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2019 Champs – chat with The Vancouver Murder

The Vancouver Murder, Canada

MRDA 3rd place ranked The Vancouver Murder was formed in 2010; many of the original members no longer skate for them now, but the team assure us that their support and encouragement lives on in each of them; this year, more than ever, it is showing – they remain undefeated for the entire season. 

Training can be quite the undertaking for the Canadian team who get together monthly ‘We have a lot of skaters who have to drive eight to ten hours just to get to a practice,’ skater Mr Testosterone tells us ‘some have to cross borders to be here!’ The squad train in a few different venues, including one which is fondly referred to as “The Death Trap” due to its smaller track and surrounding pillars; ‘If you survive a practice you cheated death.’ jokes Testosterone. 

Despite the distance, the league continue to experience a good amount of growth, whether that be in the form of complete beginners or experienced skaters who are looking for a new place to train. These ebbs and flows bring with them a wealth of skills that serve to benefit the organization as a whole and include artists, planners and social media heroes.

The energy of the league is palpable- they themselves describe the season as amazing and full of growth. This year has seen them more organized than ever and they’re even sporting a new kit! They’re also not afraid to switch things up a bit and take risks, for example, the decision to switch Jammer Harass’in Ford to a blocking position; ‘he has now become such a solid blocker and offensive player,’ Testosterone remarks, ‘we aren’t sure what we would do without him!’

Vancouver are looking forward to playing new teams and old rivals alike but they are particularly keen to face NWO, who they describe as solid and so much fun to play. They’re no stranger to the event, having played in Texas, Manchester and Oregon previously, but they’re as much excited as ever; ‘It’s like Christmas for us. To play in such a huge event is the reason we do this! This year everything is different. From what we think we can do, to how we play and look!’ 

MEET THE TEAM…

Name: Mr. Testosterone
Position: Jammer #110

What is it about roller derby that appealed to you?

I saw it as a way to continue to roller skate! I had no clue what derby was gonna be but I was excited to have a reason as an adult to start skating again. 

What do you think your coach would say about you? 

I’d hope they’d talk about how positive and encouraging I am, but they’d probably talk about how much I like to film EVERYTHING! 

How does being an athlete inspire you to do good?

It makes me want to help other people find the joy of purpose and growth. Getting better is a great feeling. Accomplishing goals is a great feeling. Trying is a great feeling. Allowing yourself to fail is a great feeling and no matter what, not giving up is a great feeling . I keep chasing all of these great ways to feel good! 

What is your ultimate Roller Derby goal?

To medal at MRDA Champs. And I’m happy to keep trying until one day it happens! 

Do you have a plan to help you get to your best-focused state? 

I meditate on the game I’m going to play; then down the game as if it’s already happened the way I want it to happen. 

Do you use visual cues in your environment to help you focus?

Yes! An old coach taught us about markers. A physical thing to remind us of a mental thing. I jump or spin for seemingly no reason, as my physical marker to remind me of my mental marker. What are my mental goals? That’s a secret. 

So what do you do when you’re under pressure?

Smile. It is the easiest way to remind myself that I love doing what I’m doing regardless of the outcome. 

And your mantra?

You can’t outperform your own self-image. 

Who is your sporting hero and why? 

Spider-Man. No matter what is happening he always has time to laugh and joke 

What were you like in high school? 

I couldn’t not talk and crack jokes so usually, I was in the office meeting with the principal, but I was awarded senior class clown by my school! Everything seems to work out! Lol, it’s in the yearbook!