Advice For Junior Rollergirls From: Foxy Sinatra

Posted in Sports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by torontojrd

Foxy Sinatra

Interviewed by:

TJRD Skater Susie Bruisie

When my mom first approached me about writing for the Toronto Junior Roller Derby blog, I was at first a little yes and no on the idea. But then, I had the awesomest idea…I wanted to interview Ashlea Wessel, a.k.a Foxy Sinatra (#13) of the Gore-Gore Rollergirls.

Ashlea and my parents were pretty close (through Rue Morgue) and it wasn’t hard to get a hold of her. When my mom told me she was up to it, I did a little happy dance and got straight to work on my questions (after I gulped down my dinner that we were eating when I received the good news)

I met with Ashlea, over cappuccinos, to talk to her about her experiences with The Gore-Gore Rollergirls and get some advice for girls interested in the sport. Here’s what she had to say:

Q1: How did you get into derby?

I actually got into derby before I even knew there was a team inToronto. I had heard they were starting it elsewhere, inNorth America, and I had always been interested in it, even as a kid. I was actually talking to somebody about starting up my own league, months before I found out there was one inToronto. When I heard there was one that had already started up, which was The Toronto Terrors, I decided to go out for the tryouts and that was how I started out doing it.

Photo Credit: Kevin Konnyu

Q2: If junior derby had been around when you were my age would you have joined?

I think definitely. I was was never the kind of kid to play … I don’t know, “non-contact” sports. I always really liked the rougher stuff, so I think I would have wanted to get an early start on derby, so I could get into the contact stuff later on.

Q3: How did you pick your derby name and number?

(laughs ) I knew that was coming. My derby name actually started out as a screen name, it was kind of a nickname that I got from a crew of girls I used to hang out with. I would use it as a screen name online and I thought it would be best to keep it going. My number has always been my lucky number and I think it helps that it’s also a bad-ass number.

Q4: If you could change any of the rules of roller derby, which would it be?

I think there’s a lot of things that could be changed or modified a little bit. I think it’s really interesting that they’re talking about getting rid of minors and I’m interested to see what that’ll entail. I think there are a lot of minors that are unnecessary that I would get rid of. We’ll find out if that’s what happens.

Q5: How do you prepare for a bout, and what do you do differently for a championship bout?

For a bout, our team takes a lot of time, for one, to eat better. We have a schedule for how we work out and how we prep our bodies for an actual game. We do a lot of visualizing, closer to the date, which helps us kind of get into the groove. For a championship, I think the difference is you just get more nervous for a championship. But really, we just prepare for those games the same way we always do. The championship is just a game; you just have to play harder, if possible.

Q6: What’s your favourite thing about derby?

It’s always been the same thing. I really, really like the full contact and I love knocking people down. I don’t know, it’s just really fun to get out there, to know that you’ve earned some bruises and caused some of your own. Someday soon, YOU will be able to do that, too.

Q7: Did you do any roller skating or ice skating before you started the actual sport of roller derby?

I actually hate ice skating, which is odd. I always roller skated when I was a kid, though. I had the Playskool kind-of-plastic roller skates and I also had the white ones with the pink wheels.

Even before the league started up in Toronto, I had recently bought a new pair for myself because I wanted to get back into it, just for kicks. So yeah, I’ve always been a roller-skater and I always will be.

Q8: You have had your share of injuries as a derby girl. What have those injuries been, and how have you been able to keep playing?

I’ve had three different knee injuries. Basically, the early ones were from…well, I was stupid and wore not-great knee-pads for the first one, so that was an issue. The second one was just one of those things where you fall on it the wrong way. The third one, it was twisted.  It can happen all kinds of different ways, you never know. All I can do is try and exercise it properly and take care of it till its better. Ice it a lot, take the right supplements and just grin and bear it, try and get back in as soon as possible. It tends to get better on its own, thank goodness.


Susie Bruisie & Foxy Sinatra


Q9: What advice would you give to Junior Derby Girls about health and safety in roller derby?

For health, it’s really important – and our team has been learning about this recently – is to pay a lot of attention to nutrition, really watch that you’re taking the right amount of vitamins and carbs. Just really eating well, because that’s going to make your body a better running machine for the sport. That also ties in with safety, because the stronger you are as an athlete, the safer you’re going to play on the track. And stay low. ALWAYS stay low.

Q10: How has derby changed your life in both negative and positive ways?

Other than the injuries, which can make it hard for me to do my job, I don’t have a lot of negatives. I have met a lot of people that have become some of my best friends, which is fantastic. You just feel like a more complete person, and a stronger human being, just knowing you can do something like this.

Thanks to Ashlea for taking the time to answer my questions, and to photographer Kevin Konnyu (​ess ) for the picture of Foxy in action.


My 1st Junior Roller Derby Bout

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by torontojrd

Two Perspectives: Joan Of Argghh and Biff Break-It


Playing for her home team The Knicker Kickers of Toronto Junior Roller Derby

My first roller derby game was a really cool experience. It’s a completely different feeling when you’re playing, which I had never felt just watching and practicing. To play girls that you have never met was a real challenge. You don’t know their names, personalities, or even strategies. When we played the Mad Missfits, it was really hard because all of their players were very, very good at derby, but I also knew that we had the skills to challenge them. 

photo: Jeff Hayward

At the beginning of the game, we were behind by a few points, but then we caught up. For a bit we were ahead of them, but then they brought out one of their jammers, auti-mobile, and it got more challenging. When the other team brings out a good player, it becomes really hard, but also fun. It’s fun to see the player’s techniques, especially if you haven’t seen them train. When you first see them, you notice all of the small things, you make a first impression. You also notice all of their signature moves.

