Featured Skater of the Month- Jelly Mean

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Featured Skater of the Month- Jelly Mean

Skate Name & Number:    Jelly Mean  #707          
Years Skating:   On and off for about 25 years        
Years Involved in Roller Derby:  4      
When Did you get involved in Roller Derby: I originally joined a local skate fitness class as a way of getting back on  skates, I didn't realise at the time that it was on quads so was a bit reluctant to do it when I turned up but they convinced me in the end. Soon after that, the coach told me about Roller Derby- she had skated previously and helped set up some of the more estabished leagues over here today. I didnt really know what it was all about but she recommended CCR and I've been there ever since.          
Can you remember the first game you watched? Not well, I saw 2 bouts in quick succession and remember that one of them was against Auld Reekie Rollergirls and the other against Linconshire Bombers Roller Girls- I can never remember if they were A or B games or which order they came in. I didn't really know what Roller Derby was so it was all very confusing- I just knew I wanted to do it!
What League/s are you currently part of: Central City Roller Girls
How did you come to choose your derby name?  I really struggled finding a name, everything I thought of was either already taken on TwoEvils or was too similar to someone else on the team. Eventually, after skating one night I over heard a conversation about someone making a jellyfish outfit for a fancy dress party, I got in my car to go home and was snacking on some jelly beans when it just popped into my head. The number was just picked at random.      
How would you describe your skating style? Like an inline skater, despite my best efforts I still am happiest when I am going at speed which isn't always ideal for derby. I think my style has changed a lot over the years- I am pretty agile on my feet and like practicing footwork drills to improve it.
What is your position of choice? Blocker, I quite like playing sneaky offence when it is least expected
Tell us about your kit- what is your current set up?
Working at Skatehut means I get to try out loads of kit so I have 'practice' equipment but always go back to a certain set up for bout days.
Skates:
Crazy Skates DBX3 DNA Custom Boot- Not only does this look awesome but the custom sizing means it fits my feet perfectly, I switched to the DBX3 from the DBX4 as I wanted to see what difference a higher ankle would make and I think it has given me a lot more control over my sharp lateral movements.
Crazy Venus plate- I have the kingpin upgrade for the weight reduction and the agility cushions. I love the range of movement in this plate I get a really good push but a lot more mobility than I've had previously.
Wheels:Heartless Breaker 94a Wheels-No matter how many sets of wheels I try, on bout day I still prefer these, they are nice and narrow and I get a good mix of grip and slide from them
Toe Stops-For blocking I prefer a big flat surface so use Big Blocs, for jamming I like Crazy Bounce or Riedell Moonwalkers
Protection:
CCM Vector 04 Hockey Helmet with Fischer Visor- I've seen too many concussions and been hit in the face too often to consider anything else!
Triple 8 Roller Derby Wristguards- I have an old wrist injury from skating so I like the pull on style of these and the wider palm splint
187 Pro Derby Knee Pads-These dont suit everyone but they work really well for me
187 Killer Elbows- These are really old but I still love them!
I use a custom fitted mouthguard from the dentist but had always had a Sisu prior to that
What is on your 'most wanted' kit list at the moment?
I'm about to test out the new TSG Roller Derby 2.0 knee pads this month and then Deadbolt Grand Slams in May, I am a fan of both brands so it will be interesting to see how these will feel. My helmet is going to be upgraded, probably to a new Bauer or CCM model when they arrive with the new season, I prefer these as they have a rounded back rather than a more angular shape that you find with some Easton or Reebok helmets. At the moment I am sorting out a new Skate Park set up which will be a DBX4 boot but I haven't picked which plates I want yet, I need some grind blocks so maybe a Sure-grip Avanti.
How do you prepare for a bout? With food!That is no joke either, my priority is to eat right before I play so I am not over tired or too full. After that then I like to practice my footwork on track so that I get a good feel for my edges.
What kind of off skates training do you do? It varies, I am lucky that our team work with a Strength and Conditioning coach who is really good, I like to add in gym sessions to work on specific things and then run or cycle (but only if it is warm- I hate cold weather) I picked up an injury last season so much of my training has been around recovery and prevention.
Has Roller Derby changed your life? If so, how? Without a doubt, I got my job here at Skate Hut as a result of playing derby, I am fitter, stronger and more confident plus I've travelled and met a lot of cool people. It's probably the best thing I've ever done.
What is your proudest roller derby moment? I think they get superceded on a regular basis as things naturally progress- my most memorable moment was at Track Queens, I'd only been skating a year and our team had a hard time but it blew my mind to see what the level of competition was like elsewhere in mainland Europe
Who are your derby heroes?
There are a whole bunch of skaters I admire, and for different reasons too. I was in awe the first time I saw Mr. Furieux play at the first Men's Euros, Like most people I idolise pretty much everyone at LRG- especially the way they work together. I could reel of a whole list of names that would be popular with eveyone (like all of Team USA) but there are others that I think are worth a mention- Dark Matter, El Pibe,Tink, Bloxie Blackout,Curly Haar, Demanda Riot,  
Do you have any upcoming bouts that you’re really excited for and why? CCR have a busy year planned balancing British champs and our WFTDA sanctioned bouts here and overseas- I look forward to them all.
Other than playing are there any other ways that you involve yourself in Roller Derby?
My job :) I am responsible for the Roller Derby and Skating divisions here at Skate Hut
What are your thoughts on Roller Derby as a sport “past, present, future”?
Derby has already changed so much from when I first started and I still think of myself as new to the sport. I remember the era of fishnets, shorts and minor penalties and now see it becoming increasingly more competitive, demanding and athletic. The sport is moving forward at a rapid pace and I think it is important to remember how far it has come and how much it is shaped by the skaters themselves.
Is Roller Derby the only form of skating you do? If no what else do you do on skates.
I've done all sorts of skating over the years from ice to inline. I still dable in them and I'd like to do a bit more
Any goals for the future? Outside of derby, I'd like to give speed skating a go and spend more time at the Skate park. Derby wise my goals are aligned with my team and include lots of personal skills to work on. I'd like to see us take on the USA soon.
Anything else you would like to share? My job here at Skate Hut is to talk to people about  derby so if I can be of help to anyone then get in touch!
Photo Credit: Phil Seymour
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