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asheve1

June WARDian of the Month: Ariana Doomsde!

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

I can’t pinpoint when I first heard about Roller Derby but over the years its been something in my mind that I really wanted to one day try. For the last 5 years I’ve been the sole parent to a young child so finding the time (and energy) for a hobby has been really hard to do, and it took me some time to realise that doing something solely for myself was okay.

I moved to Perth from Mebourne away from all my friends and spent years feeling very isolated from the world outside of being a mother – one day I saw a post online for an info session for a Roller Derby league other than WARD. I’ve always had bad social anxiety so I really had to build up the courage to attend alone. I went, but as much as I wanted to give it a go, I felt like such an outsider and my anxiety got the better of me so I didn’t sign up – however I didn’t want to just give up on the idea so I researched other leagues in W.A. and luckily I came across WARD. I attended the next info session and Fury and everyone else who attended really made me feel very welcome and comfortable, so I signed up and I’m so thankful I did!

 

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

I’m going to be honest, I’m finding level 2 really challenging and scary. Tiny told me level 2 would be very different and my gosh she was not wrong. My goal at the moment is to get to a point where I enjoy hitting. It’s not coming easy to me but I don’t want to give up on it. My confidence also definitely needs improving – it’s so hard not to compare myself and my skating abilities to others so I’ve been trying really hard not to do that.

Also, I’m not very fit, so I’ve been working on my cardio, skating around various lakes gradually building up the distance, I would like to eventually not feel like I’m about to pass out after 27 in 5.

 

What do you do to keep your derby brain switched on?asheve2

I make sure I attend both training sessions each week. I had never skated prior to roller derby so I need as much on skates practice as possible. I also try and skate outside of training when I can with my son working on my fitness and the skills we have been taught in training.

I also NSO at as many scrimmages as I can – it’s so inspiring watching all the level 3 and 4’s play and it’s such a good way to learn the game and get to know other people in WARD that I might not otherwise have much contact with. I also volunteer where I can – another fantastic way to get to know fellow WARDians while also supporting the league as a whole.

 

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

At the moment it’s literally everyone that has made it past level 2 but also all the level two’s that are repeating the cycle and haven’t given up! I also really admire all the coaches – they have worked their way up from level 1 to be where they are today and I’m always in awe of their ability and dedication – not to mention they give up their time to teach and they do it for a love of derby and helping others.

I know I won’t be alone in saying Tiny has been my biggest inspiration. Like myself, anxiety sometimes really interfered with her roller derby journey but she has learnt to deal with it so well and managed to come so far, she definitely gives me hope and encourages me to keep at it.

 

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

The fact that for the first time in my life I’m doing regular exercise and it’s so enjoyable that it doesn’t even feel like exercise! But most importantly, in the 5 or so months that I’ve been involved, roller derby has had such a profoundly positive impact on my mental health. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety on and off my whole life but since discovering roller derby I’m so much happier, my anxiety levels are down and I cope with stress better. Before derby my self esteem was at an all time low and its been gradually improving. Having derby as a hobby has given me something to work towards and look forward to and even when there are tough days I always force myself to go to training because I know after it I will feel so much better about myself.

What else keeps me enthused is the kindness and support people in WARD have always shown me despite knowing little about me. We are very lucky to have so many beautiful and accepting people in our league.

 

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

There are so many people in WARD worthy of a nomination for their outstanding contributions to the league, but I would like to nominate a few people that I haven’t previously nominated whose recent kindness has made a big difference to my overall experience in WARD.

Penny, Shreddy, Lolpops and Bowie for their encouragement and support, my self-doubt can often get in the way of me doing things so it’s been really nice having people appreciating and believing in me, their kindness is cherished.

Kat Scratch, I felt really intimidated coming into level two joining more experienced skaters that were repeating the cycle, but from the beginning, Kat has always been welcoming and made me feel more at ease. Even though she’s had to take a step back from the contact side of derby she has still been attending training to join in where she can and offer help, support and encouragement to everyone, also her continued dedication to the role of retail coordinator is admirable.

Tiny

May WARDian of the Month: Tiny Dancer

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How did you first get into roller derby?

My friend Snappa told me about it! We went and watched a bout at Midvale speed dome and were intrigued. I remember her asking me, ‘do you think we could do that?!” She started first and was having so much fun with it and kept badgering me to come down and try it. Back then you could just turn up and start on the night so I took the plunge and never looked back.

Tiny

Photo by Pants Eye View

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

That it’s just as much a mental game as a physical one. The mental side has always been much harder for me. The strategy doesn’t come naturally to me, I have to really work on it. The self-doubt is super tough. It’s easy to think about everything you can’t do that well or didn’t do well in a game rather than celebrate your successes, no matter how small.

That it would gift me some amazing, strong, inspiring, beautiful people that I know I will have in my life forever.

And that a 4 digit number is just too long!

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

To do well in Queensland at Royal Rumble in a couple of weeks. I want our team to be as successful as we can be.

