Sugar Hit

 

10414919_10152487831747287_1764897005738102292_nI’m part of the Whip It generation that used Google to find my closest roller derby league, which turned out to be the Pirate City Rollers. I turned up to freshmeat, tried on some skates, and spent most of the time clinging tightly to the rink’s barrier so I wouldn’t fall down. I refused to let the squeaky wheeled shoes defeat me and I signed up for more then and there.

What leagues and teams have you played for? How long have you been playing roller derby?

Two leagues mainly – the Pirates and Richter City Roller Derby in Wellington. My then-coach with the Pirates refused to graduate me from the freshmeat course, and the thought of doing it again while my friends moved on broke my heart. Then I got a job in Wellington early 2012 and joined Richter City as a new skater. But because I was fresh, and had come in after the home-team draw, I didn’t play my first game until late September 2012. I worked myself hard and skated as often as I could to get better, and by the end of the year they gave me the award for most improved skater. I owe Richter City so much for supporting me, growing me, and being a fantastic league to skate with. Then came a job promotion and the move back to Auckland just before 2013. I transferred to the Pirates and tried out for the All Scars and made it, which was awesome and exciting and terrifying. I’ve been with the Pirates since, but without fail, every time I see Professor Scrape from Richter City I’m asked when I’m moving back to Wellington.

Recently you attended TGSS, had you been to this tournament previously?

2014 was my first time at TGSS! And what a shocker – in our first game I got blocked into my team-mate’s shoulder and spent several jams off with a blood nose, and when I finally got back on the track a wheel came loose! But I have never had more fun. TGSS is so professionally put together, and every skater, official, and fan there is friendly and helpful and funny.

What did you expect of the tournament and what did you learn from it?

I was most excited about finally seeing VRDL play live instead of on a computer screen. The TGSS final between them and Sun State was what dreams are made of. So much skating ability! Very excite, much feels.
Just watching the Aussies play taught me so much about how to improve my game, things I learnt that I’m going to be working on in the coming months. I was so impressed with a Pirate freshmeat skater, Mars, making the trip over to TGSS. She will have come back with so much more knowledge and understanding, even if she didn’t skate.

What does participation of these tournaments mean for NZ leagues and NZ roller derby in your opinion?

I would love for every derby league in New Zealand to make TGSS 2016 one of their goals. Isolation is New Zealand derby’s biggest obstacle, so the exposure to new teams, and different styles of refereeing and game play, is just great. It’s the little things you pick up from attending a tournament like TGSS, that you don’t necessarily see or hear while watching a game online, that makes all the difference.

Mind the Yap

10421511_10152535863162287_6081541384398455695_nHow did you get into roller derby?
I got into roller derby through Gonna make ya Pei-Pei while she was working at Auckland Hospital. She put up some game posters and I thought it looked awesome and wanted to try it! Luckily there was a freshmeat course starting the following week and I’ve never looked back

What did you expect getting into roller derby? And what was the most surprising thing you came to learn about derby?
I expected it to be hard and rough and it has met my expectations! It’s a lot of fun though and you never notice the bruises until the day after. The most surprising thing was that all those amazingly good, intimidating skaters are actually really nice and will help you any time you need!

What’s the greatest challenge you have had to overcome so far?
My greatest challenge so far has been my first game against Mount Militia. I was so nervous! I was terrified I wouldn’t be any good but it was the most fun I’ve ever had and I’m so proud of our team

What is it about roller derby that keeps you coming back?
The adrenaline rush!

What would your advice be for future freshmeat?
Practice makes perfect! Don’t give up, that ridiculously difficult T stop will soon come naturally! Freshmeat is only the begining of all the fun to be had

Shro Ding Her

Schro-promo

How long have you been involved with Roller Derby?

I’ve been skating for two years now. I watched my first game in May of 2012 and joined Freshmeat the next week! Last year was my first bouting year as part of Dead Wreckoning.

What does Roller Derby mean to you?

Roller Derby is my second home. It’s a physical challenge I’ve never faced before- nor never dreamed I would! It’s belonging to a sisterhood, a community, world wide. It’s the strategy of chess and the physicality of rugby.

This is the first game as a new team, whats the team most excited about?

We’re pretty excited about playing as a team for the first time. We’ve been practising our lines and strategies, working on knowing each other on the track. Our Parrot is pretty awesome too!

Gonna Make Ya Pei-Pei

PeiPei-promo

How did you get into Roller Derby?

I got into Roller derby in a round about way, I was doing a burlesque class and met a lady who was fresh meat at the time, she was so enthusiastic about it and after seeing a game, I could see why! It was so cool and exciting to watch, I wanted to be a part of it too, so I went to an open day back in August of 2011, signed up then and there, and haven’t looked back since

Describe what Roller Derby means to you.

