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2019 champs – chat with Southern Discomfort

Southern Discomfort Roller Derby, UK 

Formed in 2010, UK team Southern Discomfort are regular contenders at Champs and have, for a long time, been one of Britains most successful teams.  

Despite being based in England’s biggest city, it can be quite tough to recruit, the team put it down to the number of sports they have to compete with in the capital. The Brits might not love their skating quite as much as their US counterparts, but they do still enjoy a steady membership which allows them to put out two teams and attract skaters from as far afield as Birmingham, Wales and even Glasgow, Scotland!  

Coming off the back of a European Cup year, 2019 may have seemed like a relatively low key for the team; having said this, they have remained undefeated since their 2018 upset against Vancouver at last years tournament- where they missed out by a meagre 22 points! 

This year, they’ll be looking to put on a show that reflects their 4th place ranking. ‘The season so far has been outstanding’ Blitzkrieg tells us; we’ve got a feeling they’re just warming up!  

MEET THE TEAM…

Name: Illbilly #76
Position: Blocker

What is it about roller derby that appealed to you or why did you get involved?

I’ve always skated ever since I was young. I have also always played team sports so the two just came together very nicely. Roller Derby gives me a focus and something to drive towards whether it be playing with my team or coaching my teammates – I get loads out of it. 

What sports did you play and how is derby different? 

I have played lots of sports but football (soccer) would be the one that has been most prevalent to the game as it is similar or at least gave me lots of practice in areas such as strategy, set plays and competition.

Skateboarding is the other and a sport that I did religiously for decades, this is more about free expression and balance which has had a profound impact on my skate style in derby. 

What do you think your coach would say about you? 

They might say I’m wild card maybe… I can only think of negatives haha! I’m usually pretty reliable on track. However, always distracted by cats or a puppy or something. Enjoys feedback 😂

How does being an athlete inspire you to do good?

Being an athlete is just something everyone should do in some capacity. The focus and the teamwork is great for everyone. It also gets me coaching which I think has hopefully done good things for the skaters I coach. It’s great to see them do well.

What is your ultimate Roller Derby goal?

To win an MRDA Champs Medal with my pals at Southern Discomfort & win a WFTDA tournament medal with my pals at Central City Roller Derby.

What mental tools do you use when you’re under pressure?

Focusing on breathing always helps me reset to a place where I’m ready to be relentless on track. 

What’s your mantra?

Chill and enjoy it. Best mantra there is!

Who is your sporting hero? 

I used to want to skateboard like Tom Penny. His chill style is the best that ever was. 

What is your go-to Karaoke song? 

Bohemian Rhapsody

What were you like in high school? 

A surfer dude.