After a three-year hiatus, Madison Roller Derby is back. We chatted with Amy “Scary Fisher” Wasney about what roller derby means to her, common misconceptions, and how Madisonians can get involved on and off the rink.
Q: How did you get introduced to roller derby?
A: A friend let me know my local team was hosting a “boot camp” so we went together to see what it was all about. In that first lesson, all those people I had thought were intimidating were actually the nicest, most supportive folks I’d ever met. I was instantly hooked.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you have for someone interested in getting involved in the roller derby world?
A: Roller derby is the most welcoming and inclusive community I’ve ever seen. Regardless of where you are in life, your level of athleticism, your race, gender, or sexuality— there’s room for everyone. Don’t know how to skate? We’ll teach you. Don’t want to skate? There are other ways to be involved. Want to skate but don’t want to play a contact sport? We’re happy to have you. Don’t let preconceived notions scare you away. Everyone is welcome.
Q: How can Madisonians get involved in roller derby, whether it be participating or observing?
A: This season’s bouts kick off this weekend. Come by to watch us on 12/10, 1/21, and 2/11 at Keva Sports Center. If you’d like to get more involved, feel free to email us.
Q: You currently practice at Fast Forward, are there plans to move to a space of your own?
A: Unfortunately, Fast Forward Skate Center is shutting down this spring, so we are on the hunt for a new space. Using the campaign #hometohangourskates we have several fundraising campaigns as well as a search team for potential spaces. We are all hands on deck to find a place to call our very own.
Q: From the WFTDA website:
“There are a few leagues whose skaters are starting to skate under their legal names. Since roller derby is a growing sport, using real names may encourage the public to take the sport more seriously.”
Where do you stand on the use of real names vs. alter ego names, do you think either one takes or adds any validity to the sport?
A: This is a very “to each their own” topic. Personally, I love using my alter ego name. Skating as Scary Fisher, I feel fearless and tough, like I can do anything. Plus, some of the puns and plays on words people come up with for their names are amazing. However, I don’t fault anyone for wanting to use their real name. They are taking that skate track and making it fully their own and I absolutely respect that. Just because other sports use only their real names does not mean we can’t also be taken seriously as a sport because we choose to do it differently.
Q: How would you describe Madison Roller Derby in 5 words or less?
A: Fun, supportive, healthy, family, incredible.
Q: Are there any misconceptions about roller derby you often face?
A: Whenever I tell someone I play roller derby, the first thing they ask is if we elbow each other in the face. They’ve seen the old style of roller derby on TV that had staged fights and bloody noses. While it’s still a full-contact sport and I have plenty of bruises I wear like badges of honor, there are also rules and safety precautions in place. It’s a real sport, it’s not just people throwing punches on a roller rink.
Q: How can we stay connected with Madison Roller Derby?
A: Find us on Facebook and Instagram, and madisonrollerderby.org is our website. There’s also a YouTube channel where you can watch many of our past bouts.