All posts by IT Coordinator (Rat)

November WARDian of the Month: Shanobyl!

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I watched a Buzzfeed video about it back in 2017 and mentioned to my fiancé how much fun that would be. He really pushed me into looking into it and thankfully I contacted WARD a week before their Nov 2017 sign up and I’ve never looked back. It was the scariest decision I think I’ve ever made in my adult life but looking back, it’s the best decision I could have made for my physical and mental health.

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

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t pass an assessment or can’t master a particular move. Derby is just as much mental as it is physical and everyone progresses and learns at their own pace. The amount of times in my first cycle of level 1 I sat in my car crying before training is ridiculous but IT GETS BETTER!

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

Just to attend all level 3 training. My social anxiety is really playing with me at the moment. Going from levels where I knew what I was doing to then being thrown into the deep end again is a struggle…but sucking at something is the first step towards being sort of good at something.

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

At the moment I’m in my second round of PT with Slay from PRD, she is a machine and definitely helped with core and strength training which has helped with my on skate’s derby. I’m also a sucker for old WFTDA games on Youtube to help me understand game play and I also love watching Indi Jammer Jones.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

So many people, I love watching the new level 1s and 2s. Starting your derby life or even being introduced to hitting is hard but I love seeing people giving it a go. Pretty much everyone at the league inspires me in one way or another.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

That forever learning. I love being able to nail something my brain tells me I won’t and it makes me so enthusiastic about the future. Also, all the lovely people I’ve met and are now my friends. I would have been completely lost without Chi Chi at the beginning of my derby journey and I would have been lost this last year without the support from Rumby and Scratchy.

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

Uuuuuh, everyone? Of course I think Rumby has done an amazing job with the Risk and Safety. Missy as well for her dedication in helping the new level 3s like myself even though the season is over.

October WARDian of the Month: Kat Scratch!

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

How did you first hear about roller derby?

My Husband knows Ruby Bruiseday through work and he showed me the info session on FB she had shared. Finding a hobby or sport was something I had wanted to do for years but I just couldn’t find the right fit and I didnt have the confidence to get involved in something new.

When I  attended I felt nervous but excited by the weird world of derby. Who knew it would be the start of something amazing,where I would not only ignite a fire within that I didn’t even know existed for physical activity but make life long friends along the way.

Kat Scratch as a Non-Skating Official. Photo Credit: Pants Eye View

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

Everyone learns and progresses at different stages.  When it comes to developing your own derby skills and mastering techniques everyone is running their own race so be kind and patient to yourself it’s all part of your derby journey.

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

At the moment I’m being patient, taking in strategy and derby theory but also supporting others in the league as much as I can.

Come January I’ll be whipping my post baby bod back into shape! I plan on working very hard to  smash out level 2 and join my pals in level 3. I am also really looking forward to reuniting with my derby wife Rumby!

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

Always ask questions!  I am always keen and curious to learn more and I do this through asking questions and engaging with all the different people of derby world.  Since being pregnant I have enjoyed learning a lot more of the NSO roles and responsibilities. Not being on skates I am able to listen and observe more which has been really beneficial to my derby brain.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Whoa, this is tough to answer. I am always in awe and admiration of the higher level skaters obviously what they do is where I dream to be someday. But watching the level 1’s and 2’s I love seing them hungry and driven. They have this grit, determination and resilience that is truly motivating. As the weeks go by they push themselves and achieve things that continue to inspire me.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

See above. It’s the people! Second it’s easy to stay enthused about derby when its so damn additive. Definitely crazy to think this gal could get excited about wheels, walls and wristguards, but it’s a thing.

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

Always Rumby haha! Call me bias, I know. She is determined, committed and hardworking always pushing herself to achieve her derby goals. A thoughtful, friendly and knowledgeable league member who leads by example and continues to keep us safe and accountable in her Subco role. I wouldn’t be the league member I am today without her in my life.

September WARDian of the Month: Rina Machina!

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I took my little cousin to a vintage market in the Swan Valley and WARD were there handing out flyers for their upcoming grand final. I had heard about roller derby before but had never really looked into it much. I said I’d like to learn how to play but I had no idea how to skate- they said that it was no problem and that WARD would teach me. I went to the grand final with my mum (Tail-her Swift/Swifty) and was completely in awe of all the amazing skaters. Mum and I signed up together next cycle!

