Skater Spotlight

Meet our featured CRD girl of the month

5 Polly Filla

It’s August, the sun is shining and there’s lots of roller derby to be had. Our skater spotlight catches up with Riot Squad’s Polly Filla. She blocks, she jams and she’s going to Dallas for the Blood and Thunder World Cup 2014 as part of Team West Indies.

If you fancy helping Polly get to Dallas later this year, you can donate via her Fundrazr page here.

How long have you been playing roller derby?
Not very long really, probably about 2 years all in all. I’ve only been playing in proper matches for about a year!

Why did you chose CRD and how did it feel transferring?
I was terrified!! At that stage I didn’t really know much about Roller Derby…I could skate OK but had ALOT to learn and joining CRD was very daunting! As soon as I walked in the door to main training I knew I was nowhere near ready to join in so I went back to freshmeat for a few months which was a great decision for me. I chose CRD really because it was the closest league to me and I hoped to get a real chance of playing in a competitive team some day.

Congratulations on your MVP award in Riot Squad’s game against Brighton Rockers! How does it feel to win MVP?
I was ecstatic and very very shocked! I joined Riot Squad at the beginning of this year and have had to work super hard to earn my spot on the track…to be given MVP in one of the most important bouts I’ve ever played was a dream come true really. I did a cry!!

What is your skate/wheel set up?
I skate on Bonts with a magnesium DA45 plate. My wheels are 93/95 atom jukes. I’m all about the hard wheels and I love the agility that I can get with the 45 degree plates…love my skates!

Who do you admire most in roller derby?
That’s a really hard question! I know everyone says it but I really am in awe of all of Riot Squad, the work we’ve put in collectively to be where we are is amazing. These girls are what inspire me to get to the gym and to practice practice practice!

I also really admire the rookies that Smashasaurus Bex and I coach. Their dedication to the sport at such an early stage is really inspiring, can’t wait to what they can do in the future.

What would you say your best skill is and what would you say is your weakest skill?
Hmm…I’ve been working a lot on my footwork recently and I think that’s progressing quite well. I’m lucky to have Viki Speedia and Do or Dyduch to learn from. I would still like to work on my track awareness, I know that’s something that will come with experience and it’s getting better all the time.

What do you do to train for Roller Derby outside of normal league training?
On a good week I try to get the gym 3 times. I mainly work on explosive cardio such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and interval sprinting. I then move on to the weights room where I focus on lower body strength (leg presses, squats, deadlifts etc.) and upper body work using free weights and that pully down shoulder machine (I don’t what it’s called haha).

If you could play any team who would you choose?
I want to continue to play really competitive games, there’s no one team that I want to play. I love games that you have to work really hard for and those that you can learn a lot from…those are types of teams I want to play!

How do you prepare for a bout?
I try and have a really good breakfast and hydrate well. Then I like to have all my time planned out. Our coach Herbie Licious is really good at making sure we are timing our off skates warm ups, team talks and track time well. I like to skate around and just try and focus my mind, making sure I feel comfortable on the floor. I get jelly legs before bouts so I like to try and shake them out!

Do you have a song to pump you up before a game?
No not really. However, I really like our team chant that we do before the first line goes out. The shouting really gets me hyped up!

What has been your best Roller Derby moment so far?
There have been so many!! Getting to play with Team West Indies for the first time a couple weeks ago was pretty awesome and knowing that I am going to play in the ACTUAL World Cup is amazing!
It would take a lot to trump how I felt this Saturday when we had an amazing bout against Brighton Rockers though…my heart was in my throat for those last few jams!

Do you have a talent none knows about?
Some say that I have a good singing voice…I’m not so sure! I like singing but not when people are listening to me, I get shy!

What do you think your role is on the team?
I don’t think anyone on Riot Squad has a particular stand out role. We are working so that we are all interchangeable parts of the team. We all try to develop into well rounded Roller Derby players who can block, jam, communicate, be agile, be strong, be fit and be good team mates.

Have you set yourself any goals for this year?
Obviously a big goal of mine is to go to the world cup with Team West Indies and play my best. It’s going to be a level of game play that I haven’t experienced before so I’m hoping to keep developing and go out there to put in lots of hard work!

What has been your most embarrassing Roller Derby moment so far?
Nothing stands out in my memory really, but it’s never fun falling during a skate out which I have done a few times (including this Saturday!)

If you want to find out more about Polly’s journey to the world cup, check out her Rollin’ News blog post here.