I really joined on a whim around fall of 2007. I had never seen a bout, but loved the idea of derby & had met a few Dutchies recruiting at a Punk Rock Flea Market. Probably a year later the thought of joining as a skater popped into my head-providentially-about 2 days before a round of Dutchland's tryouts. I had no idea what I was getting into! Ten years later....
When did you join Dutchland?
I’ve been a Dutchy since 2007, officially and unofficially.
What positions have you held within the league since joining?
I skated for three years with the Dutchland Blitz and Orange Crush, then retired from skating.... when Hester called! I've been a volunteer mascot for about 7 years(really, that was my true talent!)
What do you love about Roller Derby?
The community, the sportspersonship, the commitment to constantly grow & change, the acceptance of all body types & styles.
What do you love about Dutchland?
The people! Dutchland is an amazingly well-run and committed organization full of ridiculously strong and talented people. And I'm talking about everyone who has been involved over the 10+ years of Dutchland from the founders to regularly visiting officials, to skaters who have moved on, cause you are always a part of the Dutchy family. And our wonderful, gracious, and warm fans!! Oh, we have the best fans! From little babies in Dutch gear up through seniors with orange boas and canes. The smiles of our fans is just the best payment ever!
Favorite Roller Derby moment?
I have many, but Hester got to do the Twist with Chubby Checker at a Barnstormers game with my goddaughter as my sidekick Cow: Hard to top that! But also the many times kids I had never met would plop themselves down next to me at a bout, or start running around the track with me and become part of our cheering squad. I felt like the Pied Piper! Or the time Hester joined the bellydancer for a show, or made a surprise appearance at our Drag Show...I could go on! So much fun!
What is one piece of advice you could give to those who are thinking about joining Roller Derby as a skater or in any other capacity?
Find your talent: you can be as much a part of the important workings of the league and part of the huge and warm community however you are called. And PS you might feel super-duper awkward at first in the role and you are completely right on track! Volunteers, NSOs, refs, paramedics at our game with their own derby names, mascots, everyone is needed and a part of Dutchland.
What is one thing that Roller Derby/Dutchland helped you achieve (ie: great work outs, friend ship, confidence).
Dutchland gave me so so many wonderful friends I can count on...even if we never were officially in the league together. Doesn’t even matter! There are newer people whose names I don't even know & I am still family with them. And the opportunity to be completely and utterly IN THE MOMENT and utterly ridiculous. As Hester, I feel completely in the character and free to do whatever pops into my head. I often ended up laughing and as amused at my antics as everyone watching cause it's almost always completely off-the-cuff. I think Hester is my inner child come to life!
What has Roller Derby taught you?
My strength. Not just physical, but emotional and mental. Through challenges of every kind. Through experiencing it myself or watching others go through unimaginable loss, injury, or hardship and surviving. Strength sometimes looks like tears, or hugs, or confessional emails, as well as triumph.
Anything you’d like to say to your adoring fans?
When I think of my years as Hester, I really, truly first see your smiling, open, beautiful faces cheering me on as I rounded the track. Absolutely! I cherish those memories and the unconditional and enthusiastic love you showed me. Thank you with a million exclamation points!!!!!!!