Meet the Skaters: Ellen

Time for another Meet the Skater! Our next skater is part of London Rollergirls’ Fundamentals programme. World, meet Ellen!

How did you first hear about roller derby? (and London Rollergirls!)
I watched Whip It, of course. (Is there any other answer?) LRG were one of the first teams that came up when I searched online, and I spent hours scrolling through their website, in awe of all the amazing skaters who were playing roller derby in real life!

What made you want to try it?
Watching my first LRG home game pretty much sealed the deal. It was so empowering to see strong, talented and fearless skaters owning the derby track and defying expectations of traditional femininity.

Did you have any skating experience before you started Fundamentals? Have you played any other sports before?
I played a mean Wing Attack on my school netball team, but that was about it. And in terms of previous skating experience – none at all. Unless you count a roller disco aged 7. I was so bad at it I wouldn’t let my mum leave, and she had to hold my hand the whole time.

What is your favourite thing you have learned in training so far? What has been the most challenging thing?
Learning derby stops has been really fun, because they look so stylish! Starting contact work has been challenging but also really exciting; you get a sense of what a real bout will feel like.

What’s the best thing about learning to play roller derby?
The people.

Have you thought about a derby name yet? If so what is it?
A good pun is still pending…

What advice would you give someone thinking about trying roller derby?
Do it! You’ll never regret trying it.

 

If you want to find out more about our Fundamentals programme, click right here.

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Meet the Skaters: Bash’er Fierce

Bash’er Fierce (#21) skates for Batter C Power and Dream Team

When did you first start playing roller derby?
I started in 2017… By accident!! I had never heard of roller derby but saw a (non roller derby) skater girl in Hyde park and decided I wanted to learn to skate. I googled skate lessons in Croydon and somehow Croydon roller Derby’s rookie intake came up. It took a few weeks to figure out that it wasn’t just roller skate lessons when the coach said to we were going to learn to hit. At that point I went home to google roller derby as I was pretty sure I didn’t need to hit anyone in Hyde Park!!

Did you play any other sports before derby?
I played netball my whole life and then retired to take up lacrosse.

How did you choose your derby name?
A friend who knew I was obsessed with Beyoncé suggested the play on her alter ego Sasha Fierce.

What’s your favourite thing about playing roller derby?
I’ve always loved team sports. I love the physicality of the sport and I love that every time I put on skates I feel like I have an opportunity to learn and improve.

What do you get up to when you’re not skating?
I have an 11 year old son who keeps me busy, I run a management consultancy and I host dinner parties!

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Meet the Skaters: Bryony

Our next featured skater is Bryony, another member of our Fundamentals programme.

How did you first hear about roller derby? (and London Rollergirls!)
I came to watch a LRG game years ago when I was a freshy for another team!

What made you want to try it?
Whip It – Naturally!

Did you have any skating experience before you started Fundamentals? Have you played any other sports before?
None whatsoever…I was (still am) a Bambi on ice!

What is your favourite thing you have learned in training so far? What has been the most challenging thing?
My favourite thing is going fast and running on toe stops – who’d have thought that was even possible? Holding my balance after being hit is pretty challenging, it must go back to channelling Bambi!

What’s the best thing about learning to play roller derby?
The amazing community around me – whilst travelling around the world I used Roller Derby as a supportive network of immediate friends on arrival in far flung lands. LRG hasn’t disappointed!

Have you thought about a derby name yet? If so what is it?
Hmm, it would be too easy to go with the obvious ‘ginger’ puns. I’m waiting for a flash of inspiration.

Do you have any other hobbies? (besides derby!) What do you like to get up to when you’re not skating?
Having just moved to London I’m finding my feet doing all of the exciting things, exploring and buying too many house plants. Also currently learning to LindyHop which is hilarious.

What advice would you give someone thinking about trying roller derby?
DO IT. Honestly, it will be the best decision you’ll make. Fun, friends and fierce thighs.

To find out more out the London Rollergirls Fundamentals programme, click here.

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Meet the Skaters: Cleo

Kicking off our new “Meet the Skaters” series is Cleo.  Cleo is part of our fabulous Fundamentals programme.

How did you first hear about roller derby? (and London Rollergirls!)
I think this may be the most common answer, I found derby through the film ‘Whip It’ starring Ellen Page.  I got super obsessed with it and watched it over and over.  That year, I asked for skates for my birthday but was always far too nervous to put them on, so they were untouched in the box for a little while!

I first saw the London Rollergirls at Pride! I can’t quite remember the year but they were skating in the parade through the city. I checked them out later that evening and was so surprised to find out they had home games in my area, I went to my first bout not long after that.

What made you want to try it?
It just looked so cool and tough, it’s the perfect mixture of all things that I like.

Did you have any skating experience before you started Fundamentals? Have you played any other sports before?
I had gone around my local park a few times, but it always felt too daunting. Once I had signed up for Fundamentals, I found that having a start date gave me a kick in the butt to get my skates on and work on being able to move forwards before my first session.  I started going to some beginner skating lessons and had a few visits to the roller disco.  In the past I have tried many different types of dance and did aerial hoop off and on for a year, despite all of this I’ve never found my ‘thing’. Until derby, I’m hooked.

What is your favourite thing you have learned in training so far? What has been the most challenging thing?
Last practice we did jumps for the first time! I can’t believe that after 6 weeks, I am able to jump over cones and a cardboard box.  The most challenging thing thus far is transitions, it’s going to be something I have to drill over and over.

What’s the best thing about learning to play roller derby?
I love watching home games or games on youtube, it’s so motivating to see high levels of skating. I can’t wait until I can get to that level, and be able to make contact.
Have you thought about a derby name yet? If so what is it?
I am so indecisive, I have a whole list of it on my phone. I’m leaning toward Virus, but Toxin is close by.

Do you have any other hobbies? (besides derby!) What do you like to get up to when you’re not skating?
I really enjoy aerial hoop but I’ve kind of deserted it for skating, I can’t lie!

What advice would you give someone thinking about trying roller derby?
Go for it! Everyone in derby is so welcoming and supportive. After only a few sessions you will have made so much progress.  I recommend skating a little bit before going to your first practice, just to get the initial nerves of being on
wheels out of the way. I highly recommend Skate Tone, they have awesome beginner skating classes all over London.  If you sign up for fundamentals do not try to shape your mouth guard a few hours before your first practice, I have never felt so much panic and regret!

 

If you want to learn about our Fundamentals Programme you can find all the information here!

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The skater section: TOP TIPS!

Do you play roller derby? Want to up your game? We’ll be sharing our newest top tips here on our newsletter, brought to you from our best and most seasoned skaters.

Pump up your game! 
Our current gameplay’s style requires us to build extra muscles in order to prevent injuries, and to become an efficient and effective player. Victory Slaps wrote a detailed post on her blog on bracing, including workout exercise. Click here to have a look.

Trick – a new playground!
Summer is here and you might be willing to use your skates in a different setting. Yeah, it’s time to give it a go and conquer the skatepark!! On the Chicks in Bowls website, you’ll find all about the basics and it’s very inspirational. But, in all physical activity, it’s very important to warm up. Our current fav’ is Indy Jamma Jones’ warm-up routine.

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