Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dunedin Derby is the sum of all parts

We spend the better part of the derby year training, and training hard. It's full on but we do it for the love of it and we do it for the win on bout day, whether it's on the track or at the after party ;)

Our league is the sum of all its parts. We would not be DD without each and everyone of our members. Leading into our next bout, "The Double Deckher" in Christchurch  on the 28th of September, we decided to ask each member of our league to anonymously contribute a few statements about other league members. We wanted to see people acknowledged and recognised for what they bring to DD, and give a big picture of what our league looks like. We hope that this post reminds our skaters, refs and NSOs how valued they are before we head off into battle in Christchurch. For everyone else, don't forget to get your tickets! See you there!

Gallow lasses

Diva DemolisHER: Diva gives derby her all. She throws everything she has at the sport, including herself. No fear, no holding back. That really inspires me to try things and be more fearless. Diva deserves recognition as she's an amazing skater who has proven her dedication to the league over the years. Every week I am in awe of her abilities on the track (love seeing her apex jumps and eating the baby!) and her skill with coaching, from the GL to the BB. Not to mention all the hours she puts in behind the scenes to keep DD running for us all to enjoy. She has endless patience when explaining things and always makes me feel like I CAN do it and am doing things right :) confidence = increasing because of her!!She is an incredible asset to the league who never ever complains about all the work that is required of her for the league, I strive to be a better skater and better league member because of her.

Sister Strychnine: Sister is a great person also she is a awesome coach and all round great person is helpful and full of advice and really takes the time to listen and hear what you are saying makes me feel like I can tell her anything. Sister is amazeballs... Her support and encouragement when I was doubting my abilities saw me through a rough skating patch and inspired me to work my ass off...Sister was very supportive and gave me the confidence to keep pushing myself. She is super nice and talented on the track. An amazing coach & role model to the fresh meat. She is extremely encouraging & supportive. She is really awesome at motivating everyone and it always helps me when she is supportive on and off the track. She always gives feedback and is a super fun and friendly person.

Ana Phylaxis: Phlax works crazy awful nurse hours, dealing with difficult people and hard situations every day, yet still always has a smile for everyone. She's a brilliant secretary as well and is ridiculously organised (in a good way). Phlax is a player who seems to be able to read your mind on the track - you turn to yell for someone to bridge, and she's right there doing it need to balance yourself on someone while hitting a jammer, and she's there to steady you and push that jammer out. She's a really talented skater - I love seeing her hit people out, spin round on those toe stops and run them back! She's got the skills to be the best, and yet still have a humbling attitude.

Anne Thrax: When I first started skating I used to watch Thrax and try to work out how she did such great lateral movements, cutting from side to side. Eventually I got up enough guts to ask her for some tips, and she spent ages with me, going over the technique and helping me learn. She is lovely, kind hearted and talented!  She is so good at explaining things to me especially when it comes to a skating move that I am struggling with and can't quite get.  When I am completely lost on the track at scrimmage she always takes the lead and explains things to me without making me feel like a complete idiot.

OrKAZZmic: Kazz needs a special mention here. Her fitness, agility and skill on skates is something to aspire for! She is amazing to watch when jamming and also a very effective blocker, making her such a valuable team member. She is a very busy lady but somehow she finds the time to bring money in for the league through our sponsors. THANKS KAZZ! Kazz doesn't do anything by halves - she works her ass off for DD, both on and off the track. She should be recognised for her absolute commitment to our league.

Ruby Smash: Ruby Smash is someone that I don't work with often anymore but she is a formidable blocker on the track. She also gives DD a lot of her time through being the freshmeat liaison. I think she deserves recognition for her ability to keep calm and to knock people on their asses. I work really closely with Smash and I have tones of respect for her, I have watched her from her FM days and am constantly reminded of her drive and determination on the track. Smash has hussled every inch of the way, and when she wants something she goes and gets it. Smash gets in and gets things done. She is awesome to work with on the track because she is committed and 'in the game' 100%. You know she's got your back, all the time.

Venomiss Vixen:Venomiss Vixen works really hard on and off the track for DD. She is super supportive of other skaters and gives really good feedback, and always spins it in a positive manner, which leaves you feeling really good about yourself. She works really hard in marketing also and is a valued member of the committee. She is also a kick ass jammer and blocker who keeps her head in the game. Vixen has quickly become a friend and someone whom gives me a massive boost and some good advice on and off the track. Just overall a great person. Vixen's commitment to becoming better and better really shows - she is constantly improving her skills.

