This time skater of the month is our dear apostle of love Ani! She got her first touch of derby through her husband, HRD’s well known and dedicated supporter Johannes. He showed her some roller derby bouts in Youtube and soon the whole family found itself cheering for Team Finland in Finland vs. Sweden game. Right from the first jam start whistle Ani knew that roller derby would be her sport, and since 2011 she has been a proud member of HRD. In the last home team bout Ani was co-captain of Saturday Fight Fever and she has been playing with Queen B’s and brand new C-cassette too.
Being a part of a sport, that is still taking it’s shape is one thing Ani loves about roller derby. “Going all out suits my nature, and I get to push myself to the strategic and physical limits in every practice and game.” At the moment Ani has set her goal to be more dependable player and to train without bigger accidents. Her skating career paused for 9 months after a car accident, but she came back extremely motivated. Ani’s goal is to be stronger, faster and more agile player. Outside the track and she goes to gym and water running. And let’s not forget the fact that she lives in Hämeenlinna and has to drive almost 2400 km each month just for the practice – that’s pure dedication! Ani is also a member of HRD’s board for the third season in a row and is one of the league mediators.
When asking about her derby idols, Ani names two: fellow skater from HRD and one of the coaches of Team Finland Suvi Hokkari (currently living in Ireland) and former HRD All-Stars skater and now a proud member of London Rollergirls, Lorrae Evans. Suvi is the first athlete she has ever admired. “Suvi is a brave, dedicated and strong player, and as a coach she is one of her kind.” , Ani says. Also Suvi’s resilience amid difficult injuries is speaking to Ani. Lorrae has become an idol for Ani because of her determined and dedicated work that made her to fulfil her dream and became a player for LRG All-stars.
The most unforgettable derby moment was in January in Queen B’s vs. Oulu’s Shitty City Rollers game. It was Ani’s first bout after the car accident and it made her feel relieved, and just pure joy for being on the track again. Also Track Queens that was held in Berlin 2012 is still in clear memory. That’s where Ani was bursting with pride when her teammates were playing in their first WFTDA tournament. Before bouts Ani hypes up with Gloria Gaynor’s song “I am what I am” and after that she’s pure energy!
Ani is positive, indomitable team player and full of good spirit. She plays straight from her heart and enjoys every moment. – Suvi Hokkari
This post is also available in: Finnish