No Shades of Grey
March 17, 2015
White Ribbon spoke to Vicious de Milo, a non-skating official (NSO) who is excited that the local Roller Derby league is supporting White Ribbon as their charity of choice, but first we’d better explain the name. All the girls in the game have a nickname (5 Foot Fury, Scarlet Venom, Sonic Screwdriverher (for the Dr Who Fans), Serious Crash Unit and Evil K.Neevil.
The vicious part is in no way a reflection of her temperate. In fact it evolved because of the strength of her vocal cords. Vicious helps out with kappa haka groups, and it’s been said her voice is quite (extremely) loud – that’s how the description “vicious” came about.
Vicious helps to organise parts of the ‘bout’, taking responsibility for what is termed the penalty box and the penalty scoring. It’s a complicated game for the uninitiated, but it sounds like tremendous fun and I’m assured that once you watch the game, it all clicks. And to be honest, it sounds exciting at the other end of the phone and explains why the game is growing at such a tremendous pace all around the world.
Vicious sounds energised when she talks about the game. That’s a far cry from an earlier time in her life when she was subjected to family violence and had to endure ongoing physical and psychological abuse. As Vicious explains, it was the emotional abuse that she remembers as the worst.
“Being told that I wasn’t a good mum, that my family thought I was useless, that I was never going to have any friends… by then I believed every single thing the abuser said”. In her own words she was so downtrodden “…that I shut down. The only person I would talk to were my daughters and unfortunately, him.”
“It knocked my confidence a lot. Before that I was extremely outgoing but after that, I withdrew from society quite a bit. The only time you’d see me outside of the house was for shopping and when I took my kids to school. I didn’t leave the house for pretty much two or three years.”
“I didn’t trust anyone outside my family and it took a lot to start trusting people again, especially males.” In fact it was four years of trying to deal with the after effects of the violence alone, before Vicious was able to ask for help.
There was one male she had to communicate with, because he was her daughter’s teacher. “He ended up being a really good person to talk to. I went and got some counselling, and then I started dealing with people outside of the house and slowly the confidence came back.”
The league has also helped. “Being around lots of really strong women and being able to talk to them about what actually happened to me, it’s made me feel a lot stronger. They’ve never said a nasty thing and they’ve always got a big smile and hello for you and want to know how you’re doing. It’s like a slightly big dysfunctional family. They make me feel a lot stronger than I was.”
“Many of them are professionals and you wouldn’t think they would do something like Roller Derby, but you can’t always judge a book by its cover. They made me feel a lot stronger and more confident and ready to take on the world.”
“It was a group decision to make White Ribbon the charity for the game, and an easy one once the No Shades of Grey title had been agreed upon. While not having seen the movie and with no plans to see or read it, this was an opportunity to support something really worthwhile.”
“There aren’t a lot of things that draw attention to this massive problem we have in New Zealand. So the more information White Ribbon gets out there, the more people you can help, the better.”
So if you want to support a good cause and have a night of fun-filled entertainment, come along to the Roller Derby. The game will feature two equally skilled teams that will be picked on the night, right before the first whistle. The teams will be put into either the BLACK or WHITE team. This means anything could happen as the teams won’t have time to talk strategy or have bench line-ups before the game. With big hits and daring jumps, what these girls can achieve on eight wheels must be seen to be believed. The doors open at 6pm and the derby action starts at 7pm. Teams will be dressed in Black or White – so wear your fan colours accordingly! Come along and find out more about the amazing sport of derby and support the campaign to end violence against women.
Door sales only, available on the night from 6pm
Adults – $15
Children – $5 (aged 5-12)
Family pass – $35 (2 adults and up to 3 kids)
Preschoolers – free!
Cash bar and food vendors onsite. Please, no stilettos allowed on the floor at
Cowles Stadium. ROAR
About Roller Derby:
Roller Derby is a fast-evolving, world-wide phenomenon. In 2014, Texas hosted the second- ever Roller Derby World Cup. New Zealand was well-represented with women from all over the country making their way to Texas to compete. Dead End Derby’s own Evil K.Neevil and Serious Crash Unit both represented New Zealand. Unit will be skating in this bout. The game is played on an oval track, with five skaters from each team on at a time. The seven referees make sure that the skaters stay safe and legal. The point scorer from each team is distinguished by a star on their helmet and this skater, known as the jammer, must make their way through the other skaters to score. The four other skaters are blockers and their job is to stop the opposition jammer from getting through while helping out their own jammer. Points are scored when the jammer passes the opposition blockers’ hips.
Photos courtesy of Victor Paul.