Tui Lyon is the captain of the Victoria Roller Derby League All Stars and will be on the team that represents Australia at the Roller Derby World Cup. Her moto: Hit hard, train harder.
How did you first get involved with the Roller Derby?
I found out about Roller Derby online when I was added on MySpace by an Australian roller derby league, now dissolved. Instantly I thought it looked amazing but noticed that there was nothing going on in Melbourne at the time so dismissed it. About a year later I had lunch with some friends and they declared that they had found the most perfect hobby for me and I MUST give it a try. They had just been to see the Victorian Roller Derby League’s first bout the night before. As soon as I finished lunch I ran home and looked up the details online. I was at my first practice the following week!
What is the greatest personal achievement you’ve had in your derby career?
Roller derby has given me a lot to be proud of as it does most women. This season has been a huge string of highlights and firsts for my derby career. The team I captain the VRDL All Stars made it to the WFTDA Championships, we are one of only 2 teams not from North America to ever do so and I was incredibly proud to say we were the first non-American team to ever win a game at Championships.
I will also be representing Australia in a few weeks at the Roller Derby World Cup as part of the Women’s Roller Derby Team Australia so it’s been a year of ticking boxes on an international scale, and although these achievements are quite fresh I am sure they will go down as some of my most memorable!
Why is derby such a great sport for women?
I think derby is unique and amazing because it encourages women to be strong. So many women that get involved in derby have never been empowered to be really physically commanding and roller derby is an incredible platform for this. Time and time again I see women dramatically change due to the way this influences their life, at first gaining confidence with the physicality of the sport then this confidence floods into their being and I see loads of woman having the confidence to make serious life changes that perhaps they didn’t have the strength to before. It’s an incredible transformation to watch and I see it time and time again as a direct result of women’s involvement with roller derby.
Top tips for anyone wanting get involved?
Just do it!
Look up and see if there is a team in your local area and organize a time to go and watch a practice or just strap on a pair of skates. All leagues will welcome both men and women in a skating and non skating capacity! Lots of people that have no intention of skating are also very valued by the leagues as officials and coaches.
Photo credit: here