Jessica Hawke

Audio transcript

The beauty of derby for me is that it’s accessible to every woman. There’s no limits. When I started, I thought there’s no way I can do that. Those girls are special—they are athletic, they are talented and they are driven. I can’t be like that. There’s no way. They are special women who play in roller derby. But the truth is that if you want to play derby you can be a derby player and I don’t think that’s true of a lot of other things in life that make you look, I don’t want to say like a celebrity, but it makes me feel like a superhero. And I think that’s true for a lot of women and it attracts women who are athletic already yes but a lot of what the appeal is for women who, like me, never were athletic and never could even conceptualize themselves as being an athletic, strong physical woman. It’s like a 180 in my thoughts. I never would have seen myself like this. 10 years ago, I never would have said, ‘yeah I can strap on skates and knock people around; yeah, I’m tough; yeah I’m strong, I can skate a mile in 5 minutes.’ But now I do it every week, do it every week and it’s so different, it’s so amazing. And it’s made me bolder as a person, I am bolder. I have friends which I never really had before; just automatic friends. They are just people I never would have met ever; there’s no reason I would have met them. We are in totally different social circles, totally different economic circles, totally different backgrounds but we’ve all come together for this sport – this ridiculous, utterly absurd sport.

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