Little Yellow Jacket: I love skating with Yellow. She has this ability to always catch the jammer, even when you think they are clear of the pack and blink and there's Yellow, holding the jammer. Then you just have to get your ass up there to help hit them out! A year after her injury, its like she was never off skates, truly impressive. She inspires me to never give up.

Fox-Z: I think Fox-z deserves recognition for her 'never-give-up' attitude on and off the track. She gives everything 100% and is a great role model for our less experienced skaters. I admire her commitment to learning new skills, fitness & marketing. She has been awesome, always offering personal one on one advice. She has also been very supportive offering help with my skating. She is always positive and ready to step up to fill in any role whether it is on the track as jammer/pivot/blocker or off the track. I really appreciate that she never complains about her numerous commitments to the league and never fails to give less than 110% at any task that she is given. She is always so knowledgeable and ready to provide help in any way that she can, she is a big part of why I have been able to stick it through difficult derby times. She is always good at providing constructive feedback after practices which is really helpful in gaining new skills in derby. She is really positive and is a great skater.

Storm Rising: I love Storms calm, cool and collected exterior on the track. Storm is an ideal teammate. She always has your back on the track and I know if I am going out there with my team, that it's going to be an amazing game. Storm hits hard and is really agile, I love having her by my side. As one of the strategists on the league, Storm has a passion for derby that brings an awesome amount of energy. I love how Storm watches heaps of derby and dissects each game with a running commentary about which 'jammer line strategy' they are using, or how they 'are bridging out the back'. Ultimately looking for new moves the Gallow Lasses can utilise. We love your positive attitude Storm.

Breaking Bridges: Breaking Bridges has coached/benched on teams I have bouted with, she is so full of energy and passion for the game and brings a unique, powerful and lovable spirit to the league. I would have to say that Bridges is the kind of skater I aspire to be. She embodies what I think it means to be part of a roller derby team - a real role model. She has awesome blocking skills and a tonne of enthusiasm and energy to share every time she trains. She's an inspiring coach with a skill for breaking down complex moves and strategy without making me feel like an idiot if I don't get it. I've learnt so much from her already, in both what it means to be a member of DD and how to be the best skater I can be each session. It's all about the attitude and she's got it nailed! Bridges is really caring and looks after those around her - on and off the track. She is always about the love and I LOVE that. She has a contagious positive energy - she makes me laugh when I am sad or nervous, and always puts a positive and constructive spin on all the advice she gives me both on and off the track.

Nicki Noxious: Nox has been a part of DD since square one and has made it her life for the past three and a bit years. She is the ultimate Slave to Derby and is amazing on and off the track. Nox is also super understanding and great to talk to about anything, she will always give sound advice and look out for you.The league is not her whole life but sometimes you would think it was with the time and commitment she gives to the league. She is always ready to listen to any issues or concerns and help you sort through them, even if they are not derby related. And she's a mean as cook. Nox is really understanding and supportive - if you're trying something new on the track, she encourages you, even if you're falling over infront of her or illegally hitting/tripping her in the process of trying to get the skill sorted!

Rick O'Shay: Shay is always super smiley and happy while working her butt off. Awesome to see you can strive for your best and still put everyone around you in a good mood. Role model! Shay shows a huge amount of fairness and goodsports(wo)manship, on and off the track. She always has insightful contributions to discussions around running of the league and what we do. On the track she works her ass off and won't give up or back down...she is a really supportive player and it's awesome playing on her team. She always laughs her way through the pack (literally laughing in a slightly hysteric way) This adds up for some entertaining derby. She keeps training fun and can eat up a storm at a derby after party.

Philip Shaw: He has to put up with being outnumbered by derby girls all the time, but impressively he keeps coming back which is awesome. I really appreciate the hours he puts into developing the GL strategy and committing to training so that we can be our best when it comes to game day. He has shown  me that I can push myself further than I ever thought capable, never letting me rest before I have exceeded my mental limits, this has made me a stronger skater and a stronger person on and off the track, you can't ask for more from a coach. At the end of the day, you know that he will always have your back.

