Jun 2015 01

Every month South Side Derby Dolls votes for our Member of the Month.

Member of the Month honours our volunteers for their hard work, commitment and general awesomeness.

Our May 2015 Members of the Month were Cluster Frack and Beard N Loathing!









There was so much awesome in the month of May that we couldn’t pick just one Member of the Month! Cluster Frack is a valued member of The Empire and The Force for her calm and supportive leadership skills, she also dedicates her time to finding us venues to skate in and new friends to skate with, most recently bringing Sun State Roller Girls to Menai for an amazing bootcamp! Beard N Loathing may be most well known for supplying us with delicious baked goods and fudge at training, but he is also a regular fixture at training and bouts: helping with our freshmeat and scrimmage training, keeping us safe as one of our first aiders and lending his voice to our cheer squad, The Rebel Alliance, at our bouts!

What 3 words describe roller derby to you?
Cluster Frack: Challenging. Rewarding. Inspiring.

Beard n Loathing: Awesome. Beardy. Family.

How did you get involved with roller derby?
Cluster: I almost didn’t go see my first bout, as I don’t like sports and really thought I’d hate it. I saw the Assassins play Richter City at the end of 2011 with my partner’s sister and was completely hooked from the get-go. At one point she turned to me and said, “You could do that”, and I thought, ‘yeah, I could’. I went home and watched the movie (you know the one), and hassled my boyfriend to buy me skates for Christmas. I had missed intakes for the year, which was just a well as I had a LOT to learn. I started at Rollerfit where Stacey taught me all the things, and then joined Inner West Roller Derby league when they formed in May of 2012.

Beardo: Chuck Norris came to me in a dream and said I must bring the gift of beard to more people, starting with roller derby.

What is your pre-derby sports/skating background?
Cluster: None, really. I used to ice skate socially with my high school friends on a Friday night, but never learned how to stop or crossover. I enjoyed sprinting in primary school, but nothing serious, the same with volleyball. I was much more of a bookworm.

Beardo: Several centuries of battles with Baldrick by my side.

What’s your Derby name and Number?
Cluster: Cluster Frack #75

Beardo: Beard N Loathing #1CNRhK

What is the inspiration and story behind your derby name and number?
Cluster: The name is a play on Cluster F##k. Frack is the expletive they use on Battlestar Galactica (I heart the remake, the original was crap). I figured the name would work if I ended up being a decent skater OR a terrible skater. 75 is the number on the side of the ship, Galactica. I used to be number 12 (12 colonies, 12 cylon skinjobs), but I moved leagues and needed a new number.

Beardo: Chuck Norris descended from the heavens and brought forth Baldrick, whom I had previously fought side by side in the halls of Valhalla, to which he also bestowed upon me the name, Beard N Loathing. Scientists have estimated that the energy given off during the Big Bang is roughly equal to 1CNRhK

What’s your best derby moment?
Cluster: This is a really hard question! How do I only choose one? I think being told that I had ‘earned my place on The Force’ after a recent tournament would have to be it, so far.

Beardo: This one time at training, we got attacked by zombies, but zombies who can only be defeated by pogonophiles, and I was all like “I got this” and I totally did.

Photo by Steven Craddock

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?
Cluster: Does misplacing something important count? At the last tournament, I forgot to bring the right coloured jersey and only realised at the last minute. A HUGE thanks to Ovary Action who rushed to the hotel for me, pretended to be me when the door refused to open, and got back in time!

Beardo: Stroking my beard exactly 27 times, no more, no less. Sometimes stroking someone else’s, who knows, this world is crazy.

What do you think about when you’re lacing up your skates?
Cluster: I’m usually going through the list of protective equipment in my head to make sure I haven’t forgotten to put something on… It happens!

Beardo: What am I having at sushi after?

Do you have a theme song or a favourite inspirational quote?
Beardo: Stroking my Beard – The Beards

What is your signature move?
Cluster: Still working on it.

Beardo: Fudge Fridays…it’s a move…Right?

Do you have a derby hero?
Cluster: Stef Mainey. She’s amazing!

Beardo: Everyone from South Side is my Derby hero.

