From rookie to Vice Squad superstar | Interview with The Flying Kiwi

Roller derby is one of those incredible sports where it’s a journey, not a destination. Everyone starts from somewhere and no matter how amazing the pro skaters and derby veterans are, they weren’t born with wheels on their feet.

They all started as a rookie.

Everyone who takes the courage to step through that door to tryouts is already a winner. It’s one of the most rewarding sports you can take up at any age, size, or fitness level. And everyone who is a derby player progresses at different speeds.

With our new intake of tryouts coming up, CRD decided to interview one of our newest and freshest talents. She’s been skating for less than a year and she’s already risen to one of the top skaters on the B Team – Vice Squad – and is in the crossover group to make the A Team – Riot Squad.

It’s our very own #09 The Flying Kiwi!

Q: So Kiwi, what made you want to join roller derby?
A: I went and watched a game when I was living in Leeds and it looked absolutely bad ass and thought that I’d really like to be a part of that. When I joined CRD, I thought it would also be a great way to meet new people. Plus, derby seemed to have a great culture around it and it’s been awesome.

Q: What’s been the most surprising thing about roller derby for you?
A: I found it a lot more competitive than I was expecting and the commitment is strong. However, I found it was easier to stay committed to it because I enjoyed it so much and it really is as fun as it looks!

Q: You mentioned the culture and making friends, how has the league been for you?
A: The league is really inclusive and really good for making friends – just like the whole derby community as a whole. Everyone’s been so welcoming and you get a lot of encouragement and support.

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Q: What’s been some of the best things about roller derby and CRD for you?

A: I think that learning new skills from scratch really exciting and then secondly actually putting them into practice is really enjoyable.

Q: What would you say to those who are still unsure about trying out but really, really want to?
A: Just do it. The league is so supportive and so encouraging and when you start out everyone is in the same boat. A lot of people who start have not skated before but that’s what training is for – you get taught all the skills. When I started I could only just stand up on skates, nothing more.

Even if you’re unsure about whether to try out, go watch a game or be part of the crew that helps run a game – you’ll fall in love with it.

Q: What has been your most favourable moments in your derby career so far?
A: One of the best feelings is when you’ve been practicing something for ages in training and getting it to work, and then making it work on track in a game. I love it when that happens. Eastbourne Extreme (an annual outdoor roller derby tournament) was amazing and that’s because the atmosphere was so good and we played really well.

Q: You’re a P.E. teacher off-track – what would your advice be to those who want to up their game in the fitness stakes?
A: Roller derby is really inclusive and they take people from all backgrounds. It’s not just for sporty people. Some people it will take longer to grasp and some not – we’re all different. However, as part of any plan, you need routine and getting fitness into that. Whether it’s walking instead of driving to work or getting off at another bus stop and walking the rest of the way, you’ll get fitter. Running or cycling also helps.

If you’d like to tryout for Croydon Roller Derby on October 2, check out all the details here on Facebook, or email recruitment@croydonrollerderby.co.uk

Flying Kiwi at Eastbourne Extreme 2015. Copyright John Hesse

Flying Kiwi at Eastbourne Extreme 2015. Copyright John Hesse

Posted on: September 11th, 2015 by Croydon Roller Derby