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

To be honest, not much! It’s been an incredible journey and I’ve just been taking everything in my stride. The only thing I wish I could tell past me is to listen to your body when things start to hurt and go to a good physio/podiatrist straight away before things get worse. I developed bursitis in both of my feet due to my skates not being right for me (I seem to be the only person I know who has had this problem by the way, I just have dodgy feet XD). I had just gotten into travel teams and I was training a lot. I was loving it so much that I pushed through the pain and it got to the point where I wrecked my feet so badly I had to take a year off while I recovered. I still have pain if I’m not careful and I can’t do a lot of the same things on my skates as I used to be able to do. Listen to your body, take time to recover and do the exercises your physio tells you to do. There’s no rush, derby will always be here!

Rina Machina jumping around an opposing blocker.

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs Photography

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

Since I became a level 3, I had always trained as a jammer. This year, I’ve been training as a blocker which is an entirely new skill set (having to work WITH people, what is this?!) so my main goal has been to be the best blocker I can be! It’s been really challenging (and I think I’ll always be a jammer at heart), but I love a good challenge and I’m having a lot of fun!

I have taken up reffing this year too which I’ve really enjoyed. I’m usually skating in scrims instead of reffing so it’s difficult to do both! My goal is to be confident enough to head ref at some stage (with minimal internal screaming), that would be cool!

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

I want to be a good derby person and say that I watch WFTDA on YouTube and analyse what the top teams do, but honestly if I’m watching derby alone or I’m not watching my friends play, I get so bored.  I get to training as often as I can and I ref at any opportunity I get. If I’m off skates or non contact at training, I’ll practice watching for penalties and work on my pack definition.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Oh man, there’s too many to pick. So many people are doing amazing things! It’s so inspiring seeing people at training nailing a skill that they’ve been working really hard on. Our ManCo and SubCo who work selflessly behind the scenes to make WARD an even more amazing league for our members. All of our refs and NSOs who keep us safe at scrim. Watching Missy’s development as a skater since she started is so inspiring and she’s always so motivated, she’s such a positive influence and it always brightens my day to see her at training. Ari is so dedicated to WARD and she’s absolutely smashing it coming up through the levels! Shorty for all of her hard work behind the scenes recently. Tiny for always knowing exactly what to do as my brace and keeping me calm on track.  Lou and Peaches invest so much of their time and energy into being incredible travel team captains, that stuff isn’t easy!! Honestly, I could write an essay about all the people who are inspiring me and the reasons why.

Rina Machina blocks an opposing jammer.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

The actual sport itself is so fun! I had never been an athletic sort of person when I started derby, I really hated sports! Roller derby just took hold of me straight away. I like that there is always something to work on – no matter what level you are, there’s always skills that can be fine-tuned. I like that it’s as much of a mental game as it is a physical game – there’s so much strategy involved in such a fast paced environment and it feels amazing when something finally clicks and you nail a skill or strategy in a game that you and your team have been working on! There’s still pleeeenty of “deer in the headlights” moments, but I’m working on that XD.

Although my stay on ManCo this year was brief, working with such an incredible group of intelligent, compassionate women who have the league’s best interests at heart is something else that keeps me excited about roller derby and the future of our league. What an amazing bunch of humans <3️

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

There is just far too many people that come to mind! If I have to pick, I’m going to have to say Luna and Shorty. They’ve both done a lot of work behind the scenes recently and I appreciate them both so much.

Lounacy at a WARD home game

August WARDian of the Month: Lounacy!

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

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.Lounacy blocking during a derby match

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.

Shreddy Mercury jamming

July WARDian of the Month: Shreddy Mercury!

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I did a bunch of recreational skating and roller hockey prior to joining WARD, so people kept asking when I was going to sign up for derby. I was also getting to the end of my studies and didn’t know what to do with myself, so I figured it was time for a new challenge. Back then, I just wanted to become a better skater and wasn’t sure if I’d stick around- but it has been such a good time that I’ve been here for two years now. =)

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

Nothing! This has all been such an adventure- through the sessions where I’ve felt more confident to those that have been more difficult. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Shreddy at the jam line

Credit: Torque’n Gene

I had some interesting ideas as a level one, though. For a long while, I thought that jamming was an exclusive invitation-only club; I didn’t realise I just had to put my hand up. I thought my excessive need for personal space would make me hate contact sports. I never thought I’d be able to take a hit, or that I’d be on management or a home team. I also thought that the WARD coaches were paid. (NOPE. They are amazing people.)