How has your involvement with roller derby affected the way you live the rest of your life?
Cluster: It’s helped me a lot mentally – it’s certainly made me more confident, and I can now call people on their s##t, which I’m really grateful for. It’s made me realise the importance of not giving up after a setback. There are so many disappointments in derby, and if you’re going to get anywhere, you need to suck it up and keep working hard. Take that setback as a challenge and then knock it on its ass.

Favourite Star Wars character/quote/ movie?
Cluster: One of the Ewoks?? *runs away*

Beardo: “Beep boop beep” R2D2, this guy (or girl, I don’t think he/she really has a gender) gets me.

What’s your favourite thing about S2D2?
Cluster: The people. We give up so much time to this sport that we miss out on social events with friends and family. South Side is full of the most lovely, passionate and generous people I know. They have become my family and I couldn’t be happier.

Beardo: If people knew the things that I say, the fact that no one bats an eyelid, that’s pretty sweet.

Thanks Cluster and Beardo!

Jun 2015 10

That’s right, we’re having a mid year intake for freshmeat skaters (those that have never skated before) and skaters from all other levels.

Next intake – Term 3 2015, 17th July

Recruitment Open Day – Sunday June 28th at Menai Indoor Sports Centre.

More details on the Facebook Event.

Freshmeat 2015

Jun 2015 15

By Lil Web Riding Hard

It is no secret that I am a proud member and supporter of geek culture. As I wave my nerd flag high, I cannot help but wonder if it was something greater than myself; something divine; some higher power that lead me to become a member of the nerdiest little hub of derby love in the whole derbyverse … Or perhaps I just have outstanding taste. When I first found S2D2 I was feeling a little derby lost, but all of the glitz and glamour of a team full of friendly Star Wars loving people caught my attention … and the incredible athleticism and team work held it.

Right at this moment in life, when every other comic is becoming a movie and geeks all but inheriting the Earth, it is a really good time to be a geek. So imagine my excitement when my two worlds once a mere blip on the pop culture radar collided!!! Pure bliss. For a long time the derbyverse has played with concepts from geek culture inspiring player names (including our own Sailor Doom and Gnarley Quinn to name a few) and bout concepts (like the recent Tri-Wizard Tournament). More recently geek culture has started to salute to derby, and the results are awesome. As cosplay is also an important part of my life the chance to don a costume at a bout and be a derby girl at a convention is something I celebrate.

So with SupaNova nipping at our heels, here are 5 of my personal favourite derby/geek crossovers … enough to inspire anyone to put together a killer derby themed con costume!

1. Harley Quinn gets a Derby makeover.

harley quinn.jpg

Ok so not all Harley Quinn fans are in love with the new Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti series, but this fan was pleased as punch. Sure at times her Derby style gets a little “Whip it”, but we all have to start somewhere. The writers do however manage to include a little bit of derby 101 which is always a bonus.


2. Ame Comi Flash, what better hobby for The Flash than Roller Derby??

DC’s Ame Comi girls is a short comic series actually based on a popular line of figures. In this Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti universe only females are superheroes or villains. I cannot think of a better universe than this for Roller Derby to exist, and who better than the Flash to be the star player and the “Fastest Girl alive”.


3. Tom Kurzanski whipped up the GC Rollergirls

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Tom Kurzanski is an incredible artist from the states who decided to whip up a few GC roller girls and when they hit Teefury, nerdy derby lovers everywhere went crazy for them! My newsfeed was alight with these bad boys and I am not ashamed to say – I too joined the buying fury. Recently Kurzanski added some of Marvels bad ass ladies to the roster and let’s hope it doesn’t end there. Check out Kurzanski’s work – www.facebook.com/t.kurzanski


4. Danielle Gransaull draws her derby squads

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 1.19.21 pm

Not only did artist Danielle Gransaull reimaging some of the best and worst the DC universe has to offer but she made some popular Marvel mutants into a magical team and to top it all off she gave us sugar ,spice and everything nice in her Chemical X derby squad. These interpretations have inspired many a cosplay group and are sure to inspire many more (I myself am dying to bring these to life). You can check our all of Danielle Gransaull’s work here - www.facebook.com/daniellegransaullart


5. Heroes of the Storm Roller Derby Skin;

heroes of the storm

Not to be outdone Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm; an online multiplayer battle arena, released a Roller Derby Nova skin. The skin transforms the character November “Nova” Terra, originally of the Starcraft franchise into a truly awesome looking derby girl.