This will be the first time I am communicating on track to my pod and I want to be clear, concise and remember to use my bedroom voice!

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

Watch footage! I watch so much footage. I have watched some games 20 times or more. I will watch one player for the whole game. Then watch the same game but watch another player and so on.

I also watch my team mates. I learn heaps by seeing how they skate and how they play. I also tell my level 1’s that I see everything! Ha ha I am always watching….

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Beers – her juggle of study, work, family, driving the WARD ship, and her coaching not only Top 30 but also level 2 and 3 – it’s inspiring and very much appreciated.

All the mums – I know how hard the juggle is sometimes just to get to training so I take my hat off to you!

Photo by Pants Eye View

Photo by Pants Eye View

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Seeing skaters in all levels succeeding. Whether it be because they mastered a banana hit, caught the jammer, passed their assessment or finally learned how to plow.

I get such a kick out of seeing people feel proud of themselves.

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

Ash – she has thrown herself into everything – including training – since arriving at WARD. She is an asset to our league.

Violet – she has taken over the role of Risk and Safety and done it like it’s never been done before.

Megan at Bibra Lake 2018

April WARDian of the Month: Dr. Megan

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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?

Megan at WARD Home Game 20198Skating 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.

 

 

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?Megan and Rat at AMRD Nationals 2018

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.

 

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

It’s hard to choose just one person to nominate as WARDian of the month, but I’ll have to go with Max Power, for the depth of her commitment and humane thoughtfulness (just two reasons, and I’m sure every WARDian could add an extensive list of their own).
Marie Fury

March WARDian of the Month: Marie Fury

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

I had been vaguely following roller derby in Perth and thought it looked super fun, then forgot all about it until a friend came across a WARD flyer at uni and sent it to me. I’d always enjoyed skating but never got past learning how to move forwards and thought this was the perfect opportunity to learn other things too, like stopping!

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

Not everyone’s progress is linear – you’ll have setbacks and time off and something will all of a sudden be the hardest thing ever even when you were fine with it the week before. You’ll get there eventually and in the meantime, training can still be fun.

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

Being able to play in my first home game!

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

Attending training as much as possible, asking questions about different rules, NSOing when I can – you think you know NSO positions and rules and then things happen that just show there’s always more to learn! I really enjoy moments like that, even if they’re hard it’s still great being able to understand more of the game.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Just throwing myself into it, even when I feel like I’m too tired or it’s too much effort as I never regret showing up.

What do you love about derby?

I love the challenge of it, learning new things and then having that lightbulb moment. I also love how supportive everyone is, we’re all there to do fun things on skates and we all just want to do what we can to help each other out.

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

Dr Megan, for all her hard work learning multiple NSO positions and also training new NSOs, and Amber, for everything she’s doing to improve WARD’s risk and safety practices.
Holly War

February WARDian of the Month: Holly War

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

I caught a short ABC news or documentary piece about Roller Derby on the TV back in 2009, when I was 17. I’d grown up playing numerous sports, but had stopped towards the end of high school due to study and a knee reconstruction. As soon as I saw the intensity and contact levels demanded by the sport (as well as the punk rock vibes of 2009 derby) I knew it was for me

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

How it would become so integral to my life that I have to actually tell myself I can’t revolve all aspects of my life around it. If derby paid the bills I would never take my skates off.

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

Team Japan for the next world cup – also a great motivator to learn Japanese and connect to that side of my heritage! I’m super passionate about seeing an increase in the diversity of participants in derby.

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

Holly War sporting the Atomic Sirens colours

Photo credit: Matthew Boggs

Go to all the training sessions! ALL OF THEM. Unless I’m working :(

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

The newer travel team cohort, that is, my new WayWARDs (and even WotS!) team-mates. I’ve seen some of them come up from beginner skaters to the bouting skaters they are now. It’s been a privilege to watch them improve the way they have over the past year, and seeing them continue striving to improve makes me excited for the future as we develop together.

 What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

As long as it’s fun then I’m going to be enthused about it. That and it continues to appeal to my competitive, speed-loving, full-contact-sport seeking side. It also keeps me fit, and my self-competitive need to get better has actually made me start doing off-skates workouts to improve my derby performance. Past Holly would be shocked and appalled! Present Holly has abs and thighs of steel though so worth it!

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

Always a tough question!  Two off the top of my head are:
Fury, for taking on and doing a great job of her subco role while still a developing skater, as well as devoting her time to becoming a great NSO

Nacho, for being a great fundraising coordinator, taking on a captaincy position and being a fab teammate

So many more equally deserving people, and not enough words to spruik them all!

January WARDian of the Month - Maul Rat, with Slender Jam and The Doctor.

January WARDian of the Month: Maul Rat

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

A long, long time ago, in a suburb far, far away… a fresh-faced young St John first aider signed up to an event at Herb Graham Rec Centre. It was for the rolling derbies, a peculiar game mentioned by his friend, a fresh skater called Sylvia Nitrate…

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

Pack is, in fact, here.

