May 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 April 2015 Member of the Month was Shona Mercy!

A talented skater and photographer and a much-loved member of S2D2, Shona Mercy has recently also taken on coaching duties for The Empire! When she’s not busy running and creating content for Alter Life Magazine (one of our awesome sponsors this year), she’s bringing her positivity and roller derby know-how to developing our skaters, both at training and behind the scenes!

What 3 words describe roller derby to you?
Passion, determination & dedication

What’s your Derby name and Number?
Shona Mercy #616

What is the inspiration and story behind your derby name and number?
It was kind of a random nickname from Year 7. I completely forgot about until I started roller derby to be honest. I needed a ‘stage name’ and it popped back into my head after all those years!

How did you get involved with roller derby?
After skating my entire life across many different disciplines, I wanted to try out roller derby. I actually wanted to for about 3 years before I actually did. Finally the stars aligned and I entered SRDL’s freshmeat intake in 2010 and after skating for a couple of years with Sydney I decided to quit. That was, until the seed got planted that I come to have a ‘fun,little informal skate’ at S2D2… as soon as I walked in the door I knew it was where I was meant to be.

What is your pre-derby sports and skating background?
I have never really been a team sport kind of person, only extreme sports, so derby was certainly a learning curve initially. I began skating at the age of 5, it was our ‘family sporting thing’ and went through it’s stages of artistic, street hockey, skate parks, street skating, slalom and freestyle, mostly inline, but once I strapped on a pair of quads, I was in my element and roller derby was the natural progression.

What’s your best derby moment?
My best derby moment, while not my most successful in terms of points, was definitely the most gratifying. It would have to be the first game I was ever rostered as a primary jammer in the first year of the 5×5 Championship. I had absolutely no confidence in myself & didn’t believe I could do it but I listened to my coach & realised I was jamming for a reason. It was the first time I actually realised someone could see something in me that I couldn’t see.

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?
I like to get hit a lot before playing a game. It helps me amp up and means I’m not as shocked when I get big hits on the track.

What do you think about when you’re lacing up your skates?
Shoot, I forgot to put my knee pad on first!

Do you have a theme song or a favourite inspirational quote?
My favourite quote is: “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

What is your signature move?
Hmm…. I’m not sure! My super bony shoulders and short stature make for a killer can-opener through.

Do you have a derby hero?
Derby Heroes… I have so many! My favourite skater of all time is Chloe Seyres (you may know her as Kozmic Bruise for France). I loved her way before either of us played derby, for her freestyle and street skating. She was a big inspiration for me in taking skating more seriously and pushing myself.

How has your involvement with roller derby affected the way you live the rest of your life?
A phrase to sum up my life outside of derby (and one I think all my non-derby friends have heard about one million times): “I can’t, I have roller derby”. I am also quite fond of the “No thanks, I’d rather skate” mantra.
Aside from that, the main affect derby has had on my life, is my fitness. No matter how many hours I ever put in at the gym, or with a personal trainer, nothing ever got me as fit as committing to roller derby!

Favourite Star Wars character?
*ducks for cover* I have never actually watched any of the star wars movies the entire way through.
… I like Hayden Christensen, does that count? ;D

What’s your favourite thing about S2D2?
It’s hard to pin point one favourite thing because there are so many! From the very moment I entered the doors, I realised S2D2 was un-like any other league. Everyone was so friendly, accommodating, fair and positive. It was an eye opener and a breath of fresh air! The sense of family and that everyone is always willing lend a helping hand, really is what sets S2D2 apart from the rest.

Thanks Shona!

Apr 2015 17

We’re excited to announce our first home game for 2015 will be our very own mini tournament consisting of 3 teams and 3 full games.

South Side Derby DollsOutcast Derby and Coffs Coast Derby Dolls will be battling it out in a show of magical ability, intelligence and courage for the Tri-Wizard Cup.

(NB. Tri-Wizard Cup will be shrouded in an invisibility cloak for it’s own protection for the duration of the tournament.)

The Tri-Wizard Tournament will be a true celebration of regional and Sydney Roller Derby as these champions battle it out.