Frances Dogkins: has always been willing to help out with my progress within the league both on and off the track, whether it is helping with form and skills, pushing me when I am struggling but also being supportive, giving me a ride to training or lending gear, she also shows commitment to the league by being available for committees and family skate, etc. she has made so much progress and showed so much dedication and determination and is so lovely, always a smile and encouragement for everyone else, she are just awesome!
Toxic Princess: I love working with Tox on the track, she will observe everything you teach her, and relishes trying it on the track, here hits keep getting harder and more precise. She is so sweet and lovely and always ALWAYS positive. She never has anything negative to say about anything or anyone and I know I can rely on her for anything. She has never stopped working hard for her goals at derby, even with her busy schedule and I really admire her for that. I love that you can wipe her out on the track and she will still have a huge smile on her face and just come back at you harder. Nothing can keep her down.

May Maim: Maim always has a minute to explain technique, or stops and is always encouraging to other skaters. I always enjoy maims post training artwork. Maim can do a mean hockey stop, and has really great skating technique. I love watching her jam, as she gets so low and into her crossovers. Maim can skate backwards like a machine - and is more than happy to share tips with newer skaters. I really enjoy skating with Maim - she is agile on the track, and puts in hard blocks.

Saucy SlamHER: I am constantly in awe of how much oomph this lady has, and how far she has come. I dont usually work with Slam, but I am gravitated to her strong will and determination, Slam will not stop no matter what, struggling from early on, im enjoying her find her "Derby Self". She has made so much progress and showed so much dedication and determination and is so lovely, always a smile and encouragement for everyone else, she are just awesome!

Rocket Queen: This woman is so amazing, transferring here from another league and giving it everything she has and being such a awesome addition to the family. Even though she was injured, she still stepped up to coach and bench manage whenever she could and I really respect her for that. She always has nifty little tricks of the trade that she shares which have always helped me with my derby learning. I love that she is so reserved and sweet all the time but then on the track, watch out for those hip checks! She is a great voice of calm and knowledge on the track, I love being on a team with her. Check out her take on transferring leagues here.

Shan-R-Kee: Shan has been a dedicated DD member since day one, she always gives 100% on and off the track. Is always positive on and off the track. She's keen and ready to help with anything and everything! She is always so considerate of other people and I never see her stop smiling. I really admire this because sometimes it is hard to smile in derby but you can always rely on her to be positive no matter the situation. She is so sweet and caring of everyone else on the league. Great things come in small packages. She is part of what makes me smile when I turn up to derby.

Pigeon Defective: Pigeon's positivity and I love her friendship with Neon. xxx Her hard work jamming with the Brawlers - the last couple of scrimmages especially have been hard ones and her and Neon have really stepped up their game. She looks so tiny and innocent but her hits pack a punch! I really like how Pidgy can have fun and play hard at the same time. I love seeing her love of derby - she works really hard, but always with a smile, and with real determination and positive attitude. Pigeon impresses me with her stability and strength - I've seen her take some big hits which you'd think would send her flying, but she manages to hang in there and keep going!

Neon Needle: Needle... Watching her get hammered as jammer in scrimmages at the beginning of the year, and she still picked herself up and carried on each time... That's tenacity and I love it...I must admit took me a while to get to know neon, but she makes me grin every time she is on the track, she gets this look in her eye when she is Jamming and you know someones in trouble. I love her drive and fearlessness. Her hard work jamming with the Brawlers - the last couple of scrimmages especially have been hard ones and her and PD have really stepped up their game.

Terror TurnHER: Terror may seem placid, but on the track she is turning out to be a force to be reckoned with, watchout for terror on that inside line. Terror is a strong player on the track - she holds her place and she's really hard to move! I really enjoy seeing Terror practice new skills - she gets this look of concentration on her face and works really hard to master her technique, and to figure out exactly what she needs to do.

Lady FlingHER: Fling is a great jammer. She's low and has this sneaky trick of hiding behind other players...especially off the line! She has great agility on the track, it's always hard to know which way she's going to go. I really like seeing the look in Fling's eye when she's jamming...she's got this really cheeky (and catchy) smile - you can see how much fun she's having, and her passion for the sport. I really hope she recovers fast from her injury and we have her back on the track again soon.

Rinx Minx: Minx is great. She's an awesome player on the track - she gets so low, gives it her all, works really hard on technique. She's also a great communicator, and a really good listener - if you give her a tip or some feedback she takes it onboard 100%. She is incredible level headed and modest but a formidable league member on and off the track. She is always ready to learn where ever she can and never makes the same mistake twice.

