Roller Derby World Summit: Exciting News and Juicy Insider Details

A mini interview with our resident derby geeks, and all-round amazing league members, Kimmikaze and Furrrocious

Let’s start with the news! We are very excited to announce that our very own Furr has been voted in as Secretary for the WFTDA Board of Directors!

How does it feel?
Furr: It is a tad overwhelming, but overall it’s really exciting. It was so good to be able to get to know people right away and have talks with people from WFTDA’s membership about the challenges they are facing was really great.

What are you most excited about and most anxious about?
I am most anxious about making sure I do a good job. I am a perfectionist and want to do the best job I can.
I’m really excited about bringing in an international perspective into the BoD. And about helping to lead the organization into the future. I believe exciting times are ahead of us, and I cannot wait to be a part of it all.

Congratulations!

Okay so anyone who couldn’t be there is pretty jealous, tell us some of the highlights of the summit.

Meeting with new friends, old friends and hearing about the exciting new collaborations

Furr: I don’t think I can express in words completely how amazing this weekend was. It was intense and overwhelming at times and it was extremely inspirational and motivating throughout the whole event. We had 20 countries represented at the RDWS this weekend and we had some serious conversations on where our sport is going. This is a pivotal time. And I am for one, super excited to see where we are going and how we will develop further. As a sport and as an organization. Onwards and upwards!

Was there any talks that particularly caught your attention?

I really enjoyed the keynote speakers of the weekend. There were three great ones! We got to listen to Nada Ben Jemaa from Roller Derby Beirut, talking about the challenges they face being the only league in their country and not having access to things like roller derby gear.
The second exciting keynote speaker was Beatrice Frey from UN Women, she came to talk about her organization and how they help empower women through different programs. And she was also revealing some excited news, as the WFTDA and UN Women are joining forces in a program together. Keep your eyes out for that!

Last but not least was Jane McManus from ESPN and ESPNW. She talked about women’s sports in media, and it was super interesting.

Kimmi:

My brain is full but what a weekend! Meeting some amazing people from the roller derby community and getting to know first handed what is going on in their inspirational and knowledgeable minds. So many discussions that have been held and that we need to continue. Not only in order to let our sport grow, but also to show the World that things can be different. We are part of this awesome community that contains knowledge, determination, motivation and fierceness and although we started small, we’re achieving things. Big things.

Tell me about your favourite moment…

You want me to pick one moment? Not fair! I think we can say that one of the highlights of the weekend was the announcement of the collaboration between WFTDA and UN Women that Furr also mentioned. Two organisations with different roots, but with a similar mission: the empowerment of women through sports. I think this collaboration is a big step and I foresee great things happening!

Kimmi taking a picture with Alex Wilde, derby crush of her teammate Curse and skater of Rainy City A and Team England

Sounds like you took on board a lot! And how was it meeting with derby crushes and mingling with other derby leagues?

Furr: The coolest thing about meeting people you normally only watch on WFTDA.tv is that they are just regular skaters like you and me J
Playing with them together in the scrimmage was amazing though, its great to play together with people of all different levels and countries! We had at least four continents present during the scrimmage!

Kimmi:

So, I’m one of those people that will most likely not recognize most of all those ‘famous and high levelled’ skaters and will find out that she sits next to reps from VRDL and Gotham when we start introducing ourselves. It is pretty amazing to realize that you, just a random skater from Amsterdam, are having conversations and discussions with people that go way back in roller derby. People that have meant something for the sport either on organizational level or as a skater. People that you only can look up to, but at the same time are one of the most normal and down to earth people you’ll ever meet. And this not only goes for the more known people by the way. Everyone that I’ve spoken to in Manchester, whether they came from Europe or another continent, a big or small league, it didn’t matter. They all had great things to share and were able to contribute with the knowledge and background they had. And I think that is what makes discussions great. All sorts of people, all sorts of background, all sorts of perspectives. Oh and yes, besides the discussions and socializing, let’s not forget that we got the opportunity to skate with all these amazing people!

 

After an awesome scrimmage

What did you think of Rainy City? Manage to squeeze in some sightseeing during your busy schedule?

Furr: Hahaha, nope absolutely did not have time to check out Manchester. Apart from some restaurants and the way from the hotel to the conference centre.

Kimmi: Same. I was either in the conference centre or the Thunderdome. From what I could see when walking to the designated locations or when looking for food, Manchester is a city that is interesting enough to check out when you do have time!

Okay last question, name a key element that you are going to take with you going forward in your (very) promising derby careers?

Furr: For me this weekend was a kick off for my job within the BoD and that will be a lot of my focus for the coming year.

Kimmi: The Roller Derby World Summit and its attendees have inspired me to continue the progress that is been made when it comes not only the organizational side of roller derby, but especially the things that we as a community can achieve when working together. I will try to bring all of this back to our league and hopefully inspire the people within ARD to continue this progress within our league, our country and extend that to wherever we can.

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about it!

Derby Love

x