Category Archives: News

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.

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

Ouchi plus 5

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.

 

Photo Credit:  City of Canning

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

Danger Ref 1

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!

 

Sin Photo - Jammer

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.

Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

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
Photo credit: Hermione Danger

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

Skates

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.

Helmet

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 info@warollerderby.com.au. We have a new skater intake every 12 weeks; no experience needed!

Shreddy x

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Hermoine Danger
Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

January WARDian of the Month: Fang-Tastic

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How did you get into derby?

Photo Credit: Stuart Millen

Photo Credit: Stuart Millen

3½ years ago, I was in a very deep, dark hole of bipolar depression.  I was suicidal, self-harming and hated everything about my life.  I met some derby girls during star classes and thought I’d give it a go.  BEST thing I ever did.  WARD and roller derby literally saved my life.  Derby gave me not only physical activity but support, focus and a break from being a wife and mum.

What is your best moment in derby so far?

Receiving MVP jammer during my first WOTS bout.  It was the most incredible way to end the season.

Photo Credit: Ishta Photography

Photo Credit: Ishta Photography

What is the most challenging thing about derby?

Keeping up with off-skates fitness.  I know off-skates fitness is important so I try really hard but find it very challenging.

What roller derby goal are you working towards right now?

TGSS and Royal Rumble.  This will be my first interstate tournament.  I’m super excited.

What advice would you give those just starting out?

Don’t compare yourselves to others.  Your journey is your own.  Just do the best you can.

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Matthew Boggs

Fang 1

 

January: Fitness

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Get fit with roller derby pic

Every January, people muster up resolutions from health to productivity to better living habits.

At WARD, health is very important. With roller derby being a full contact sport, skaters want to maintain their level of fitness to better enjoy their track time and hold their space in their team. This is true of referees and NSOs too, with referees spending entire bouts on skates and most NSOs spending the entire bout standing up! A typical training session sees a skater burn from around 300 to up to 600 calories. Of course, while physical fitness is great for physical health, it can have a positive effect upon mental health, too. Overall, roller derby has a huge positive impact upon the wellbeing of WARDians.

This year, some of our freshies, referees, NSO and skaters have made an accountability pledge to be fitter, healthier and stronger. You will find them at their local gym, doing Parkruns, swimming, trekking, cycling, outdoor skating, at a skate park or running after their kids (that burns a lot of calories!!)

If you find exercise hard, that’s okay. It can be difficult to start with, especially if you are managing a condition. Perhaps the best thing you can do is to start small, making micro-goals. In order to do this, simply take your bigger goals (e.g. “get fit”) and break this into smaller, more achievable and measurable tasks (e.g. “I would like to run 4km in under 25 minutes.”) We do the same thing at WARD- fresh meat with us, we start small, with a chat at info night, and then we teach you how to skate. As you begin to better understand the rules of derby, we do more realistic drills, and finally, you will be ready to go to scrimmage, and then bout! Overall, we want you to achieve and hit your goals.

Get fit with roller derby pic 2

It’s also okay if you’re not successful the first time around. As much as it’s great to have wins, setbacks happen to the best of us, and are just opportunities to perfect your skills. We work in 12-week cycles whereby you can re-do a cycle if you’re not ready to move up a level. In fact, you are welcome to repeat a cycle as many times as you like- there is no pressure to move up the levels at WARD. And repeating a cycle is a great opportunity to perfect your skills! Later, we add some off-skate workouts, which is super helpful if you don’t really have time or money to hit the gym. Slowly, surely, you begin to feel stronger, more confident, and ready to join a team.

Take a look at our 2017 WARDians of the year- they all started small and developed into strong people. You can be one too. Our info nights are 20th and 21st of February but if you can already skate or play Derby let us know.

Malaga event: here

O’Connor event: here

Questions? Emails our Freshmeat Coordinator at freshmeat@warollerderby.com.au

See you in February!

Skully