We have a number of unsung heroes who make DCRD a great league, and it’s time to start singing their praises! We proudly introduce a new feature on the blog entitled “Spotlight.” Once a month, one member of the league (skater, official, coach or volunteer) will be voted on by the membership to be recognized for excellence. The first featured member is none other than the illustrious Betty OOP!
Betty joined DCRD in 2014 and quickly made herself invaluable. A member of the Arts & Media committee, Betty has a quick smile and sassy sense of humor. She works hard on and off the track, and is a force with which to be reckoned. Congratulations, Betty!
How did you decide to start playing roller derby?
I always wanted to play after watching it as a kid. When I moved back home from Texas a few years ago, a friend of mine told me about the league here. I went to my first practice and was hooked! I was a bit disappointed to find that elbows are no longer legal, but quickly came to appreciate that rule!
What role(s) do you fill in the league?
I coach the Juggernaughties (the league’s competitive B team), and am working hard at becoming a skills tested skater as well. I have osteoarthritis in both knees, so skating has been a challenge. I have a fantastic personal trainer that I have been working with, and have made some super progress toward this goal! I also manage the league merchandise, which occupies a large portion of my home office and garage.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about roller derby?
Never compare yourself to others when it comes to mastering a skill. Since starting with the league, I have seen some people that are able to pass their skills test within a couple of months of starting, and others that take longer. Sometimes it is difficult to see a person that started after me skating in bouts while I continue to work to be in the same place. I have to remind myself that I have improved so much since my first practice, AND I am able to participate in the weekly scrimmages with our league!
What do you do in your non-derby life?
Career-wise, I am a software developer for a higher education software company, and handle the modifications for 40+ public colleges and universities in the state of Texas. I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend Dayn, my 21 year old son Jeromy, and numerous friends (including the many fantastic people I have met through roller derby).
You’ve been drafted to start coaching in addition to skating. What’s up with that?
I was honored to be asked to coach the Juggernaughties! The team is growing, and with change come challenges and joy. The captain and co-captain (Fighting Girlfriend and Meep Meep) and I work together to address our changing dynamics to ensure that the team is cohesive and fair so we can skate together and kick booty!
Roller derby has become such a positive and important part of my life. Through this journey, my self image has improved drastically, and I no longer worry about what others think of me, because I like me! My health is the best it has been in years because a strong body is a natural result of the required work to be able to participate in this sport. I have met the most amazing women and men, and have formed what I believe will be life long friendships and bonds. I have been to other cities and worn my Duke City Roller Derby shirt and met skaters from other leagues, as well as their fans and NSOs, and those experiences I treasure!