This character has been so popular in the cosplay scene it has drawn girls of all ages as shown in an image from Blizzcon 2014

winger mamma

Image from Winged Mammal

She would make one hell of a derby diva!

Bonus Round:

And if you are stuck for a costume why not try and mix a little derby into your favourite characters for something a little out of the box, and don’t worry you can always grab a skate noose to keep the con happy. Just check out SRDL’s Feisty Cuffs when she rocks her killer Derby Dash!


So no matter if you are a geek who is just finding out about derby or a derby girl (or boy) who is only just embracing the culture that is taking over, it seems that there is plenty of love out there for a little crossover (no pun intended). Whilst the convention floor might not be the most welcoming place for a set of skates; find your local derby team and show them some love, derby teams reach out and touch some geeks. Some things were just meant to be!

Jun 2015 25

South Side Derby Dolls has a place for skaters of all levels. From those playing in the highest level of competitive games to the person who bought skates yesterday with dreams of getting approved for contact. But there’s another group of people who train and work hard to help make every roller derby game safe, fair and fun. The S2D2 Droids is our team of officials both on and off skates.

Why are our officials called droids? Droids are an essential part of any organisation in the world of Star Wars. They’re always in the background offering translations, processing data and keeping things functioning. Some on wheels and some on foot. The S2D2 Droids are always active during roller derby games collecting scores, directing players and keeping games running.

Being an official is often overlooked even though it is an essential part of the game. Officiating can be hugely rewarding, enjoyable and a great way to participate in the game without the contact side of things. It is a great way to meet people. We asked our officials some questions about why they chose to become a droid and why they find it rewarding:

What do you enjoy about being a Droid?
“The people and the opportunities. I have met so many amazing people during my time involved in derby; people I would have never met in any other circumstance.” – Switzerland

“I like being part of the team. Not necessarily the “officials” team, but contributing and being an active member of my league is most important to me.” – Kaos Bob

“I’m enjoying being in a supportive team where I can take my time to learn things properly. I also still get to hang out with all my skater friends.” – Sweet Baby Cheeses

“I like working on a crew for a tournament and how that crew works better and better together each game they work.” – Totorod

“We sometimes travel a long way to help make derby happen. Some of my favourite games have been working closely with a mix of skill levels.” – Gory Numan

“I really enjoy the disciplines of being part of team zebra, receiving and giving support to fellow officials and of course I have met some great friends along the way.” – Wayne-o-War

“You instantly make so many friends and people who share your interest in derby. I also feel the league I skate for respects the officials and include us as just another skater on the track…we just happen to wear stripes.” – Boom Tish

Photo by Liam Mitchell Photography

Is being an official fun?
“I find NSOing great because simply it’s fun to do.” – Raven Nyx

“I like it when things click and I have lightbulb moments.” – Sweet Baby Cheese

“Made and get to work with great friends, warm fuzzies from helping facilitate a great sport, and getting my rules nerd on.” – Major Skateholder

“I like doing it right. Its always fun to learn but applying that to give the players and fans a smooth game is very satisfying. Also we get into games for free.” – Kaos Bob

Why did you become an official?
“I became an official to learn more about derby as my skating developed then fell in love with it so it made an easy choice to get more involved when I could no longer skate.” – Coch Less Monster

“I was living and breathing Derby as a fan, but it wasn’t enough so when S2D2 advertised for NSOs I had to give it a go. No choice.” – Kaos Bob

“Derby widow, refereed sportsball in the past so was comfortable with the concept of officiating.” – Major Skateholder

“My best friend at the time decided she wanted to play the derby and as much as I loved the sport it wasn’t for me. I decided I wanted to be behind the scenes, plus I love statistics, so I became an NSO.” – Boom Tish

“I started NSOing so I could learn the rules and hopefully end up being a better player. It was also a time where officials were pretty scarce in our region.” – Switzerland

“Our family grew up in and around roller rinks until family life got in the way and unfortunately roller skating took a back seat. many years later my wife found roller skating in the form of roller derby whilst I was overseas.” – Wayne-o-War

Are there some things you find hard about being an official?

