Jen of Iniquity is something of a secret weapon for Mansfield Roller Derby. She’s quiet, gentle and has a love for sewing and generally gives off the air of someone who would sooner be rescuing kittens from trees than hitting people for fun.
But, much like the Slow Loris, the cute exterior is hiding a darker, more dangerous secret… And that is that Jen is pretty freakin’ awesome at roller derby.
Since joining us last year Jen has already fast tracked herself onto the travel team jammer roster, and recently joined us in our first British Roller Derby Championships game against Hallam Hellcats Roller Derby. Jen has become a nippy jammer, able to squirm her way through the smallest gap and shoot out the other side. One thing that is agreed on throughout the team is that Jen is one of the fastest growing skaters in terms of skill and confidence. She takes each and every piece of advice and puts it straight into her skating ability. It is this dedication and drive that we adore within our league, and it is one of the many reasons she has taken her place within the travel team.
Here’s what Jen has to say about her experiences with roller derby.
My derby name is Jen of Iniquity, I love a pun and am too easily confused to respond to anything that doesn't shorten to my own name. The name was thought up way before I got round to learning to skate, so I was glad it finally made it onto a t-shirt. My number is 117, I probably should have made it something significant.
Which position do you play?
I play as a jammer or blocker, I enjoy both roles, I find them equally challenging but in totally different ways. I try to avoid being the pivot though, one day I will remember about star passes but I can't see it happening any time soon.
When did you join Mansfield Roller Derby?
I joined Mansfield Roller Derby when my local team collapsed due to lack of numbers, causing a huge panic. Luckily we had met Mansfield before and knew that they were welcoming and friendly, and they didn't seem to mind taking us in. I'm so glad we joined them, it's a lovely team and I think the balance between dedication and fun is just right. Roller derby tends to take over your life so it's important to enjoy it.
Who are your derby heroes?
My favourite player is Varla Vendetta, who just looks like the happiest person on any track. I also love watching Sandrine Rangeon, Loren Mutch and any other nippy jammers. Blocking heroes are generally whoever I watched last, they all seem to have eyes in the back of their heads.
I hadn't done much sport except hockey and gymnastics when I was young. I thought exercise was a chore until I started playing roller derby, now I even quite enjoy running. It makes a difference having a reason to get fit.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting involved in Roller Derby?
Do it! Do it now! I am mega shy so it took me far too long to have a go but there is no sport friendlier or more accepting. Putting it off just means missing out on loads of lovely derby time.