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Lounacy at a WARD home game

August WARDian of the Month: Lounacy!

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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!

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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.

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.

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

September WARDian of the Month: Ouchi Meowchi

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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

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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

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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

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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.

March WARDian of the Month: Shreddy Mercury

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How did you first hear about roller derby?

Not long after I saw the film Whip It, I bumped into Skully Crossbones at work and she was in the middle of a conversation about derby.  It took her about a year to convince me to sign up, but I haven’t looked back. (Thanks Skully!)

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

That I didn’t need to be so scared!  I had no idea what the derby community was like or if I was capable of playing a contact sport.  It turns out I had nothing to worry about.  WARDians are super friendly and supportive and I’m stronger than I thought.

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

Photo Credit: Matthew Boggs

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

Having a better understanding of what’s going on on the track.  Being new to scrimmage, it still feels a bit chaotic.

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

My derby brain is still in training!  Right now, I’m just throwing myself into everything I can, and absorbing as much as possible.

Who in WARD is inspiring you at the moment?

The other members of Team Fresh (the new level 3+ skaters) for their fantastic attitudes, especially when thrown into the deep end at scrim.  Snuggles (Suzanne) for her resilience.  Rina for her hard work NSOing, doing stats and reffing, in addition to skating.  Every WARDian who shaved their heads or waxed their legs for WARD’s Greatest Shave on the weekend.  There are so many inspiring people in WARD and I could easily keep going!

What keeps you enthused about roller derby?

Seeing the more experienced players’ derby skills on the track – they’ve trained really hard to get where they are. Playing other sports helps too – it adds balance to my life and it’s great cross-training too.

Who do nominate as our next WARDian of the Month?

Danna for her infectious enthusiasm both as a skater and NSO.  I’ve never seen her without a smile on her face.

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

March: Roller Derby Gear – A Freshie’s Guide by Shreddy Mercury

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One of the first, and most daunting, decisions that people need to make when they join a derby league is their gear. Hopefully this guide is helpful to somebody out there!

What do I need to buy?

WARD skaters wear:

  • Helmet
  • Mouth guard
  • Knee pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Wrist guards


Most skaters start off with some kind of polyurethane (vegan leather) boot and a nylon plate. These are on the cheaper end of the scale and are very comfortable. Depending on a number of factors, these skates might last you anywhere from six months to a couple of years. Mine lasted for about a year, and I was skating a few times per week.

A good fit is very important, so I’d recommend trying on your first skates before buying (rather than buying them online). If you can, get a proper fitting at a skate shop.


Get a good-quality helmet that fits properly (i.e. snug but not headache-inducingly tight). You want to protect your brain, don’t you? Look for brands such as S1, Triple 8, Nutcase, TSG, Pro-Tec and Bauer.

Mouth Guard

Dentist-made mouthguards will cost an arm and a leg, but they give your teeth amazing impact protection. Most skate shops sell decent “boil and bite” mouthguards too- these are often less bulky than the dentist-made ones, and they can also be easier to talk and drink with.

Kneepads, Elbow Pads and Wrist Guards

Buy the best kneepads you can afford. You don’t notice how important your knees are until you hurt them. Expensive derby kneepads can be bulky, though- at first, I thought they were RIDICULOUS and had no idea how I’d skate in them. But you’ll get used to them very quickly, and the bulkier kneepads force you to bend your knees more- perfect for derby.

Good elbow pads tend to be less expensive than good kneepads. I’d recommend the kind with velcro straps at the back (so they open right out), not ones that just slip on. I’ve learned the hard way that the ones that don’t open up at the back are IMPOSSIBLE to de-stink, but then maybe you’re not as stinky as me.

Cheaper wrist guards will often have a big “bump” where the palm of your hand is. These are fine for fresh meat. I’ve heard that they can hurt your teammates in proper game play, though- so wrist guards with a flatter palm area are a wise investment if you’re thinking longer-term.

Good knee pad, elbow pad and wrist guard brands include: Triple 8, S1, Pro-Tec, 187, Deadbolt, Atom, TSG and Smith Scabs.

Stopping the Stink: Protective Gear

Image: Some lovely clean WARDian gear from DerbyFest this year.

Image: Some lovely clean WARDian gear from DerbyFest this year.

You’ll find heaps of guides on this all over the internet. Here’s what works for me.

At minimum: take your protective gear out of your bag after every practice. If you have a tiny washing line, hang your gear up and put it somewhere airy. (A bit of sun can help, too- but it can eventually damage elastic.) You can spray it all with an alcohol/disinfectant spray if you like. Brush your mouth guard with toothpaste

Once this stops working: hand-wash or machine-wash your gear (check what the manufacturer recommends). If you’re machine-washing, separate it into separate wash bags so it doesn’t all stick together. If your mouth guard looks gross, soak it overnight in a mixture of 50% water, 50% white vinegar, then rinse it well.

Stopping the Stink: Skates

Those really well-padded freshie skates get super stinky! I used to spray them with an alcohol spray and air them out, but this often wasn’t enough to stop the stink. A number of my friends swear by the moisture absorbers sold by skate shops. Otherwise, fill a sock with kitty litter and put it in your skates.

Less-padded boots will generally get less stinky- just make sure you’re airing them out after every practice.

Interested in skating with WARD? Hit us up on the WA Roller Derby Facebook page, or e-mail We have a new skater intake every 12 weeks; no experience needed!

Shreddy x

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Hermoine Danger