In anticipation of our Fresh Meat Intake this weekend we thought we would put one of our freshies in the Spotlight this week. Candace Sunshine recently passed her White Star, the next step up from Fresh Meat, and is on her way to being a bouting skater.

Candace Sunshine (in the red on the right) with her Fresh Meat cohort.

Candace Sunshine (in the red on the right) with her Fresh Meat cohort.

How long have you been skating for?

A bit over a year, aside from the odd bit of ice skating when I was younger.

How did you get involved in Roller Derby?

I knew Doc’d Marx through a mutual acquaintance and saw her updates on Facebook. I’d also seen a few videos on YouTube. It looked like a lot of fun, so when I heard fresh meat was coming up, I went and bought skates and gear and hoped for the best!

How did you choose your Derby name?

It’s a variation on “canned sunshine” which is another name for a nuclear weapon. Sounds kind of cutesy, is actually very not. I understand it’s also a kitschy 50s souvenir from Florida, and I love 50s stuff so that works out too.

What was your best “lightbulb” moment?

It’s not so much one moment as a lightbulb that’s always on but it has a sketchy dimmer switch so it doesn’t always light up. Understanding crossovers enough to finally get my white star was a good one though! Also figuring out that edges on quad skates were kind of like very very short skis (at least to me) was another.

 What is one piece of advice you would give a freshie?

“Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.” (Thanks, Jake the Dog!) Seriously, no matter how much you think you suck at skating, keep going. I’ve said to people I think the unofficial motto of VDL is “no one gets left behind” and it’s true. It will be frustrating at times but even the most naturally talented skaters get frustrated too, so…you just have to keep at it.

Did you play sport before Derby?

Just the usual netball and stuff in primary school, swimming and bike riding later as well as a dance class here and there. I wish derby had been around 20 years ago!

Who are your derby heroes and why?

Everyone who has managed to teach me something (this is pretty much everyone in the league by now). Outside of that, Beyonslay who skated with Gotham Girls a few years ago. There are only a few videos online of her outstanding blocking but they’re all mesmerising.

If you would like more info on joining VDL you can come along to our Fresh Meat Intake Info Night tonight!