It wasn’t just our skaters that visited the US for the Roller Derby World Cup, our league president and resident announcer, Biertrix, also took a trip over the pond to report on the roller derby action in Dallas.
We caught up with Biertrix to find out what the World Cup was like off-track and behind the mic.
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about how you became a roller derby announcer?
I got into announcing after I injured myself playing roller derby, I loved the game and wanted to share my passion with spectators, plus I wanted to keep my derby brain in gear for when I returned to playing. It worked and I continued to announce for our A team games once I returned. After another injury, and six seasons of derby I decided to give my legs a well earned rest and concentrate on announcing.
What’s the most difficult part of announcing?
It’s not as easy as it looks! You’re thinking on so many levels, reading the game, watching the refs, picking out the highlights and not talking nonsense on the mic! Not to mention the mental maths – point differentials make me nervous!
What’s your favourite part of being an announcer?
Being a mouth piece for this amazing sport; talking about great plays and seeing amazing roller derby happening right in front of you and then sharing that with your audience.
Which teams did you enjoy watching the most at the World Cup?
Team New Zealand did the Haka. It was the first game on the first day and I was announcing, it was so moving, I had goosebumps and literally couldn’t speak, so, so amazing!
But also, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark… These teams played with such great spirit and determination, it was hard to be anything but inspired.
Obviously Team England and Team USA were phenomenal, but it was great to see how the last world cup had inspired countries to enter teams this year.
Which teams surprised you the most?
Argentina, Team Japan, South Africa….I cant wait to see what they bring to the next one!
How did you take care of your voice over the weekend?
I drank lots and lots of water, avoided alcohol during the tournament and made sure I warmed up my voice before announcing.
What did you enjoy the most out of the whole experience?
Oh gosh, what a question! I felt really honoured to have been chosen and so for me, every single part of the World Cup was a highlight. Getting to announce some amazing games with very talented co-announcers was just amazing, I learned so much from spending time with them.
Do you have any tips for people considering announcing?
Just do it! Go to games, listen to announcers, ask announcers questions, watch streamed roller derby, see if you can shadow an announcer, put yourself out there!
What are your goals for 2015?
I came away from the World Cup happy with my performance, but with a list of things to work on. I guess my goal for 2015 is to continue to learn, continue to improve and continue to grab and enjoy the amazing opportunities roller derby gives me!
Thanks to the lovely Biertrix for answering our questions. You can read our interview with Fay Roberts who skated on Team England at the World Cup here.