Laverne N. Surly #1959

Laverne N. Surly

Photo courtesy Jim Rhoades

Give her any chance she’ll take it.

When did you start playing Roller Derby?
November 2005
What positions do you normally play/like to play?
What do you love about Roller Derby?
There are so many things I love about roller derby, but what immediately springs to mind is that through derby I have met an unparalleled group of people who love and support each other and our community.
Favorite Roller Derby moment?
It’s hard to pick just one, but there’s a certain return trip from a rough game and the team broke out in song. And there’s also the memory of going to regionals after we had a lot of skaters leave the team due to various life circumstances. Our team rebuilt in a very short of period time, and we became the Ball Stars (a combination of our remaining All Star teammates and our Blitz teammates who stepped up to fill the void). We lost every game, but we won the respect of our community by showing up and playing our hearts out. The last jam of the weekend left every member of the team with tears in their eyes, tears of pain (boy was that a rough tournament), tears of joy (we did it!), and tears of pride (I’ve never been so proud of anything or anyone as I was of our team’s determination and dedication to making the best of the opportunity).
Most embarrassing Roller Derby moment?
I’m pretty much shameless these days, but early in one of the first bouts I played I hit my own team’s jammer out in my excitement. Oops.
What is one piece of advice you could give to newer girls or those who are thinking about joining Roller Derby?
The leading attribute in your success or failure will be your willingness to persevere; not your innate talents, or background in team sports, but truly your willingness to keep getting back up and keep coming to practice will make all the difference.
What is one thing that Roller Derby/Dutchland helped you achieve?
Derby has helped me become a more confident and balanced person. It has helped me be more assertive throughout my personal and professional life.
What has Roller Derby taught you?
I credit derby with teaching me to love what a powerful booty and strong legs can do. It taught me to stop feeling apologetic for the physical space I was taking up and the person that I am. It has helped me to make the connection between how I fuel my body and mind, i.e., how I treat myself, and how they treat me.
Anything you'd like to say to your adoring fans?
Thank you to our many friends who have supported Dutchland over the past decade plus. You are the rink beneath our skates.