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

Refining my Ref wizardry. It’s amazing how much is going on, and how hard it is to see things. When I’m not impersonating a noisy pedestrian crossing though, I dream of jam. Our jammers are so impressive and skilful (and hard to catch), and I’d love to do that.

Photo Credit: Perth Outdoor Rollerblading

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

Off-track, I like to think up social stuff to do with derbyfolk, and do lots of outdoor skating (marathons, woo). On-track, it’s a little realisation that the sport I’m playing is actually really special, and the folks I’m playing it with are totally rad. This thought often happens in the moment after being hit before powersliding across the floor.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

I look up to so many people. Carno for her no-nonsense commitment, Cannon Bill for his stalwart dedication and determination to helping out and making derby go, and Slenderjam for his zany antics and crisp skills.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

A peculiar need to find out why everyone doesn’t play it. It’s skates, people! Skates! Sport skates! Seriously though, I like the community. It has people in it, which is scary, but everyone’s so interested.

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

Holly War for being the best Holly ever (also super hard to block, seriously). She’s got an eternally bright demeanour and attitude, and always seems keen to help folks out.

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Maul Rat at AMRD Nationals. Photo Credit: Torque’n’Gene

Roller Derby

October WARDian of the Month: Beers

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Thanks so much for making me WARDian of the month!!!

I really don’t enjoy talking about myself, so I’m going to use this opportunity to instead say thanks to all of the people who have made such an impact on my life over the past 4 years at WARD. Those that have been around since I started will know that I have grown and changed a lot over that time, and I am very grateful to WARD and the people that I have met along the way, that have given me the courage and confidence to be me.

Roller Derby really is a wonderful sport that allows people to be themselves, to be proud of who they are, to challenge themselves, to be supported, and pushed just a little when they need it. My most favourite part is that it’s an enjoyable way to keep fit and there’s always a new challenge, new strategy is the best!  WFTDA Champs are on this weekend, and my advice to everyone is to WATCH IT!

Photo Credit:  Matt Moore

Photo Credit: Matt Moore

I have had the privilege of being a part of Sirens and Top 30 this year as well as having the role of Top 30 Co-Captain alongside the amazing Rolla, and President.  I am constantly inspired by the people I get to be around each and every week.  There are so many people like Tiny, who gives up her time each and every week to coach our skaters, organise assessments and put together coaching rosters each cycle; Rolla, who is an invaluable asset to this league (I hate to think how many volunteer hours she has racked up over the past 6 odd years!);  Chi Chi and Penny who put their hands up for Manco roles even though they were still quite new to the league; Vector who gave up who knows how many hours developing code to make our systems more manageable.  The list goes on and on.

And of course my final thanks goes to Juicy.  She is the voice of reason and keeps me sane when I sometimes (always) take on a few too many things! #juicyistherealmvp

slender jam 1

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.

slender jam 4

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.

slender jam 3

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.

slender jam 5

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

Matthew Boggs

April WARDian of the Month: Dean

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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

 

Photo:Mathew Boggs

February WARDian of the Month : Luna

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Photo :Mathew Boggs

Photo :Mathew Boggs

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I’d been keen to play ever since I was a teenager but sadly PJRD didn’t exist in my day. So I waited until I was 18 and joined up then! Never looked back since.

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

How much it would change me and my life – not only my fitness but my friends, community, and mental health as well. When I joined WARD I was struggling a lot with mental illness, and actually it was around the time of my first level 2 assessment that I was hospitalised and really started to recover. Derby gave me a passion, a community of support, and a reason to be healthy, both physically and mentally!

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

My goal for 2018 is to pass into level 4 and join Top 30. I’ve focused for a few years on reffing, and I’m excited to focus on my skating skills more this year.

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

I do all sorts! I often go to team training a a referee, I coach level 2s pretty frequently at O’Connor, and I usually am involved in ref training on Sundays before scrim. Outside of WARD training, I enjoy watching WFTDA.tv footage when I can, refereeing for other leagues, and occasionally I go to the skate park and try not to die!

Photo:Stuart Millen

Photo:Stuart Millen

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Who isn’t? There are so many inspirational WARDians. Tiny for always being such a beast during assessments. Beers for doing all the things – does she sleep?! Zed for being such a ray of sunshine in our league. I could go on all day.

What keeps enthused about roller derby?

Watching yourself progress with new skills that you never thought you’d be able to do keeps me enthused. Roller derby as a sport is evolving so rapidly and that makes it endlessly fascinating to me. Plus, getting to see all my friends at derby makes me a little more motivated to put some pants on and come to training.

Photo:Ishtar

Photo:Ishtar

Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

I’m gonna say Shreddy – she has such a great attitude and was such a pleasure to coach in level 2. Shreddy has really stepped up in the social media role, and I can’t wait to see what else she gets up to in 2018!