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SKATER OF THE MONTH MARCH: Vera #2

pic: Miika Karttunen. www.lightpictures.fi

Vera, who plays for HRD’s home team Saturday Fight Fever and travel team Queen B’s, is a mother of two, a manic origami artist and a comic- and bookophile who hoards documentary films and has a love-hate relationship with planks.

Vera experienced her roller derby wake up call in late autumn 2009. She ended up watching Helsinki Roller Derby’s practice with a friend and was impressed by the speed, physicality and woman power of the sport. After years of joyless and lonely workout, spinning, yoga and running the sisterly do-it-yourself mentality of the new team sport appealed to the old feminist. She had to join in.

Her derby career was almost cut short when her third practice ended with an ambulance ride. Falling due to inadequate stopping skills broke Vera’s hip and nailed her to her sofa for a few months. Soon after her recovery she also experienced the more traditional 9-month injury, which kept Vera out of the game for nearly a year.

The derby fever never went away regardless of the break, and now Vera has returned to the track and enjoys skating fully. Now that the physical basics of the game – yes, that includes stopping – are no longer an issue Vera finds her biggest challenges in strategy. Hidden under the speed and hits are a keen eye for gameplay and game plans that require brains and patience.

As her skater role model Vera mentions Estrogeena Davis, the pioneer of Finnish roller derby who recently returned back to USA after letting Vera and other HRD players hatch out from under her skirt. Another personal inspiration is her teammate and referee KC Knucklebone who impressed Vera by recovering from two serious injuries well enough to skate in the world cup. Out of foreign skaters the most inspiring for Vera is Bonnie D. Stroir’s light, wisdom and strength.

Vera’s skating song: ”Leila K’s Electric sets the frequencies right.”

Vera is zen. Cool as a cucumber. Nothing can break Vera’s concentration and calmness on the track. There’s a woman who enjoys roller derby with her every cell. You just have to admire that. – KC Knucklebone

(translation: Kristina Bruises)

This post is also available in: Finnish

About HRD

Helsinki Roller Derby is the oldest roller derby league in Finland - hitting, blocking and skating since 2009.

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