How did you first get into roller derby?
I confess, I never got interested in derby qua derby; it’s always been the people who matter. I joined WARD as an NSO because I didn’t want to play myself, but I wanted to make it possible for other people to do so. I’d known about derby for a few years, since a dear friend started, but I really became derby-adjacent when Maul Rat took it up. I saw an inclusive sport and community with good principles and I saw how it sometimes struggled to get support. I got involved to support people I love and a community I admire.
What does roller derby mean to you?
Skating doesn’t come easily to me. I was very resistant to learning at all (probably because when Rat tried to teach me rollerblading my progress was stellar insofar as it was a giant flaming ball of inescapable death), but Rat has been very patiently – and very slowly – teaching me. Derby is what kicked me into learning to skate, after I’d let myself forget how important it is to choose things you know you’ll find difficult. It’s a way of challenging myself and my limitations, mental and physical. I don’t like being bad at things and it’s far too easy to keep developing the areas that are already strengths. Learning something completely new and alien (I didn’t even ride a bike as a child, so I have no wheeled background to draw on) is enormously valuable.
In WARD, it’s the sacrifice of time and effort for the benefit of the league and its members that I really find inspiring. There are so many wonderful people doing so much. There’s Ash Eve who volunteered in three different roles that I know of for the recent home game. There are Lolpop and Penny Dreadful, who are always there to make things happen, taking care of every detail. There’s Marie Fury, who’s putting so much thought into developing the league’s NSO skills. There are all the officials who are completely indispensable and totally committed, like Cinnamon Skrull who volunteered as an NSO at the home game because she was too sick to referee.