Our illustrious President Doc’d Marx is in the spotlight this week. She made her bout debut last month against the Free Sisters but is no stranger to the pressure of bout day after being the DisHonour Rollers Line-up manager for most of last year.
How many years have you been skating?
Two and a bit years, apart from a few birthday parties and school excursions a long long time ago.
How did you get involved in roller derby?
A couple of my friends were involved and every time I saw Ravish, a former VDL skater, she would ask me “when are you going to come and play”. I told my partner this, he bought me skates and the rest is history.
What is your favourite position?
Immovable object on the inside line – or blocker as some would call it. Although I am also very comfortable as line up manager telling people what to do.
What was your best “lightbulb” moment?
My skating progress hasn’t really been in lightbulb moments – I have been slow and steady in coming to various skills. But my derby lightbulb moment was watching a game in Houston – the Psych Ward Sirens versus the Suicide Shifters from Dallas and suddenly it all made sense to me.
Do you have a pre-bout routine?
Not really – too worried that everything and everyone is where they should be.
What was your favourite bout moment?
In the bout versus Blue Mountains this year, we were sitting on the bench in the final five minutes of the game and were asking Reaper who was jamming what she wanted. The game was really close at the time, and it was even possible we might lose. Reaper said, I just want a power jam – and lo, it was delivered and we won handily. Good strategy on Reaper’s part.
How did you choose your derby name?
I’ve a PhD, hence the Doc, always been a student of Marxist theory – and then being a pretty crappy skater when I started the idea that I had lost points or marks “docked marks” brought it together.
What skate set-up do you have?
I’m skating on Antics with 92 Zombies. I like the higher ankle support of the Antiks – they at least give me the illusion of more manoeuvrability.
What is one piece of advice you would give a freshie?
Just keep trying. Even if you suck at it, try it and do it again. No one is going to think less of you for trying, and eventually you will find you are better at it.
Did you play sport before derby?
My father is an international athletics coach so I grew up in a household where sport was always a thing. I was the least talented of my siblings in the sport area. But I did athletics, netball, softball growing up, then became more interested in martial sports – started fencing, got a shodan (first level black belt) in kendo while living in Japan and later switched to aikido. The centering and stability needed for martial arts (as well as the ability to handle bruising) have really helped with derby. Before I started skating though, I really was only riding my bike and I still go riding for cross training purposes.
Who are your derby heroes and why?
Despite being a player who relies more on power and stability, I really love watching super agile juking players, and am a big fan or Shortstop and Penergy for that reason.
I am super proud of Copter, who drove me to my first derby session, and now is playing for Team Australia.
But my real derby heroes are the people who have consistently supported me through my slow improvements and continue to do so – whether it is by a few words of encouragement or giving me a hand in a drill where I am lagging behind. This is what I love about derby and why I have stayed, because my league mates are people who support you and love you, and most important help you to be the best player you can be.
How would you sum up your derby playing style in three words?
Strong, steady, stable.