Roller Derby means so many things to me, Its the only time in my life I have enjoyed sport! and physical exercise, sometimes I don’t recognise myself! But it came along at a time when I really needed something positive to focus on because I was recovering from a really shit time in my life, and even though learning to play derby was difficult and challenging for me, it gave me something to believe in, and as clichéd as it might seem, it kind of saved me and I’m very grateful for that.

What is your favourite Roller Derby Memory thus far?

My favourite memory has got to be winning the most improved player award for my team Mascara Massacre for the 2013 season! I’m so proud of that award and I seriously NEVER thought that I would be the one to win it!

This is your first bout against an outsider team (non home season), what are you most excited about?

Its really exciting to play people not in your league, because I feel like its a great way to kind of see where your at with your skills, will all that stuff you do in training actually kick in on the track etc, also, It’s the first game where I will be taking a turn at jamming, which is exciting, but mostly terrifying for me lol

Any words for the opposing team Dangerous Curves?

My only words for Dangerous Curves are that I’m so excited to be meeting them on the track, I’m aiming to have a great time on Saturday and I hope you are too, I’m also aiming to leave you with some bruisey souvenirs

TutanKarnage

 

10394508_10152551058237287_716533404070311100_n1.When did you start derby and what were your initial motivations for taking it up as a sport?

I started Freshmeat mid 2011 and then joined the league and began playing in 2012. I went to my first Pirate City Rollers game in 2009 and was blown away by the speed and aggression, and also found appeal in how unique Roller Derby was and that it was a sport in which females dominated. I was to chicken to join freshmeat at the time so a couple years passed before I joined with my bestie Lady Trample. I always want to improve and be a better player than I currently am, so I am constantly kicking myself for not starting to skate earlier.

2. What is the meaning behind your name and number?

I Major in Anthropology and Minor in Ancient History and I really love Ancient Egypt. It seemed obvious to pick a derby name that was reflective of my interests so I went with TutanKarnage which is a play on Tutankhamun, an Egyptian pharaoh from the eighteenth dynasty (which is why my skater number is 18). Typically I just go by Karnage as it’s less of a mouthful.

3. What is the greatest thing you have taken away from derby to date?

Derby has given me so much, so it would be hard to choose just one thing. Derby has given me some amazing lifelong friends that I otherwise might have never met. It has given me self-confidence and the drive to improve and push myself. It has also taken me overseas to Hawaii and to Australia as well as around New Zealand.

4.What are some of your personal strengths and how have these benefited you in derby?

I like to think that I am a strategic thinker which translates on the track as being able to read opposition game play and then suggesting how to best combat it. I’m also quite an observant person which helps me pick up on habits and body cues of opposition, as well as being able to observe and play on the strengths in my team mates.

5.Roller derby has been considered one of the fastest growing female sports. Where do you see the future of derby?

For New Zealand roller derby I would love to see more, if not all roller derby leagues become WFTDA (Womens Flat Track Derby Association) members, the benefits of becoming WFTDA members are immense including the ability to become internationally ranked. I would also like to see regular international game play for New Zealand leagues. Playing different teams is important for the improvement of strategy, game play and skills, because New Zealand is a small and relatively isolated country, playing international teams does not happen as often as I’d like.
Ideally the biggest goal for roller derby would be to see it performed on a global scale such as at the Olympics. I would love to see international and local derby players be able to go professional and make full time careers out of the sport. Roller Derby is not yet recognised as a sport in New Zealand and it is important to me that the sport that I love gets the respect and recognition it deserves.

Stone Cold Beretta

Berreta-promo

How long have you been involved with Roller Derby?
I went to a Pirate City Rollers open day in August 2011 after attending one of the games earlier in the year. I came away with legs like jelly and a desire to get involved. I went through the freshmeat course, which was both challenging and satisfying. Once I was in the league in 2012, Mascara Massacre asked me to play with them for their last few games of the year. I stayed in the team and played with them all through 2013, and now theres a brand new team to be a part of.

What does Roller Derby mean to you?
Roller derby is a fantastic way to exercise, working out both body and mind – learning strategy and putting it into play is one of the challenges of the sport and it compliments the physical aspect. I really enjoy working on elements of skating and seeing them improve, derby is also a great way to relieve stress!
It’s a very social sport, both within a league and between leagues in other cities and countries.

You’re the alternate Captain of the new team, whats been the biggest challenge in setting up the new team?
Working on strategy I think, deciding on our team strategies and practising them. We’ve been helping each other understand and really trying to communicate on the track. The team is picking everything up really quickly and we’re all enjoying working as a team.

What about this first game excites you most?
It’s going to be amazing for our team! It will be the first game for a couple of the girls, so I’m excited that we can be there to support them and I’m sure we will all have a great time!