When I heard of the derby revival hitting Europe, I was totally excited to see a bout. Four or so years ago I was reaching the end of a 10 year long career in a sport far removed from conventional mainstream sports and as many ex-athletes know, there is a huge void to fill… and derby did just that. I remember being at my first bout with my best friend, Amber and some of her team mates at the time. From the first whistle I knew this sport was going to be something I would be involved in and the butterflies of competition were released.
So being a guy and with no male derby around at that time, I needed to find my place. Referee? Well, spending many years competing meant I felt the ref path wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have heaps of respect for the refs in our sport but I needed to be involved on a different level. I went away from my first bout with the intent of learning everything I could about roller derby.
Now I bench the Hellfire Harlots A team while juggling a part time job and studying for a degree. It’s a challenge but being part of a league that is truly an extended family, where we support and help each other so much that being in my position within the league is always a pleasure, even if my face doesn’t show that on bout day! So for me a deep understanding of roller derby and probably more importantly, understanding your team members individually is how I see it. Benching is hard hard work with heaps of pressure and I am glad it is. And that’s how I see it. Maybe one day I will see you at a captains meeting.