Outcast Derby’s Demons are journeying from the Central Coast, through perilous Oyster Beds and enchanted beach. The Daughters of Mayhem come from Coffs Harbour armed with their infamous Confundus charms. The Empire from South Side Derby Dolls will be passing through the wilds of the Sutherland Shire to make it all the way to Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre.


3 Games for $10 — we guarantee this is the best value derby in Sydney. Today or any other day.

A limited number of tickets will be available on the day for $15.

Kids under 12 are Free



Special thanks to our 2015 Supporters Rollerfit and Alter Life Magazine for their support in making this event possible.

Eventbrite - Roller Derby Tri-Wizard Tournament presented by South Side Derby Dolls

Or visit our Facebook page for details on how to win Exclusive VIP tickets and a Totes Awesome S2D2 Merch Pack.

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Apr 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 March 2015 Member of the Month was Whack Russell Terrior!


Based on Photo by Roaringstorm Photography

Another recent addition to the S2D2 family, Whack Russell Terrior is a dedicated member of The Force and a whirlwind on the track! Despite a recent injury setback, Whack has still been a regular fixture at training, and her positive attitude is an inspiration, not only to her teammates, but to the whole league. We can’t wait to see Whack back on the track, stronger and more determined than ever!

What 3 words describe roller derby to you?
Empowering, challenging, fun!

How did you get involved with roller derby?
I went to see an SRDL home game in 2011 and thought it looked like fun! I soon after got a pair of skates as a present and after a short, nervous skate around the park, fell on my bum and decided not to skate for a while. A few months later, I roped in a friend (who later became my Derby Wife) to come to RollerFit with me, to prepare ourselves for an upcoming Roller Disco! We met some girls at RollerFit who wanted to start their own league, and that’s when it all began!

What is your pre-derby sports/skating background?
I used to just skate in the backyard as a kid. Not very well though, I didn’t know what a cross over was! I also did swimming for a few years and a few months of Aikido.

What’s your Derby name and Number?
Whack Russell Terrior
#w00f (Formerly K9)

What is the inspiration and story behind your derby name and number?
When I was a freshie and learning how to fall and hit, my coaches said my tenacity reminded them of a small dog. I was toying with the idea of SmashHund at one point but settled on Whack Russell Terrior. The reason behind the ‘o’ in Terrior (as opposed to the correct spelling with an ‘e’) is so it looks a bit like Terror. It’s also a small homage to my first derby coach, Squeals o’ Terror, who helped name me.

What’s your best derby moment?
Pretty much every time I roll out on to the track! There are so many moments that have stuck with me! I have to admit, being named as one of the All Star 5 in the 2013 5×5 Roller Derby Championship is pretty special :). Also, being part of my old league’s (IWRDL) first win!

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?
I try to do some pilates in the morning before breakfast and then a protein shake a couple of hours before the game. I have my nails painted team colours and I have this weird thing of wearing the same pair of earrings for every game. They’ve had to be replaced recently with new ones which just happen to be purple and teal!

What do you think about when you’re lacing up your skates?
So many things!!
Did I remember to tape my toe?
Did I put sports spray on my arches?
Do I need to toilet?
I really need to change my laces…

Do you have a theme song or a favourite inspirational quote?
I’ve had ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ used to cheer me on during a game! Does that count?

What is your signature move?
I don’t know if I have one!

Do you have a derby hero?
My first derby hero was actually Winnie Bruise! I remember her so vividly from the first game I ever watched! I also love Suzy Hotrod and Swish Cariboom! One time during warm up for a game, I saw one of the opposing players point at me and say to her teammate, “She looks like Swish Cariboom!” If only!

Photo: Richard Rayment

How has your involvement with roller derby affected the way you live the rest of your life?
I’ve definitely come out of my shell a lot more and have become more confident!

Who is your Favourite Star Wars character?
“C-3PO, Human Relations.”
He’s always entertaining!

What’s your favourite thing about S2D2?
Everything! Everyone is very encouraging and supportive! Everyone works so hard and I’m learning so much! It pushes me to be a better skater!

Thanks Whack!

