How did you first hear about roller derby?
I can’t pinpoint when I first heard about Roller Derby but over the years its been something in my mind that I really wanted to one day try. For the last 5 years I’ve been the sole parent to a young child so finding the time (and energy) for a hobby has been really hard to do, and it took me some time to realise that doing something solely for myself was okay.
I moved to Perth from Mebourne away from all my friends and spent years feeling very isolated from the world outside of being a mother – one day I saw a post online for an info session for a Roller Derby league other than WARD. I’ve always had bad social anxiety so I really had to build up the courage to attend alone. I went, but as much as I wanted to give it a go, I felt like such an outsider and my anxiety got the better of me so I didn’t sign up – however I didn’t want to just give up on the idea so I researched other leagues in W.A. and luckily I came across WARD. I attended the next info session and Fury and everyone else who attended really made me feel very welcome and comfortable, so I signed up and I’m so thankful I did!
What is the roller derby goal that you are working towards right now?
I’m going to be honest, I’m finding level 2 really challenging and scary. Tiny told me level 2 would be very different and my gosh she was not wrong. My goal at the moment is to get to a point where I enjoy hitting. It’s not coming easy to me but I don’t want to give up on it. My confidence also definitely needs improving – it’s so hard not to compare myself and my skating abilities to others so I’ve been trying really hard not to do that.
Also, I’m not very fit, so I’ve been working on my cardio, skating around various lakes gradually building up the distance, I would like to eventually not feel like I’m about to pass out after 27 in 5.
What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?
I make sure I attend both training sessions each week. I had never skated prior to roller derby so I need as much on skates practice as possible. I also try and skate outside of training when I can with my son working on my fitness and the skills we have been taught in training.
I also NSO at as many scrimmages as I can – it’s so inspiring watching all the level 3 and 4’s play and it’s such a good way to learn the game and get to know other people in WARD that I might not otherwise have much contact with. I also volunteer where I can – another fantastic way to get to know fellow WARDians while also supporting the league as a whole.
Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?
At the moment it’s literally everyone that has made it past level 2 but also all the level two’s that are repeating the cycle and haven’t given up! I also really admire all the coaches – they have worked their way up from level 1 to be where they are today and I’m always in awe of their ability and dedication – not to mention they give up their time to teach and they do it for a love of derby and helping others.
I know I won’t be alone in saying Tiny has been my biggest inspiration. Like myself, anxiety sometimes really interfered with her roller derby journey but she has learnt to deal with it so well and managed to come so far, she definitely gives me hope and encourages me to keep at it.
What keeps you enthused about roller derby?
The fact that for the first time in my life I’m doing regular exercise and it’s so enjoyable that it doesn’t even feel like exercise! But most importantly, in the 5 or so months that I’ve been involved, roller derby has had such a profoundly positive impact on my mental health. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety on and off my whole life but since discovering roller derby I’m so much happier, my anxiety levels are down and I cope with stress better. Before derby my self esteem was at an all time low and its been gradually improving. Having derby as a hobby has given me something to work towards and look forward to and even when there are tough days I always force myself to go to training because I know after it I will feel so much better about myself.
What else keeps me enthused is the kindness and support people in WARD have always shown me despite knowing little about me. We are very lucky to have so many beautiful and accepting people in our league.
Who do you nominate as our next WARDian of the month?
There are so many people in WARD worthy of a nomination for their outstanding contributions to the league, but I would like to nominate a few people that I haven’t previously nominated whose recent kindness has made a big difference to my overall experience in WARD.
Penny, Shreddy, Lolpops and Bowie for their encouragement and support, my self-doubt can often get in the way of me doing things so it’s been really nice having people appreciating and believing in me, their kindness is cherished.
Kat Scratch, I felt really intimidated coming into level two joining more experienced skaters that were repeating the cycle, but from the beginning, Kat has always been welcoming and made me feel more at ease. Even though she’s had to take a step back from the contact side of derby she has still been attending training to join in where she can and offer help, support and encouragement to everyone, also her continued dedication to the role of retail coordinator is admirable.