I certainly didn’t realise how frustrating it would become to be in a crowded spaces in everyday life. It’s very boring, not being allowed to jam through groups of people.

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

Just to have fun. Whenever I see a skater with a big grin on their face, it reminds me why I play this sport. A wise person once told me not to let my anxiety make my decisions for me, and I try to live by that.

A related goal is managing burnout by having time away from derby. I play lots of street roller hockey and go ice or outdoor skating when I can. The bonus is that they’re all great for cross-training.

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

I’m still developing my derby brain. I know that strategy is important, but I don’t enjoy learning it and I don’t like watching sports- even derby. I’ve decided just to be patient, keep coming to training and watch the odd derby video. This way, I’ll have a solid derby brain…eventually.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

All our officials. They are so dedicated to what they do, and so generous with their time when I have questions. WARD officials often do regional or interstate travel to represent our league and are always looking to hone their skills.

Shreddy & Penny

Credit: Penny Dreadful

It would be remiss of me not to mention the WARD committee too! I am very lucky to work with such inspiring humans who care so much about this league. A particular shout-out goes to my sub-committee members over the past 7 months for their positivity and commitment to their roles. Thank you Bex, Bowie, Fury, Manaia, Rat, Rumby and Vector. ^ ^

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Jamming! I have tried so hard to love blocking and I know how many skaters enjoy it, but it’s just not the same. Jamming can be exhausting- and I usually want to throw up while I’m waiting for the whistle. But it’s also the best thing ever. You know runner’s high? Jammer’s high is ten times better.

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

Lolpops. I knew it was a huge decision for her to nominate as President with her busy schedule, but she’s really hit the ground running.

November WARDian of the Month: Kronie

By | WARDian of the Month | No Comments

 

Team mate Missy Quinn and Kronie at Home Game Grand Final

Team mate Missy Quinn and Kronie at Home Game Grand Final

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I first joined WARD in 2011 after being invited by a friend to go to a home game. I fell in love with it all and decided to join!  After making it to level 3 I found it to be too difficult to keep it up with post grad studies so had to leave 🙁  Luckily I kept in contact with Vector who convinced me to give it another go at the start of this year. It was then I realised I had had a giant derby sized hole in my life all this time!

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

That the mental game is just as important as the physical one. Also what an amazing, supportive community derby is! So don’t be so scared

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

Forever trying to do better at lateral movement/side surfs. They will be the death of me! Also staying focused on the task at hand during scrims.

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

Trying to get to as many training sessions and watch as many games as possible. And do all of the things all of the time!

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Beers and Holly for their incredible derby skillz, dedication to the league and wonderful coaching.
Chi chi for her amazing organisational skills and contributions.
Shannon for her perseverance and general sass.

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Seeing WARD members achieving their goals; seeing what a positive impact derby has on people’s lives in general. I’m also super proud of the way WARD has made efforts to change problematic language and be more inclusive.
WARDian of the month Kronie

WARDian of the month Kronie

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

Lolpop for her hard work in all things derby and Luna for her general awesomeness.

September WARDian of the Month: Ouchi Meowchi

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I went to a bout with my Mum a few years ago, and it’s been in the back of my mind since then.  I desperately wanted to join but my low self-esteem kept telling me not to because there was no way I could ever be good enough.  2017 rolls around and a post for the WARD November intake somehow worked its way onto my FB feed.  I don’t know what possessed me, but I sent in an email asking for information.  In that same timeframe the WAYWards vs South Sea Sirens match took place, and I dragged Mum along to it.  It was witnessing that game that made me determined roller derby was going to be my sport.

Ouchi - demo

Photo Credit: Shannon Ferguson

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

It’s not just about rolling around in circles and hitting people.  It’s so much more technical than that!

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

I am very very keen to earn my zebra stripes.

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

Research!  Looking up rules, teams, gear and watching bouts on Youtube.  Though NSOing is definitely the fastest way to learn about the game.  I find the best way to keep switched on is to be involved, even when I’m not actually skating.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

So many of my fellow Level One-ders!  There are so many new skaters who have barely ever skated before, and they have such awesome give-it-a-go attitudes.  I love training with them, and they really inspire me to keep going.