Mar 2015 23

The Five by Five (5×5) Roller Derby Championship is an ongoing round robin tournament that sees ten leagues from all over NSW and ACT face off in fierce inter league competition across two divisions to claim the 5×5 Armageddon and Battlegrounds Championship and roller derby supremacy.

Round 1 up at the Central Coast saw South Side’s The Force take out a convincing win against Sydney Roller Derby League’s The Snipers.

Final score  (S2D2 252 – SRDL 119).

In Round 2 we’ll be playing a bit more locally at Sydney Boys High, where we’ll be taking on Newcastle Roller Derby League’s Dockyard Dames.

Tickets available now.





South Side (S2D2) def. Newcastle (NRDL) 333-112

Thanks to Downunder Derby TV and Sydney Derby Skates for the broadcast.

How I Survived Fresh Meat: the girl who couldn’t skate
Mar 2015 04

By Sasha Fierce

I honestly didn’t think I could be taught to roller skate.

It’s a common story on the first day of fresh meat, “I can’t skate.” And, “I’ve never skated before.” And lots of, “Skating as a kid doesn’t count, right?”

In my (limited) experience having skated as a kid really does give you a little advantage and a great starting point for being more open to trying new skills. I think this is because, you’ve kinda already learnt that it’s ok to strap wheels on your feet.
But for me –  it is not ok to strap wheels on my feet.

I literally had never skated before.

Not as a kid. Not on inlines. Never went skiing.

Can’t even ride a bike. Not on ice. Except for that time I clung to the wall for dear life for one lap before sitting out the rest of the session perfectly happy to just watch others enjoy, calmly refusing to put the skates back on, “You guys have fun. I’m happy to chill here.”

Sasha yoga skates

On a whim, my husband encouraged me into buying a second hand $50 pair of black plastic, toy skates from the 80s off gumtree. The plate and trucks, PVA glued in. The bearings, rusty. The wheels, too hard. The size, too big. The brand, no one had even heard of it. But, I didn’t know any of that. They just looked like skates to me. We also grabbed a $30 set of wrist, elbow and knee pads from Rebel Sport but splurged a little more on a decent skate helmet.

Sasha - gumtree skates

We got home and Googled some ‘teach yourself to skate’ stuff and decided to start with one basic skill: taking a knee. I stood, shaking from fear, on my lounge room carpet in full gear surrounded by yoga mats and pillows. For hours at a time I stood, still shaking, in my skates going down to one knee. Coming back up. Going down to the other knee. Coming back up. Repeat. Nonstop. For weeks.

By chance, I saw an ad: “It’s not too late! Sign up for fresh meat roller derby with the South Side Derby Dolls.” Still shaking, I responded to the ad on a Tuesday, did my paperwork on the Wednesday, paid my fees by Thursday, and went to my first training session on Friday. That Friday I went along, I honestly thought that I wouldn’t be able to learn to skate. I pictured the derby girls kindly offering me a refund and apologising to me because I simply just wasn’t right for this activity. I risked it and went anyways (yes, still shaking).

Four months later and not only can I take a knee like a boss but I can skate, stop, crossover, jump, skate on one foot and I can even shoot the duck (pictured).

Sasha - shoot the duck

The shaking thing slowly went away. It occasionally comes back if I feel really out of my depth. But these are my top things that helped me through and what I’ve learned from being fresh:

1. Mind over matter.
I know this sounds corny but, you’ve gotta genuinely believe you can do it before you’ll be able to do it. Your body tends to be capable well before your mind realises it so, push your mind. Believe in yourself.
If, like me, you suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem and the like – talk to your GP about being referred to a psychologist and take an active role in your treatment. You need a strong mind for derby.

2. Off skates.
Train off skates. I’ve found weight lifting, mixed martial arts for fitness, yoga, running, and swimming all really great for overall strength, endurance and agility. Pick something and create a diverse regime that works for you. Note: It does not matter what your size is. It does not matter what your body looks like. What matters is what your body can do. You need a strong body for derby.

