Why I Play Roller Derby – Dread Velvet

South Side GirlsSkater Spotlight, Why I Derby

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Why I Derby! Dread Velvet

What is the backstory on your Derby Name?

I have always loved sweets, especially cupcakes. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabetes. My favorite treat that used to bring me pleasure became something I grieved. That’s where Dread Velvet comes from. 

What do you do for a living?

I work in ministry at a very service-oriented church. I like to say that I help people who want to help get connected with people that need help. I also help facilitate people living life in community. I think it’s important for people to find that place where they feel like they belong.

When did you start roller derby?

I started roller derby boot camp in January 2019. I was going to use my Christmas money to pay for that first month, and my husband had the same idea and signed me up as a surprise. I had been talking about doing it for years.

Why did you start derby?

After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that made me feel like my body was fighting against me, I wanted to take back control and feel strong again. I also always thought derby seemed cool, and that women needed more aggressive sports.

Has your why changed over the years?

I’m still in my first year, but a lot has changed already. I definitely feel much stronger and grow into feeling more skilled at this sport with each practice. I keep doing it because it not only helps with my physical strength but has far exceeded my expectations by building up my mental strength. I love and am grateful for all the friends I’ve made that celebrate and grieve and just share life with me.

Advice to new skaters!

Everybody was a beginner at some point, and the people you look up to are more than willing to teach you their tips and tricks. All the players are super supportive and as hard as we fight on the track is about as hard as we laugh off the track.