shy but playing in a public bout always freezes me totally.  I am really working on my public anxiety and will put myself in situations where I can challenge my mental state.  It is super important for my daughter, who has the same issues.  I have to role model confidence in performance without cockiness.

Skully 2What brand of skates do you have?

My plates are Powerdyne Rival, my skate boots are ANTIK AR1 red and black, and my wheels are radar halo, so a total mixed bag.

What do you do off skates for fitness?

I try to hit 11,000 steps a day, I go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week where I do weights (max weight, low reps) and now that the weather is better I will cycle 3 to 4 times a week.

 

Do you have an ultimate roller derby goal?

To make it to Top 30 A team and do another out of states bout.  Who knows?  Maybe skate abroad.

What is your favourite roller derby name in the world?

Bicepsual.

Skully and BambaWhat is your favourite part of training?

I love playing out a drill we have broken down and I get that ah ha moment.

What is your least favourite part of training?

I used to hate 27/5 until I got 30. Then I hated pyramid drills until I kept up.  I guess cooling down is now my nemesis.

What extra stuff would we find in your gear bag?

If I don’t watch it … my cat – he hides in my stinky bag.  Spare knickers … don’t ask.  And three sets of back lights for my bike.

Featured Image:  Matthew Boggs