Remembering a Rat City alum - Anayalator (sup?!)

One month ago, Rat City Roller Derby lost a ray of sunshine.

Jennifer “Anayalator (sup?!)” Rocha ended her battle with cancer–on Dec. 23, 2023–at home surrounded by her wife, sister, family, dogs, and more loved ones than you can count.

Though her final days were filled with sorrow, they were equally filled with the laughter, love, stories, food and community who loved her and would show up for her until the end.

Jennifer’s life was filled with so much adventure and joy and much of that time included time spent as a volunteer for women’s roller derby.

Anayalator joined Rat City Roller Derby (formerly Rat City Rollergirls) in 2012. She coached Grave Danger and the All-Star Program (ASP) until the California sunshine called her back in 2014.

Anayalator in a red dress wearing a medal and holding a trophyPhoto Credit: Danny Ngan Photography

During her tenure, Anaya used her knowledge of roller derby and in-depth awareness of 
rules and strategy to co-coach the All-Stars to 3rd place at the 2013 WFTDA Playoffs in Salem, OR. She also coached Team Legit, helping lead them to a 1st place win at Battle on the Bank IV in 2011.

Image of Anayalator wearing a necklace that says "SUP!?" facing a referee crew Photo Credit: Danny Ngan Photography

Her compassion, desire for equality, doing what’s right and inclusivity shone brightly. She was equal parts compassionate competitor, champion and shoulder to anyone who needed it. Her mark on Rat City, its skaters, staff and even extended family still resonates today.

Image of Anayalator in a purple jersey and white Hello Kitty glasses watching the banked track with roller derby skaters in the backgroundPhoto Credit: Danny Ngan Photography

We were all lucky to have the time we did with her smile, her laugh, and her hugs. A whole lifetime wouldn’t have been enough.There are many ways to honor Jennifer’s memory:

  • Be a kid, no matter how old you are
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve
  • Take that road trip
  • Sleep out under the stars
  • Stay up to watch the sunrise
  • Buy those concert tickets
  • Listen to every version of that Taylor Swift album on vinyl
  • Send a postcard
  • Recycle and compost
  • Volunteer for inclusive sports
  • Shop as locally and ethically as you can
  • Wear that jumpsuit
  • Commission that art
  • Upgrade to the club seats
  • Accessorize in yellow
  • Cheer passionately
  • Nap anywhere
  • Get that oat milk cortado
  • Go on a burger adventure
  • Invest in your local community
  • Be generous with your love
  • Explore your outdoor spaces
  • Have sleepovers.
  • Build LEGOs
  • Play Mexican Train and argue over whose turn it is
  • Enjoy some ice cream
  • Put on fun socks
  • Hit that piñata
  • Try lemon olive oil on your pizza
  • Jump in that bounce house
  • Make that friendship bracelet.
  • Get the good stuff
  • Do the dishes at a friend’s party
  • Blow bubbles
  • Meet friends at Disney
  • Watch animation
  • Root for the Dodgers, for the Kings, for the Angel City Football Club
  • Live as passionately as you can
Jennifer’s celebration of life is scheduled for March 30, 2024.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to help host an absolute banger of an after party for Jennifer and her community.  For information about the event and/or donations, please contact Foxy Throwdown (@probably_definitely_not, [email protected])