My first volunteer role at a SRDL was also my first ever live game of Roller Derby – I was penalty tracker, which meant I got to sit on the sidelines (‘suicide seats’) with a clipboard while Refs screamed the numbers of penalised players at me. It was very confusing, took me ages to work out ’10&10′ was a skater’s number – not that number ’10’ had copped two minors, and gave me an amazing chance to get up close to the game.
For my second go as a Vollie I offered to go a bit more back-of-house, a tiny smidgen undercover, and volunteered to be on the door. Upon arrival I saw a mass of girls all standing next to two empty tables and was hit with the question: ‘Will you handle money?’ Ah ha – currency shyness! I’ve handled my fair share and so didn’t have a problem saying yes. I very quickly realised, though, that this was a bigger job than I thought. Roller Derby makes good business sense, I realised as I collected money and stamped wrists. And there will always be the politics of dealing with committee-based organisation.
In my usual fashion I kinda took over, did all the little jobs I saw that needed doing, used my initative and scared the hell out of some less boucy people. Customer service is all about the smile, and there’s not that much difference between collecting glasses in a packed nightclub and wrangling people in and out of a roller derby bout.
The day went of wonderfully, the new venue was amazing, and the Screaming Assault Sirens stomped all over the CBD’viants. It really hit home to me that Roller Derby really is a sport when I looked up from my table to see a guy in shorts and a singlet, eating a pie with sauce and drinking beer out of a can!