They are flighty creatures but we managed to catch up with two of the new Leithal Weapons skaters. Read all about them here!
I started roller derby in March 2012; I’d seen a poster for a bout, and I was like ‘aye please’ as I’d seen Whip It! and I really love Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis, and I wanted to be cool like them. I did some research and found out more about ARRG and decided to apply to their fresh meat: they looked like a professional league and I totally like their presentation. I roped my pal Kate into starting with me (she now skates for Leeds Roller Dolls).
I don’t have a why… I guess because I liked the idea of derby; I liked the philosophy and the camaraderie and, in a masochistic way, the idea of being hit for fun. I’d considered boxing before, but had a bit of an issue with being a comparable woman in a predominantly men’s sport. So when I discovered derby, I was like, aye I’ll try that.
I didn’t actually choose my derby name; my friend Kate did. Well, she short-listed it for herself and I was all, ‘I need to be called that!’ so she let me have it.
My goals for this year: To get on the Belles by November, to be a better skater and to get lower! This season I was massively looking forward to having my friends and family come to watch me skate – which they did for the first bout and it was awesome! My mum even came for the first half and she’s NOT a sports fan.
The best thing about ARRG is the coaches. We are so incredibly lucky to be coached by some of the best skaters in the country; in fact, in the world! Their dedication and encouragement is amazing. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to be a Thistle but I do know that I stand a much better chance by being taught by the best.
I first remember seeing derby on the internet and thought that it looked really exciting and it was maybe something that I could do. I put my name down on a waiting list and kind of forgot all about it. About 6 months after having my son I got an email saying that there was a space on Fresh Meat for me. I was so excited! It was just what I needed: something that was just for me where I could by anything else other than a mum! Derby was an outlet for me, somewhere to breathe and let off steam.
The best thing about ARRG is the fantastic people that I’ve met. ARRG is very inclusive and you’re always made to feel a part of the league. The best thing for me personally is I got to meet my derby wife, Princess Die, who has been an absolute rock for me!
My Clark Kent persona is that I work in social services for the local authority. This is a really rewarding career as I get to promote independence to individuals.
If I could give advice to new skaters it would probably be to never give up on yourself and don’t compare yourself to others. We all progress at different levels.