In anticipation of the WFTDA European Continental Cup in Birmingham, we’re taking the time to introduce some of our A team skaters, ask them a few questions about what it’s like to train at Tiger Bay, and find out how the team is preparing to compete for the cup. This week we’re chatting to Nitro Jen, one of our veteran A team skaters.
Nitro Jen started skating for Tiger Bay circa 2014, coming to us as a transfer from Rainy City, where she first learned to play roller derby. Her solid blocking skills have jammers begging for mercy on the track, and the strength she lends our walls make us very glad to have her on our side! Nitro’s positive attitude and willingness to help others learn and improve from her extensive knowledge of roller derby make her a highly valued teammate in every regard.
Nitro, can you tell us a bit about your skating career to date, and what drew you to roller derby in the first place?
Up until I was 40 years old, I could count the number of times I had skated on one hand, and that was when I was about 14! However, upon turning 40 I realised that I wanted to make some changes in my life, as I was unfit, working in hospitality and had little in the way of a social life. I read an article about roller derby in a magazine, and it seemed to fit the bill – a great sport, filled with awesome people, that celebrated diversity and alternative culture. I Googled my local league, plucked up the courage to email them, explained a little about myself and enrolled in their new skater program. Needless to say, I fell in love with the sport immediately!
How have Tiger Bay been preparing for the European Continental Cup?
We have changed as a team quite a lot over the past 12 months, with new skaters moving up the ranks from our B team and transferring in from other leagues, but I’m happy to say that we have gelled really well and worked incredibly hard together. Under Kid Block’s guidance we have all become better skaters, and take a very professional approach to training and the team. Obviously we still have loads of fun, but we definitely know how to take care of business!
What are you most looking forward to, with regards to Continental Cup weekend?
Personally I’m really looking forward to seeing how we compete at this level, and I’m excited about working hard to progress even further, knowing that we have the ability to achieve our goals without any fear of the challenges we may face together.
Do you have any tried and tested pre-game rituals you will use to help prepare yourself?
I’m all about tapping in to the team vibe – I really enjoy the spirit of us all being together with a united purpose. Oh, and music! Lots of good music, that’s my way of engaging beast mode.
What is your favourite thing about skating with Tiger Bay?
Definitely the people. I am so inspired and in awe of the amazing people I get to call my league mates, I love all of them! Roller derby changes lives, for real – as a trans woman, I couldn’t have dreamt of a more supportive, accepting community, that pushes me to be the best I can be in so many ways.
What do you feel is your best ever roller derby memory?
I think my best moment is yet to come; I’m pretty driven in that way!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Jen! We can’t wait to see you unleash the beast on track at the Continental Cup. Follow Tiger Bay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to follow our journey to the WFTDA European Continental Cup!