Dolly of the month – Chads
Congratulations on being our Dolly of the month – how do you feel about this amazing accolade?
I feel very honoured and slightly famous now, thank you!
You recently transitioned from playing roller derby to being a referee, what has that been like?
It’s been quite smooth actually. I had given reffing a go after suffering an injury and wanted to do anything to get back on skates. Turned out that I quite enjoyed it! So I’ve always known that once the time came to hang up my arm bands, I would focus solely on refereeing.
What are your goals now that you are reffing?
I have a few! This year, I’d like referee as many scrims and games as humanly possible. Next year, I will work towards WFTDA certification and after that, I may look at applying for overseas games. One thing I definitely want to do is go back to Rollercon as a referee. I went over in 2015 and had the best time. But for now, I’m on a mission to help build the best officials team in the entire land for LDRR!
You are also the Head of Officials at LDRR, what does this mean?
To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it all out! 🤣 But what I do know is that I help organise and source officials for all of our scrims and games. I say ‘I’, what I mean is ‘we’. I’m very fortunate to have a group of league members who are super supportive and have helped me immensely since becoming HOO. You know who you are! We try to support the coaching team when it comes to explaining gameplay and rules for our newer skaters. We also want to assist other league members in becoming competent in at least 2 NSO roles and are on hand to help develop further roles within Team Officials, if they so desire. I also encourage league members to spread their wings and volunteer for games outside of the league.
What is it that drew you to roller derby in the first place?
Photography! I heard about roller derby through an old work pal who had invited me to a game via Facebook. I was totally into photography at the time and thought it would be an exciting event to go and photograph. I didn’t actually take many shots though as I was so engrossed (and somewhat perplexed) by what was happening in front of me! Needless to say, I haven’t done much photography since
What advice would you give to someone thinking of refereeing?
I’m still the one asking for advice! So I would say that, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Referees tend to be very happy and excited to talk about refereeing!
When you are not being a referee superhero what do you get up to?
For work, I have been employed by Royal Mail for 22 years in Sept! Outside of that and roller derby, I have an 11 year old Jack Russell, Milly and love going on adventures with her and Sarah. Milly has given me countless scares in her time but she certainly supplies content for a story to tell! And most recently, we have just become aunties to a cute little boy. Very excited for future adventures with him.
Had you ever done sports before you took up roller derby, if so what did you do?
Yes, main ones were football, javelin, hockey and rounders. I tried my hand at a heap of others too!
Who is your referee inspiration?
Too many to mention but the first time I had the thought of ‘I want to be as good as them’ was watching Orla Skew
If you can tell someone new to roller derby just 3 things – what would they be?
Just 3? I’m going with 4!
1) Try on skates before buying!
2) Everyone progresses at a different rate so don’t beat yourself up
3) Strap in, it’s gonna be a hullava ride
4) You now have a very large extended family!
Tell us an amusing story from your skating days!
On my second session of Newbies, Foxy was assisting me on how to skate. I was terrified of picking my wheels off the ground so she was trying to convince me that I would’t die! We were chopsing in general, pootling around the track and she said something about her wife (can’t remember what). I thought, ooh, it’s refreshing that she’s so open and I just blurted out that I had a wife too! (I actually did at the time!) She looked at me very confused and just said ‘that’s nice!’ I thought shit, did I not hear her right? She then proceeded to explain the whole roller derby wife thing and I felt very silly!
What is your most favourite roller derby moment so far?
After losing to Nottingham Roller Girls in absolute nail biters for 2 seasons straight, we finally took the win at the third attempt! There’s a photograph of us all that captured the moment when the final score came up, priceless.
Well thank you for answering our questions and working so hard at making our officials team so amazing. We look forward to seeing you flurish as a badass referee!!