I was a pivot for the Knicker Kickers, and I had to realize that every player had different styles and strategies, which meant that for each player, I had to get our team to use their skills to block the Missfits. It was really challenging, but really fun!

Photo: Greg Russell Photography

It seems that derby girls all connect somehow, that they have some strange chemistry about them that some others don’t, and they just instantly make friends with each other. I made a bunch of friends in one day, which I have probably never done. I also learned a bunch of stuff from the other girls, like strategies and moves, but I also learned something from everybody else in the room. Pivots have to project their voice!!!! If your team can’t hear you, then it’s no use! If the crowd can hear you, then you’re doing a good job, and obviously your team can hear you, it’s just a matter of their listening skills. Every girl is different and I think that my first derby game was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.

-Joan Of ARRGH! #1337


lent to The Mad Missfits of New Hampshire for the bout

Before the bout I felt nervous but excited. It was our first bout and I was hoping that I wouldn’t mess it up. I was a little disappointed that my debut as a player involved me being on the other team. When we started I just pretended I was at a practice and that we were scrimmaging against each other.

Biff Break-It

At the start of the bout I was embarrassed because I fell while doing plough stop, but I quickly recovered and got back into game mode.  I wasn’t sure if the team I played for (the Mad Missfits) would win because we had no experience working with New Hampshire’s players. We ended up working quite well together even though we only met that day.

Photo: Jeff Hayward

After the bout I was happy, we won and it was a great experience for me to be able to meet and get to know the Mad Misfits. Overall I think this was a great chance to meet new people and learn about how they play

-Biff Break-It #14BC

A Junior Rollergirl’s Perspective by: Madzilla, Guest Blogger

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by torontojrd

Toronto Junior Roller Derby has been so much FUN! Me and many other girls and guys enjoy the sport. The guys can be referees. It teaches us  team work and patience. Personally I like it because I’ve met so many girls and guys and we’ve learned to get along together. I also just love the thrill of skating. I heard about it from my step mother Christy AKA Coach Mouth. I learned a lot from her.

Speaking of the coaches they’re all amazing! They’re nice, fun and help us with so much! I think that they are the reason all of us are having so much fun. They arrange everything and make TJRD possible. So thank you to Coach Vader, Coach R’effin, Coach T-Ref, Coach Robber, Coach Mouth, Coach Lou and of course BDI. It was BDI’s idea to have Junior Roller Derby in the first place so thanks!

Toronto Junior Roller Derby is a year-round sport except for December, which is our little break and than we start again in January. We have about 40 girls and guys all together and more are welcome! We have a scrimmage at almost every practice and soon we plan on taking on some girls from the U.S.A. If you come to any Toronto Roller Derby game there’s always some TJRD skaters there. We also hold events like car washes, garage sales and we sell 50/50 raffle tickets at ToRD games.

In all Roller Derby you get to pick out your own name and number so you’ve got to be creative! You’ll also need to get your own gear like a helmet, skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, mouth guard, etc. Toronto Junior Roller Derby practices go from 2:00-4:00 every Sunday. Our practices are full of drills and they’re all really fun! They’re hard though so be ready! The Coaches always suggest you bring lots of water to every practice you’ll need it believe me! The Coaches also give you homework to do every week don’t worry it’s easy! The Coaches send out e-mails too to keep everyone updated. It’s good because if you miss a practice then you know what happened! We just did our WFTDA test to make sure we know all the rules.

Toronto Junior Roller Derby also helps to keep you very fit and active too. It’s a good way to get exercise in every week. TJRD age limits are 9-18 because when you’re 19 you could join adult Roller Derby if you wanted too. If you do end up joining us I promise you’ll make lots of friends and meet great people! Anyone and everyone is welcome to join Toronto Junior Roller Derby. That’s what I’ve learned so far.

Madzilla #5 1/2

A cool surprise for TJRD!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by torontojrd

At the last Toronto Junior Roller Derby practice of 2010, ToRD 2010 Champions the Gore Gore Rollergirls busted in and surprised TJRD with a special, fun & exciting practice! It was an amazing way to end our very first year of junior derby in Toronto!

They ran drills!

They posed for photos!

They brought THE BOOT!

They signed autographs!

They signed autographs!

Then they signed even more autographs!

They took group photos!

It was such a wonderful experience for TJRD and from the bottom of our hearts we thank the Gore Gore Rollergirls for taking time out to surprise us with this visit to our practice.
If you’re on facebook check out this video of the day , created by the talented Miss Kitty La Peur of GGRG. A huge thank you goes to her for documenting such a special day for TJRD:

Thanks, TJRD friends!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 23, 2010 by torontojrd

TJRD Yard Sale was a huge success!!

Thank you to everyone who donated, or worked at the sale,

and to our supportive fans friends families & customers!

*special thanks to cp24 for the on-air shout-out*

TJRD skaters & refs ROCK!!! Thanks for all your hard work yesterday!!!

some cool photos taken by: Coach Lucid Lou

Toronto loves Junior Roller Derby!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2010 by torontojrd

The response to our Junior League has been phenomenal! More skaters & refs with each passing week, and parents emailing every day to find out more info.

We’re successful in numbers but more importantly the group that we have is amazing, these junior skaters & refs are so dedicated and are working so hard. We just couldn’t ask for more, they come to practice ready to kick-butt, they do their homework assignments, and they’ve even been recruiting their friends to TJRD. They’ve got the true spirit of roller derby in them!

Flat Track Roller Derby for Girls 9-18

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2010 by torontojrd

TJRD is now recruiting!