Featured Skater: MJ #801

March’s featured skater is… MJ!

She epitomises how hard work can pay off in Roller Derby. She joined the league’s fresh meat program in October 2012, and graduated in January 2013. She worked hard, attending practise as often as possible, and moved up the ranks into advanced skating within a few months. She was then selected as a WFTDA reserve skater, and chosen to play on the Cannon Belles; our All Star Reserve team, when we took on Amsterdam away in November 2013. All this in less than a year…

MJ is a Cherry Bomber and can be seen skating at our next game on March 8th, when the Bombers take on the Skatefast Club at Meadowbank ticket link.

Home Team Affiliation: Cherry Bombers

Joined ARRG in: October, 2012

Favourite position to play: It depends. I like to jam during games because I know what to do: get through, be clean, score points. But I like blocking a whole lot too and when I have a bad jam, I sometimes ask to go on as a blocker so I can hit people; you know, work out my anger in a healthy way.

Best ARRG memory: My first ever bout (to watch or play) was with the Cannon Belles against Helsinki in August, 2013. It was such a team-y, amazing experience and I only almost ran into the wall once! Oh, and ARRG’s 5th birthday party was pretty awesome too.

Worst Derby injury: The bruise on my thigh/hip. It has been varying shades of blue and black for quite some months now, and the nice, swollen lump there is nice too. It’s pretty, and pretty permanent; maybe I should stop falling on it…

Best Derby advice: Learn from those around you; listen to advice and if you have questions, ask; do off-skates work too; and get tactically up-to-date. Oh, and have fun!

Any funny/embarrassing derby stories? I used my face against the wall to stop myself in my grad bout from fresh meat. And I have the tendency to just fall over for no reason at all, with no one around me, often while not even moving.

Derby Hero: There are many, but most of them are in ARRG; from those who skate and are awesome, to those who do the behind the scenes work getting bouts organised, sorting training, coaching, etc. If I had to choose another team I’d admit that I quite like Atlanta’s Dirty South Derby Girls- you know, representing the South and all (insert ubiquitous, and probably inappropriate, hand signals here).

What do you do outside of derby: Loads! I work for Scottish Book Trust with Lilo and Stitches a few days a week. I work a few more for Scottish PEN, I do freelance copywriting work in the evenings and sometimes work at Edinburgh Books. I also am the managing editor for The Istanbul Review and contribute to Lunchquest by reviewing restaurants and creating the downloads when I get a spare minute.

Fun facts about you: I was taught napkin folding and how sit and walk like a ‘lady’ in school and studied rap lyrics in university, and if you catch me unawares I will likely answer with “yes/no ma’am” (drawl optional)

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