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Introducing Swish Cariboom

We have been working with our friends over at DerbyFest to sponsor an Australian coach as part of the event. It was recently announced that VRDL’s Swish Cariboom would be filling these shoes, and we are pretty excited! As one of our favourite jammers right now, we can’t wait to learn some of her secrets. Off the back of her recent US trip we posed some questions to Swish so we can all get to know her a little better in the lead up to her classes in January. 

How does it feel to be a part of a team that is top 5 in the world?

Surreal, and so, so impressive. The number 5 itself means little to me since rankings and reality are strange bedfellows, but it’s a pretty damn fine fist bump to years of work. I realised a little while ago that from our first TGSS win in 2010 there’s only 3 original skaters left on the charter, never mind the changes we’ve seen since last year. That we’ve been on this trajectory for so long regardless is a testament to the longevity and sustainability that we dedicate to our team and league, and frankly it’s a lovely attitude to have towards this sport.

What is your proudest achievement this year as a player?

I’ve overcome some grossly negative mental barriers this year, something that was never an issue for me before. It’s a massive and painful hurdle to get over. It was only in June that I had a game where I finally found that zen and calm again, it was rewarding as all hell and not something I could have done without the support of my team.

Who are the hardest team you have had to play?

Training and scrimmaging against the VRDL All Stars is way more difficult than playing even top tier teams, probably because we’re just so familiar. Even if we take a pounding it’s easier when we take it together and aren’t lashing it out on each other. That being said, Angel City gave me a jolly good run for my moolah.

How are you preparing for your next trip to Divisionals?

Physically I’m just getting back into training after a wee break. I’m back on my bike a lot for endurance, but otherwise just getting my skate back on, nothing too hardcore planned. To be perhaps unfortunately honest, the financial and logistical preparation is more of a priority right now.

Who are some of your favourite skaters at the moment?

I’ll be that guy who admits to not being a huge footage viewer, most of what I know of other teams and skaters comes from either playing them myself or fellow coaches regaling their wisdom at training. That being said, my captains Calamity Maim and Tui Lyon are two of my favourite skaters and overall human beings that I know, so them!

As Captain of the VRDL All Stars last year, what kind of leadership style did you have?

When I was captain last year, I saw myself as more of a facilitator and administrator than a leader. I consider ownership over a team by every member to be incredibly important. I think (hope) I helped instil this and just used ‘leadership’ to drive and shape what the team was already wanting to do by itself.

Any advice for other captains out there?

We’ve been doing this for a while now, but I highly recommend establishing a leadership group of sorts. For us, this includes the captains, bench and 3-4 skaters voted in by the team. Affectionately known as the CLAG (Charter Leadership Group), it’s out of control how handy it is to have a reliable sounding board for all your decisions. Ultimately you make the call, but harder moves can be confidently made because that trust is there.

What do you think is the biggest priority for Roller Derby in Australia at the moment?

Finding a way to deal with our isolation from the rest of the WFTDA world so more teams can join the competitive party without going bankrupt in the process. I know this is already being discussed and there are some interesting proposals out there, so I’ll be keeping an ear out on that one. My thinking is that with more recognition on an international level, funding and resources will be more readily available even for leagues that have no interest in joining WFTDA competitively.

What kinds of things can people expect to learn at your Derby Fest sessions?

I’m all about playing smarter, not harder, so expect efficiency. I only jam with the All Stars and I think too often jamming is seen as an individual endeavour. I signed up for a team sport and make a point of using my offence and team mates so I can feel that unison and camaraderie that you see in the pack between blockers. I love knowing without having to think where and how my blockers will move and I love that I can make strategic calls as a jammer that my pack will understand and back me on.

Thanks to Roaringstorm Photography for the picture, for more click here

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