This spotlight is on one of our hard hitting rollers: Maleficent Mara! This year’s Vice Captain of the DisHonour Rollers.

Photo credit: Shannon Walker, Dishonour Rollers Roll-a-thon, June 2013

Photo credit: Shannon Walker, Dishonour Rollers Roll-a-thon, June 2013

How many years have you been skating?

I rollerbladed a lot when I was a kid from around age 6 until about 15, but started roller skating a little over 2 years ago when I first started playing derby.

How did you get involved in roller derby?

I initially heard about a game on the radio so got some people together and went to watch. About half way through the second jam I knew this was a sport I just had to play. A few months later I bought skates and started skating with VDL.

What is your favourite position?

Blocking/Pivoting. I love shutting down a jammer over and over and creating a wall of death with my teammates. I also enjoy breaking up the oppositions walls to assist my jammer.

What was your best “light bulb” moment?

I don’t think I have ever really had a light bulb moment. I guess I just do things a little differently to others. I never really had something that just clicked and worked. I find that if I want to learn something I kind of just make it up as I go and do it over and over till it works.

Do you have a pre-bout routine?

If I don’t follow a routine I usually don’t feel ready for the game so I start off by doing a gear check the day/night before the bout and eat a good dinner. Bout day I try to have a good sleep in and then a light, healthy brunch. I try to keep my day quiet and stress free to help suppress any pre-bout nerves so I don’t do anything tiring. Once I arrive at our home venue I usually have my younger brother with me who helps us out with venue set up. Then it’s off to Boost juice with my teammates and brother for a bit of pre bout energy juice. Once geared up and on the track for warm-up I often skate around fairly casually and block everything out until its time for team warm up. After that everything switches on ready for game time.

How did you choose your derby name?

I really wanted to use one of my nicknames so I played around with a lot of different word combinations; unfortunately everything I fell in love with was already taken. I was looking up something one day on Google and it did that dodgy thing where it finishes/suggests words for you, Maleficent come up and just worked with one of my nicknames. Though I will admit I was never really into my derby name at first, but now it is become part of who I am on and off the track.

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

Don’t give up and don’t quit! If you quit you never truly learn what you’re capable of. That drill you suck at – If you quit you won’t get better, just ask for help and maybe you’ll have that ever elusive light bulb moment.

Did you play sport before derby?

I was thrown into netball when I was about 5 for a season, I then played for another season when I was in primary school and a few years ago I played mixed netball. I played every sport there was at school, mainly basketball and rugby union, but if there was a girl’s team or a co-ed team you could always count on me to play. I also played basketball for around 10 years, which I actually used to play in the street while rollerblading and I still enjoy playing basketball on skates too.