With All-Star Season in full swing, and some amazing WFTDA competition flying into the Pacific NW this month from both coasts to play Rat City, we wanted to sit down with our very own Rain of Terror veteran skater, Foxy Throwdown (skating under her real name, Maeleeke Lavan) to get her perspective. The All-Star program, which includes the WFTDA ranked All-Star Team & Rain of Terror B-Team, is comprised of 34 members. Only 14 plus two alternates can be rostered for any bout, which means that athletes are challenged by their own program members to make either roster.
How long have you been on the league, and how long have you been on RoT?
I am completing my 6th season with Rat City and my third season on Rain of Terror.
What is Rain of Terror, and how is it structured as part of the All-Star Program?
RoT is comprised the same way the All-Star team is, yet in a junior varsity or B-Team type capacity. The women of RoT want a higher level of play than their home teams provide and ultimately have the goal of being moved up to the All-Star team to compete and represent Rat City at international level competition. We train with the All-Star team to make for a more seamless transition, so that we are playing the same strategy. It all ultimately helps promote camaraderie among the league.
How do you train?
This past winter I participated in Rat City’s strength training program, where skaters wanting to be part of the All-Star Program (AST and RoT) worked on speed, agility, weight lifting, and endurance training customized specifically for the roller derby athlete. I also love Bikrim yoga and regularly work with a physical therapist to maintain and improve my overall mobility, strength, general health, and to prevent re-occurrence of past injuries. Oh, and then there’s all the skating that I do! I attend a minimum of three on-skates practices a week.
How does Rain of Terror gel as a team after the home team season?
Because we normally skate against each other, once All-Star season starts, a lot of us gel by simply hanging out. We’ve spent a whole season beating up on each other and now we have to be friends; so partnering together in drills, carpooling, grabbing food before or after practice are ways we begin to bond. It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s something that we really don’t do during the home team season.
Do you play a different position or location on the track with RoT?
I most frequently play the inside line but am working on getting back to the second blocker spot and would really like to work into the third blocker position on RoT this season.
What are some of the most challenging bouts you have played this season?
The bout against the VRDL was hands down our most challenging game this season. Our All-Stars traveled to Australia 2 years ago to mentor this league and it worked! The Victorian league brought an extremely hard hitting, fast paced, very controlled game. They were able to adjust to our strategy quickly and ran away with the game. We learned a lot from playing such a great up-and-coming (or perhaps they’ve truly arrived) All-Star team. Those types of games are always the best experience. There’s nothing like getting your ass handed to you to fuel your fire to become a more dominant, cohesive team. I think the games we’ve played since then have proven that we are only continuing to grow, develop and mold as a team and as individual skaters.