3. Cross train.
Pick up something that isn’t derby and do it.
I picked casual indoor rock climbing because I’m afraid of heights and derby doesn’t do much for upper body strength. Turns out that rock climbing requires a lot of single leg squat movements, hip flexibility, and fear conquering – just like derby.

4. Rest.
I loathe rest days. Surely just one hour at the gym counts as a rest, right? Wrong. Your body needs that day to heal. You need a rest day.

5. Stretch.
Every. Single. Day. I now have patella femoral pain syndrome in my left knee. That means, I didn’t stretch properly and my knee now hurts a lot all the time. Stretching at the same time each day (like, when you wake up) to establish a routine of daily stretching. Stretch a lot before and after exercise. Stretching can prevent injuries. Listen to your body. See a professional if you have any issues.

6. Skate.
The more time in skates, the better. I feel that training is where you learn cool stuff. Skate practise on your own is where you master it.
Also try non-derby skating activities like RollerFit, speed skating, outdoor skating. Although, I personally forbid you to try ramps when you’re as fresh as me. I even sometimes do my chores in skates.

Sasha - chores

7. Fall over.
Once you’ve been taught correct falling technique, practise and make it muscle memory so that your body just does it when it needs to. Falling can happen from pushing your limits so far that you overreach. That and you have wheels on your feet. Every stack is a (painful purple blotchy) lesson (on your ass). Falling is not the opposite of success, it’s the method to it. The more you fall, the more you learn.

8. Laugh.
Instead of pressuring yourself to be Wild Cherri – relax, laugh, and enjoy the moment when you’re skating. Your brain will be more receptive to learning if it’s relaxed and having fun. Be excellent to yourself. Understand that you don’t have to be good at things right away. What’s the point in doing this if we’re gonna pressure ourselves so much and have our expectations set so high that we just feel inadequate and miserable? None. Being hard on yourself won’t make you a better skater.

9. Reward your efforts.
Every time you attempt something new, mentally reward yourself just for trying. That way, you’ll teach your brain: “trying = good.” The more your brain wants you to just try, the more practise it’ll be receptive to do, the more practise you will do. And, practise makes perfect.
You’ll also feel happier (see point 8.)

10. Wash.
Wash your gear. Promise? Good.

11. Gear.
‘It is a poor workman who blames his tools’ but hot damn does investing in quality equipment make a difference. Buy decent knee pads, learn about the parts of your skates, loosen your trucks a little, and ask for help. For training, wear something practical and comfortable – this is a full on sport. If you were going for a run, what would you wear? Wear that.

12. NSO.
Be a non skating official at scrimmage to help learn the game. Watch as much derby as you can.

13. Mantras.
Having a mental database of mantras helps me through the tough times. These little slogans hark back to bigger ideas and philosophies that I use to keep my mind strong (see point 1). Sure, it’s a bit lame, but maintaining a positive frame of mind, in this sport, is a decent chunk of the work. Here are some of my personal mantras (I shout a lot of these to myself in my brain during laps):
– Feel the fear and do it anyway.
– Yes, it hurts but I do not care.
– Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.
– Turn your fear into a ‘to do’ list.
– You’re doing really well.
– It doesn’t matter how much it hurts so long as you know you did everything you could.
– The only difference between someone who can do it and someone who can’t is that the person who can do it believes they can.
– Comparison is the thief of joy.
– Identify the difference between a reason and an excuse.

14. Above all, trust your trainers.

If they say, “Throw your weight across” but you’re scared to throw your weight across, trust your trainers and throw your weight across. If they say, “transition”, transition! If they say, “Jump the apex!” Well… Just try your best, ok?

At the end of the ten week fresh meat course by London Brawling, I was deeply honoured and humbled to get the ‘Freshie of the Year’ award.

Sasha - freshie of the year

THUNDRBUTT was so proud, she made me this:

Sasha - so fresh

The trophy sits on my bookcase flanked by those aforementioned filthy $50 gumtree skates, which I did the entire course in.
If I can do it in those, you can do it in yours!

Ps. As a Xmas treat to myself, I hooked myself up with these pretty little Bonts (below). Felt like a T Rex with extendable arms!

Sasha - bonts

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