Featured Skater – Irish DeMEANor
#26 - Seaway Sirens
Derby Name: Irish DeMEANor
Team: Seaway Sirens
Where do you work?
Family and Children’s Services Niagara.
How does your job affect your derby career?
My job helps me pay my dues and purchase my gear, and for that I am grateful. I also feel that derby helps me to manage my work-related stress.
What are your hobbies outside of derby?
I don’t have time for very may hobbies outside of derby. But before derby I used to do a lot of animal rescue/fostering work. My furbabies are all rescues and I like to spend as much time with them as I can.
How do your outside skills/hobbys affect your derby career?
My furbabies hate derby.
What is your derby name? What’s the story behind it?
My derby name is Irish DeMEANor. I am of Irish descent and I can get a little bit feisty and competitive when playing sports…so it just made sense I guess.
Why roller derby?
My younger sister started playing derby a couple years before me, in the Barrie area. My partner (Dylan) and I went to Guelph to watch her very first bout out of town and I was immediately hooked. I found the sport very exciting and intense and I became a super-fan right away. About a year later I saw an advertisement for a new derby league starting in Niagara while shopping at a health-food store. As soon as I got home I sent them an email and I have never looked back.
Growing up, I was always involved in various team sports; with ringette and hockey being the ones I enjoyed most (I love to skate!). After university and starting a career I missed that part of my life and derby seemed to rear its beautiful face right when I needed it most. I am in love with this sport and the incredible community that comes along with it.
What would you be doing right now if you weren’t involved with derby?
This is a difficult question to answer because I almost forget what life without derby is actually like.
What’s your favorite part of the derby experience?
The fact that nothing else matters once my skates are on, the competition, the intensity, the amazing friendships that I have made through this sport, the drive to always improve and learn new skills, the enthusiasm among fans, volunteers and skaters to collaborate and keep this awesome machine running.
What position do you play?
I dabble in both Jammer and Pivot positions.
How do you hone your Derby Skills?
I clock-in at practice, and I don’t miss very many practices. I also attend or watch a lot of higher-level bouts online and attend training camps when possible. Lately I’ve stepped up my game and have been doing some cross-training outside of practice time to increase strength and endurance.
What’s your favorite pre-practice meal or snack?
ALL THE BANANAS! I tend to eat bigger meals after practice, which probably isn’t a good thing.
Who is your Biggest Fan(s)?
Definitely my partner, Dylan. He watches every single game and creates his own awesome cheer section for the Sirens and I. His ongoing support means so much.
Who is your Hero?
What is your favorite thing about roller derby?
I may have answered this earlier somewhat, but I absolutely love the constant challenge and the push out of the comfort zone that derby always brings…It is a full contact sport on freaking roller skates!!! How can someone not love EVERYTHING about it??!!
Most Memorable Derby Moment?
WHEN THE SIRENS WON THE 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sleep in, eat a healthy breakfast/lunch, hydrate and breathe throughout the day and ignore the rest of the world until bout time. I’ll tell you that much but the rest is confidential 😉
What’s your Athletic Background?
Hockey, ringette, and a little bit of basketball and volleyball. I prefer team sports over anything else.
Advice to Someone Interested in Playing?
Stop thinking about it, get off the fence and just DO IT!!!!!! It will change your life. Roller derby is changing the world, get on the train.
Who do you want to give a SHOUT-OUT to?
My sister, Lee, a.k.a. Debee Lee Downer, who was my derby inspiration from the beginning!
Also, the entire Seaway Sirens team, I love you all from the bottom of my heart and I am so proud of how far we have come together!
Likes: Soy lattes, walks with the pups, cat snuggles, my prius, Netflix, the smell of my derby bag, skating
Dislikes: Processed cheese, black licorice, passive aggressive behaviour, telemarketers.
I’m technically a derby widow but I don’t even care because I am derby-wed to the Seaway Sirens!!!