Ouchi - groupWho do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

So. Many. People.  I may sound biased being the league secretary, but everyone in the sectretariat stream has worked so hard since I joined – Vector, Pat, Bex, Amber, Fury.  Amber especially, as she took on the Risk and Safety Officer role, which is an area that needs a lot of love and attention.  Also, Max Power for helping me out so much with learning to HNSO; there is no way I could have done it without her.  We have an awesome league with so many hard-workers in it.  It’s hard to narrow it down to one.

 

July WARDian of the Month: Missy Quinn

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

How did you first hear about roller derby?

I first heard about roller derby from my parents when they both signed up with inner west roller derby league in Sydney.  Mum was a bouting skating and Dad is a Ref.  Due to our location at the time, roller derby wasn’t really present till the year we were posting out to move here.  The bonus was Dad and Mum were posted to Perth the same year.  Basically, Mum talked me into attending a few social skates with the kiddlets and see how we all go, as I grew up skating.  Before I knew it we were attending Rolloways every Friday night.  Dad kept pointing at the WARD intake posters every time they popped up.  I finally decided to come along and check it out.  I must say I haven’t looked back.

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

Since I am still new to roller derby, so to speak, I think I wish I knew how much speed hurts (kidding), that roller derby is more than just skating, bouting and winning, that roller derby is family.  Especially with WARD it’s all about the friendships, the support you receive and how each and every skater has their own journey of achieving their own goals and where they see themselves.

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

I am currently working towards my Level 3 assessment.  I am slowly improving on my left foot plows and trying to stay in derby stance and not pop up when receiving or giving hits.

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

I like to NSO at scrims and bouts.  I find it helps to keep my derby brain switched on, as I get to see visually what is happening, while I am also learning the rules and strategies.  Also by attending NSO and skating clinics.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

Hmm, this is a hard one as there are many skaters, refs and NSO who inspire me.  To me, everyone at WARD is very inspiring in their own ways.  Each person brings something special to WARD.

What keeps enthused about roller derby?

All my WARD peeps.  I appreciate all the advice given to improve myself as a skater.  I just love the support everyone receives but also gives.

Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

Tiny for all her time, support and love she puts into each and every skater.  No matter what, she is always there for you.

Photo Credit:  City of Canning

June WARDian of the Month: Hermione Danger

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

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

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 Danger Ref 2roller 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?Danger with Jeneva

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!

 

May WARDian of the Month: Sin

By | News, WARDian of the Month | No Comments

I am truly honoured to receive this aWARD and it has come at a hard time for me in my Derby journey, with injuries keeping me off skates for what seems like an eternity.  I miss all my teamies and it’s easy to feel a little out of touch at times.  So thanks for letting me know I am appreciated!

I wasn’t a sporty kid growing up and never really had the opportunity to take part in team sports outside of school.  Derby was the first time that I actually felt part of a team.  This is one of the things I love the most about this crazy sport and although I found it later in life, it came at a time where I needed to find something for me.  As a Mum of two and self-employed full-time worker, it’s very easy to be caught up in the needs of family/work life and you just start to exist.  For me, Derby became my breakaway and something that I looked forward to each week.  As my skills grew, so did my confidence and my love for the sport.  I was more than happy to take my time progressing through the levels, and making it onto home teams was more than I ever expected.  So I’ve currently hit a bump in the road and have had to accept that I need to give myself time to repair.  Who knows where this journey will lead me but Derby and WARD will always have a piece of my heart.

Our leaSin Photo - Teamgue is so full of inspirational people so deserving of recognition for the time and effort they put in to making WARD what it is:  our T30 skaters who work so hard to improve themselves and also give up their own free time to coach everyone else; our refs and NSOs – without them I’m sure we would be a truly unruly bunch!; the committee members working so hard behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly from assessments, coaching plans, organising venues, liaising with other leagues, facilitating training for NSOs and Refs, and generally managing all of our member information … the list goes on.  WARD is made up of so many fantastic people and I am so grateful to be a part of that team (with or without my skates on).

I’d really like to take the opportunity to encourage our new (and old) Wardians to take that next step and offer your help as part of the WARD Committee.  As they say, many hands make light work and it really isn’t that scary.  Who knows?  You may learn a new skill and also get to spend time with an amazing bunch of people.