August WARDian of the Month: SlenderJam

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

I first heard about roller derby from Cannon Bill, whom I had met a few times at general sessions and in passing at work. We spoke and he asked about my inline speed skating and asked me if I’d be willing to give derby a go. After some thought and encouragement from my partner Emma, I agreed, got my hands on some quads and off I went! I broke those quads in the first scrim I ever played, and then moved onto the Bonts I have today.

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Photo Credit: Alex Porebski

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

Since then, I’ve come along to as much training as possible and always endeavor to excel. After only a few months of playing derby I tried out for the Australian team. Then, to my very surprise, I got in! Something I wish I knew in the beginning, however, is that the mental game and mental preparation is just as (if not more) important than physically preparing for games, training and scrims.

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Photo Credit: Richard Tompsett

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

At the moment, my derby goal is to help other skaters and jammers improve their skills and pass on my skills that the Wizards taught me, bettering West Australian derby and creating friendships and fun for everyone. I put my hand up as a jammer coach and WARD have accepted it, so I can start working towards that goal.

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

I try to keep my derby brain turned on as much as I can, but that’s not always a possibility. I train with some bio-metric exercises that allow me to build movements into muscle memory, so even if I’m not in the best mindset or just having a bad mental game, my body will hopefully react on its on. When that fails, I have my team! I listen out and someone will tell me if I need to snap out of it and get with the program.

Gabriele Sluraro

Photo Credit: Gabriele Sluraro

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Right now, everyone at WARD inspires me. Everyone has different motivations and reasons for getting into the sport, different drives to succeed and improve and different goals on where they want to be. That variety compels and inspires me to do my best to facilitate growth, improvement and a helpful amount of giggles to the mix of people who attend each session.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Since returning from World’s and Wizards, enthusiasm towards derby was at a low. The inability to push myself meant that I came to training unmotivated and was probably an impediment to other skaters. After re-evaluating my priorities and my motivations, I worked on bringing others up to my level. Since that decision, I’ve come to training ready, motivated and happy.

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Photo Credit: Richard Tompsett

Who do you nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

My next nomination for WARDian of the month goes towards Luna and/or Rolla. When either of them are injured they always attend to lend any and all support to the skaters.

Featured Photo Credit:  Albany Roller Derby