How did you get into derby?
I always thought it looked cool, but figured players had been skating most of their lives. I never seriously considered trying to play as I had only skated at birthday parties and field trips when I was young. Then, I moved to Marietta, OH, and met some players from Hades Ladies (Hell’s Orchard Roller Derby) who informed me they had no skating experience prior to joining. I tried out some of their boot camps and went to some of their practices and thought it was great. I was gifted skates and gear as my 30th birthday present ❤️. Soon after that, I moved to Columbus for a job. I went to a couple OHRD WannaBe Clinics, then joined OH!RL Rec League. Tried out in the fall of 2016 for OHRD and here I am. This will be the start of my second year.
What is the story behind your derby name?
Most of my life I’ve been called by my last name in sports. Was looking for a way to play on that. My number choice was also a play on a Jay-Z song and my name – “you got 99 problems and a Birch is 1.”
What is your favorite position to play on the track?
Any honors you have received while being with OHRD?
The 2017 Vagichael Jackson award for “Best Rookie Name.”
What are some goals you have for this season?
To be more consistent with my gameplay and have more control and speed on my skates in a way that benefits my team.
Do you have any hobbies?
Traveling, trying new foods, cooking, art-making, spending time with those I love, being outside, sand volleyball, biking, reading.
Do you have any jobs with OHRD? If so, what are they?
Helping with Equity and Inclusion as well as Recognition and Orientation of new members.
What has been your favorite memory so far while playing with OHRD?
The second to last home bout in 2017 was, I felt, one of the bouts that I performed the strongest in, as a jammer.
In general, I’m very thankful for the rookie class that I began with and became friends with over this past year, as well as other positive and supportive people I have met through derby.
Is there any derby gear that you can’t live without?
All of it.
What is your favorite color?
Lastly, what is some advice for those that are interested in skating or trying out?
Try it out. It’s a challenge both mentally and physically, but it’s worth it. You never know what you’re capable of unless you try. ❤️
Interview by Higgs Bosom
Photos by Ralph Zink