April WARDian of the Month: Dean

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