“Time: it takes a big commitment to develop and maintain both skating skills and rules knowledge.” – Major Skateholder
“I’m a Derby fan first. That’s why I got into this. I find it hard not to cheer. Sometimes I have to take a game or two off just to watch and be part of the crowd.” – Kaos Bob
“I’m a perfectionist and a bit of a stress head so sometimes I really feel the pressure when it comes to doing things right quickly.” – Sweet Baby Cheeses
“One thing I find hard is not being able to stop and explain why a skater got a penalty.” – Totorod

You too can join the S2D2 Droids!
South Side Derby Dolls is always looking for new officials. To find out more come to our recruitment info session (28th June) and talk to some of our Droids. There are lots of great reasons to become an official:

  • Learn more about roller derby
  • Be an essential part of safe and fair games
  • Be part of a team working together
  • No skating required (some roles are on skates)
  • Non contact
  • Opportunities to help other leagues with their games and practice games


Jun 2015 29

Hello, my name is Atomic Bombshell, and I am a geek.


To be quite honest, I can’t say that I’m really all that ashamed of being a geek. Quite the opposite. In the wonderful words of Simon Pegg (whom you may know from Star Trek and Shaun of the Dead):

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

Being able to love what you love and never have to act like you’re too cool for school? Sign me up!

I’m also a person who never quite felt like she belonged.

The hunt for a tribe is one that most people are familiar with. I had heard of this crazy roller derby thing from a few different places, but I’d always felt like I wasn’t tough enough, or brave enough, or badass enough. Derby girls were the next level of awesome in my mind, and I wasn’t quite sure that I was cool enough to join in. Without league members like KillaBee and Anklebiter, that image would have stayed in my mind forever. I’m very glad to say that isn’t the case.

I decided I needed my own hero- and because I’ve always loved the idea of having a secret identity, I decided to become my own.


I seized my courage, bought a pair of skates and in October 2014, I signed up for Fresh Meat with the South Side Derby Dolls. I found a group of people who had named their travel teams The Force and The Empire (I have a deep and abiding love of Star Wars, borne from a father who tricked me into watching Episode IV when I was 7 with the promise of a princess). And I found teammates who had named themselves like Marty McDie, Sailor Doom, Gnarley Quinn, Sin Siti and Bruise Wayne… It was obvious right away that these were my people – I’d found my tribe.

League Photo

When I found out that the League would be attending Supanova in Sydney, I was all over it like a rash. Any event that celebrates the aforementioned awesomeness of being a geek is a-okay with me, and the fact that my league was going to be in the thick of that awesomeness, I was more than happy to give up my time and promote the awesomeness of roller derby.

I spotted plenty of Harley Quinns (and there was one Harley that stood out in particular- a New 52 Harley Quinn on roller skates!), a few Jon Snows (thankfully SPOILER ALERT still walking and breathing). I got selfies with Princess Belle, Kaylee Frye (my all time favourite Joss Whedon character), Thor and Captain America.
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I was like a kid in candyland with all the cosplay, but that wasn’t really what stood out for me. The most intriguing and interesting thing that happened when I manned the booth was chatting to people and seeing that moment. That moment when you chat to a person who is staring at the booth, looking a mix of intrigued and shy. Someone who was once like me- fascinated by derby, but not quite sure if they’re enough of a badass to actually give it a go… Someone who is unashamedly geeky, on the search for a tribe; and someone who maybe might see if our “cupcakes and rainbows” roller derby league is the place for them. Roller derby has been an absolutely transformative experience in my life and I really, really hope that I played a part in someone strapping on a pair of skates and becoming their own superhero.


My choice in my derby name is quite obvious… I love the 1950s and I’m pint sized. I’ve had more than one person ask about my derby number. I’m not an ’84 baby and the 0 at the front doesn’t really make much sense. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an 0-8-4 is an Object of Unknown Origin. Thor’s hammer was one in the first Thor film, as was the Obelisk, The Plasma Particle Beam and Skye in the television offshoot of the movies, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. This year, one of Supanova’s guests was Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays Dr Jemma Simmons on SHIELD. I couldn’t help myself, I had to have a photo. I very nervously walked into the booth, my Southside shirt in hand. I’d barely finished explaining that I play roller derby and I’d chosen my number because of the show before she’d whipped the shirt out of my hand and held it up to the camera. Needless to say, it was the Best. Day. Ever.


In summary… Southside Derby Dolls are awesome. Being a geek is awesome. Finding your tribe is awesome and always remember, no power in the ‘verse can stop you.

Love and derby kisses,

Atomic Bombshell xx