Lady MacDeath: I have a lot of admiration and respect for Lady MacDeath. Her derby attitude is inspiring and her commitment is something I try to mimic. I enjoy partnering with her in drills because I know she won't hold back and takes the learning environment as seriously as I do. She's skilled, staunch and supportive!

Iodine Lashes: She has a never give up attitude, always listens to advice and criticism and puts her hand up to jobs within the league such as grant applications! :) She is a fast learner and perseveres to be a better skater at every practice, always puts everything she has into every drill and scrimmage. She is super determined to try and nail new skills. Able to hold her own on the track no matter what position she is in..

Wonder Wahine: Wa has a great hit on her! She's also got really good agility and I love seeing her work within a team. She's a good skater and it's been awesome watching her improve her skills over the last year. Wahine is kind and supportive, both on and off the track!! She is always ready to listen to feedback to improve her derby game wherever she can. She is a gorgeous, independent and talentd woman who has so much to give to the league, she is such an asset to the league.

Arefstotle: I think Callum deserves to be recognized for his commitment to our league. A refs job is not easy and they don't often get the pat on the back they deserve. Arefstotle puts in a huge amount of work off the track to enable all the girls to be able to play. He's approachable, knowledgeable and easy going. Makes rules class run smoothly, too! Arefstole - He is always making himself available for the good of the league and puts in a top effort when it comes to boring things such as rules. He is also good at explaining such things. He has stepped up to Head Ref really well. He is trying to help increase the zebra's skills and knowledge to catch out all the naughty skaters :P. He is professional and friendly, and always working hard to expand his knowledge for the good of the league. He takes every setback in his stride and keeps calm, no matter what!

Amygeddon: She is a great NSO teacher, she answers all questions > even stupid ones with a smile. Amy has always been friendly and approachable and with her vast knowledge she is a great teacher! AmyGeddon. Rather than letting her back injury take her completely out of the league, she came back as our head NSO and did an awesome job taking care of the Triple Beheader. She is there every week even when she can't skate. Her knitting skills are the bees knees! Check out her blog about her road to recovery here.

Insinnerk8: is always positive and hasn't let stuff get her down, she has dedicated so much to the league and hasn;t given up when things haven't gone to plan. This is someone on the league that has shown a tremendous amount of commitment from the very early stages. Sinner loves to roll up her sleeves and get stuck into tasks that many would run a mile from. Her skills both on and off the track are a real attribute to the league and although we miss her hitting us on the track, we are very pleased to have her skating alongside us as an official.

Phantom Flutterby: She is so knowledgeable about the rules and never loses her cool. She has shown great commitment to the league as both a skating ref and an NSO, always ready to step up and help out where she can. She is always respectful of all the league members and always has a kind word or two to say. She is  the pokedex of derby rules and always keeps up to date with the ever changing and clarifying of the wftda rules. She really good at breaking down complex concepts and explaining them to me when I'm struggling with understanding a rule or strategy.

Bitter Fluff: Camp mum! Love her dedication to the league. Going from skating to being one of our most dedicated NSOs makes her such an amazing person. She gives the best cuddles and pep talks when you need them and can always answer a question or two about rules. This woman is brilliant, love her to pieces. She knows how to do all the NSO positions, so she is able to help train up the newer NSO's and she does the job so well. She is the protector of pens.

Mickey Malice: I think it's great that even though DD policies keep her out of bouting, she's not deterred: she shows up for scrimmage, bench manages and doesn't let her age get in the way of her being a part of the league. She is always keen to give everything on and off track a go. She is always in high spirits

Prim Reaper: Beautiful, approachable and knowledgeable. She is an asset to the league, and even when shes busy growing a derby baby, she always has time to attend scrimmages to help with benching. She is always ready to try new things and can't wait for her to be back on the track with us.

Killa Julz: Always turns up to training with a smile on her face and ready to ref. Always has some funny anecdote to share or just a few nice words that will brighten up your training. She always makes fair calls on the track and if you are confused about a call, will take the time to explain to you what the call was.

Nellie Nailher: A incredible chick with a "never give up" attitude who is always striving to progress her skills and is always improving. I really admire Nellie Naylor for her positive attitude, willingness and determination to learn, and that amazing smile that stays on her face no matter how many times she is knocked down! Nails is amazing. No matter how long it takes for her to master a new skill, no matter how many times she falls down, she always gets up and keeps trying until she has it.

Derby love

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