How did you first hear about roller derby?
I took my daughter to her friend’s birthday party at Morley Rollerdrome and it was there that I rekindled my love of skating. I was searching for lessons as the kids had loved it so much and wanted to keep doing it and it is there I found my next challenge: roller derby.
Before signing up I took some STAR classes and saved for a freshie package and just skated every chance I could get. Unfortunately, I was unlucky at one open session when I tripped over someone’s shoe and went flying. Landing palms down and arms outstretched, I fractured both radial heads and it would be 6-8 weeks before I could do anything physical. So, I waited until the next intake and became a WARDian. Within no time I was at every training session I could be at and within 3 months had been voted into a position on ManCo. It took me just over a year to make it to bouting level and I received the news I had passed just before my 40th birthday in 2014. I then skated a member of Sonic Dooms and WayWARDs, and had the amazing opportunity to travel as part of the WayWARDs roster to Darwin (very first WARD B team to travel interstate) to play against Darwin Roller Girls.
The end of 2016 saw me hang up my stakes as a bouting skater due to too many sports injuries catching up with me. I was not ready to leave this amazing league and sport behind so I chose to redirect my passion for roller derby into coaching and benching.
What is something that you know about roller derby now that you wish you knew when you first started?
Derby is tough on your body, take care of it and if you ever get injured, take the time to heal properly, we aren’t going anywhere. Be gentle with yourself as well; look after your mind as well as your body. Rejoice in the small successes because when you add them all up they become huge successes. And ask questions and for help when you need. And don’t forget to HAVE FUN, this is our hobby.
What is the roller derby goal that you are working towards right now?
To be the best damn bench manager and co-captain I can be on travel team with the wonderful Peaches and Scream. Thanks to the Turnover Monster we had a number of WOTS skaters retire or move at the end of 2018 and our goal has been to increase the depth of skill within the Travel Team. It is a long term goal that the team will strive to achieve through the rest of the year and into the future. We also have The 2020 Great Southern Slam in our sights. Big shout out to Beers who has helped us throughout the year with team motivation and coaching plans, we couldn’t have done this without your dedication to the team and WARD.
What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?
I am continually learning and adapting to the changing rules, skills and strategies. I attend team training so I can help my team mates continually improve, I watch games (sometimes multiple times) and I am always searching for new drills and any opportunities to learn. Thankfully at WARD we have a wealth of knowledge to draw from and our amazing coaches and knowledgeable refs are always there to help.
Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?
Everyone! This league is filled with tremendously inspiring individuals. I just can’t choose, don’t make me choose.
What keeps you enthused about roller derby?
Coaching the level 1 and 2s – I just love seeing them progress from week to week it makes my heart sing, and watching travel team train hard developing their skills and working together. I love seeing our skaters succeed whether it is nailing that one foot glide, moving up to the next challenging level, making the roster for your first game, reffing your first game, or putting your skates on when you just don’t feel like it.
Who do you nominate as our next WARDian of the month?
I’d like to nominate my co-captain Peaches for keeping me sane with all the late night messages and phone calls. Without her I would be a blubbering mess on the floor of my bedroom. And also Lolpop for taking on one of the most demanding roles in WARD and hitting the floor running. I’m sure we will see some great things for WARD this coming year.