What is something that you know about roller derby now that you wish you knew when you first started?
I’d never been part of a team sport before joining WARD and I had no idea how much work it takes behind the scenes. On a personal level, all the skaters, referees, and NSOs are working to improve their skills, get to training sessions, coach new skaters and officials, plus all the work that goes into keeping a league afloat (and that’s A LOT). Then, on the night of a game, not only do we have all the skaters that have trained so hard to be there, but all the referees and NSOs and volunteers that are calling penalties, keeping the skaters safe, keeping score, tracking penalty box times, MCing, setting up, taking everything down, staffing the door, running the bar, selling raffle tickets – it’s absolutely huge! The first time I saw a roller derby game I was focused on the skaters, but I’m so glad I know now how many other people there are working hard to make roller derby happen; it’s really incredible.
What is the roller derby goal you are working towards right now?
I have a couple of chronic illnesses and I’ve been going through a rough patch lately so my most immediate goal is balancing my health with derby. I think sometimes this is the hardest goal I have to work on because it’s very easy to feel discouraged and think it would be easier to quit. And it absolutely would be! But then I’d miss out on working on my other goals, like learning to referee in the Front Inside Pack Ref position, Head Ref at a home game, and referee at an interstate game. I’m also keen to work more on my backwards skating (I want to be fast enough to stay with the pack!) and transitions at high speed.
What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?
I love the hypothetical rules discussions that we have in the Developing Referees group. I also like to watch videos of roller derby games; I pretend I’m one of the refs and try to catch penalties!
Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?
I don’t want to single people out, but I’m inspired by everyone in WARD that pushes through their struggle. It might be challenges with their fitness, living with chronic illness or injury, or just balancing all that life entails while showing up to derby, but everyone who does that inspires me. This doesn’t exclude the people who need to take breaks! If you’re a human who’s trying their best, then you inspire me!
Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?
I’d like to nominate Die Lithium as the next WARDian of the Month; not only is she a wonderful, generous, and kind person, she is a great skater and coach. I love watching her play!