Category Archives: WARDian of the Month

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

November WARDian of the Month: Kronie

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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.
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.

 

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

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!