Skater Spotlight

Meet our featured CRD girl of the month

7 Cardinal Sim

October marked one of the most exciting months for Croydon Roller Derby’s B Team – the Vice Squad. Not only did the B Team secure itself as being undefeated, Vice did this by winning one of the closest and nail-biting games in CRD history.
All of this, led by the B Team’s new captain – Cardinal Sim!

How long have you been skating for?
Just under 2.5 years

What type of training off skates do you do and how important is ‘mental training’ for you?
I find it really hard to train alone so I do classes and group activities. I take Pilates twice a week, BoxFit and 20-20-20.
I’ll also be starting back at trampolining this week as university is now back in session. For mental training, I watch archived games, live games, and I’ve been reading some sports psychology books as well.
I find watching derby helps me know what’s going on around me on track, which kind of broadens my vision. Meanwhile the sports psychology books help focus my ambition and show me how to push to get to the next level.

How has derby affected your life and how do you keep up near perfect attendance!
Derby has filled the chunk of my life that was largely dominated by music previously.
I plan my life around our twice weekly training sessions so that I can ensure that I get to every single one. My family and friends have been very understanding, they used to get irritated by the restrictions I imposed on myself (like no drinking and early to bed on Saturday night) but they have now realised how much derby means to me so they’re dealing with it.
I’m still in a few bands and they have been great at not organising gigs on training days. I’m just hoping that I can maintain this balance now I’m back at university full time.

You’ve just been made the Captain of the Vice Squad – why do you think your team picked you and what can you bring to the table?
Umm, I guess they picked me as I’m consistently at training, I’m organised and try to encourage everyone to be the best they can be. That’s why I would vote for me anyway.
I guess I can bring stability to the team and I hope that with the help of Anna Maul (Vice Vice Captain), the rest of the team and our coaches we can continue our winning streak well in to 2015.

Your first game as Captain on the Vice Squad led to a hard fought win against Portsmouth Roller Wenches and you also snatched up the coveted MVP award – how do you feel about that?
I’m absolutely thrilled to bits that we won. It was a close game, only one point in it.
I’ve been told that it was nail biting but as I don’t check the score throughout games I was unaware quite how close it was and how often the lead changed.
I was shocked that I got MVP as so many other skaters did brilliant things but yeah I’m totally chuffed to bits to get it. I must have been doing something right to get noticed!

You’re also head of recruitment for CRD- what is it like balancing a huge responsibility like that and what do you love about it.
At the moment we average 2 intakes a year with transfers happening as and when, so the bulk of the recruitment happens in two spurts. I have the help of Logan Nighthawk as well so I know if I can’t do something, he’s got my back.
I love the enthusiasm that the potential new rookies have. They’re full of questions, how’s, whys, where’s.
They remind me that we all should revisit the basics once in a while and I get to join in their sessions which is always fun.

For all the rookies that make it through tryouts, what would your top tips be?
Don’t be afraid to fall over, focus on what the coaches ask you to do and try your hardest, as long as you’re trying you WILL get better.

What would you tell your past roller derby self, if you could?
Stop smoking.

What has been your best and worst moment in derby?
My worst moment was the night I was told I could train with the main league skaters.
That day at training another skater took a hip whip off me and I ended up with MCL damage so I had to take 3 months off skates.
My best moment was when I got voted in as captain of vice squad. To know that my team believe in me as a skater a leader enough to make me captain is an honour.

What are your goals in derby?
To keep pushing myself, I love CRD so the next place for me to go to would be up to Riot Squad.
Don’t get me wrong I love Vice Squad but I want to be as awesome on skates as the ‘big girls’. That and I want to nail one foot transitions by the end of the year.

We know you’re awesome but who particularly inspires you as a skater?
Ever since joining CRD I’ve looked up to the Riot Squad skaters. My main inspirations are Apocalex and Gin Atomic. They both caught my eye when I joined CRD and it’s amazing how much they have improved over the last two years. I feel lucky that they were voted in as Vice Squad coaches so I’ve been able to learn from them directly- Their skill, commitment, and tenacity are all inspiring.