Friday, May 27, 2011

Feature: 'Go for it!' for The Courier-Mail

27 May 2011
Taking up roller derby and adopting the fishnet-clad alter ego of Dan Sin Queen turned 39-year-old Herston-based web content producer 's life around, she tells Anna Angel
I WENT to my first game with my job, to write about it. I thought it was bizarre, like wrestling.
The only idea I had of it was from the '70s. I came home thinking, ``It's the best thing in the world, I want to do that!''
I started talking to one of the girls from Northern Brisbane Rollers on Twitter and she suggested I try out.
I was full of excuses. I said, ``I have a full-time job and two kids.'' She said, ``So do I.''
I thought I was too old. When I told her I was 38, she said, ``So am I. What else have you got?''
When the next tryout for ``fresh meat'' came around in July last year there were no excuses left.
I used to spend my Saturdays at the skate rink in the '80s. I went to see if I could still skate all those years later, and I could.
I moved up to ``feral meat'' at the beginning of this year. I play the opening matches. I've still got to prove myself a bit more to make the A-grade, which we call the ``rotten meat''.
Before the bout you think, ``Oh my God, there are 3000 people watching me play'' and it can be quite nerve-racking. Once you get out there, it's such a fast-paced, action-packed game you don't even notice the crowd.
Despite the fishnets and short shorts, it's a serious sport. You've always got a bruise somewhere. We actually compare bruises - they're like trophies to us.
We train three times a week for two hours or more. I'm getting super-fit and losing weight - we all are. You're having so much fun you don't notice you're getting exercise.
Some teams in America who are trying to legitimise the sport want to distance themselves from the theatrical elements. But I think that's part of what draws people in. The crowds certainly love it.
It's like a whole new family. I still have friends outside of derby, but we do all go out together and if someone needs to move house on the weekend we'll all go and help out. It's a real community.
We have a lot of single mums, gay women, strong women. Part of the appeal is that it was the first contact sport started for and by women. The only boys we have are referees. They aren't allowed to compete.
My partner was feeling so left out he's now fresh meat to be a referee. Most partners we call derby widows, and they either accept it or decide to join in.
My kids have derby names, too. They come to training on the weekends and they come to the bouts and cheer. At first my mother was a bit like, ``What are you doing this for?'', but she comes to the bouts now, too.
Players can be short, tall, thin, fat. You have to be 18 to play, but we have a lot of women in their mid-40s. It's literally something anyone can do, but you need to be able to skate.
Northern Brisbane Rollers play Brisbane Convention Centre, tomorrow;

1 comment:

  1. Wahoooo! Go Dan Sin Queen & smash 'em on the track!!! Cheers Bimbo xx