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Published on November 14th, 2011 | by DerbyLife

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Meet Team England: Kamikaze Kitten

Name: Kamikaze Kitten

League Affiliation: London Rollergirls

Years Skating: 4

DL: What was your previous athletic background, if any?

KK: Skateboarding mostly. Hours and hours and hours of repeating silly little tricks until they stuck. I take the same approach to rollerderby.

DL: Why did you want to be on Team England?

KK: It wasn’t an easy decision to apply for Team England. At the time of applications I had pretty much all my derby time filled with my commitments to the London Rollergirls and wasn’t sure whether I could fit another team into my schedule (and my heart). As the deadline approached, however, I started thinking about how much I would be missing out on by not playing for my country in a sport that I train so hard for.

I’m also really lucky that so many of my leaguemates are on Team England alongside me and so I can spend those precious few Team England training sessions learning to work with other amazing skaters from around the country rather than having to learn to work with 19 brand new faces.

DL: How did you feel when you found out you had made it as one of the top 20 skaters?

KK: Pretty excited, especially seeing the names of all the talented skaters that I don’t normally get to play on a team with.

DL: Which skater inspires you most, and why?

KK: A whole bunch. Everything I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt from studying how other people play. I’m like a magpie- trying to collect all the best bits from as many people as possible in the derby world. I love watching Bonnie Thunders attack a pack, Joy Collision’s grace, Clare D Way’s matrix style of flexibility, Suzy Hotrod’s plyometric power, Dolly Rockit’s pack awareness, Deranged and Psychobabble turning the whole of the track into a danger zone for jammers.

Yet on a week by week basis I don’t think I’d have the resilience that I have without being in a league with Stefanie Mainey. We are rarely allowed to skate on the same team at scrimmage and so having someone that is such a formidable blocker on the other team forces you to consistently raise your own game. She’s like a Hydra that one. Every strategy you come up to deal with her she develops a counter strategy before the training session is done.

DL: Do you have any advice for skaters just starting out?

KK: It’s all in the mind. I’ve seem some amazing skaters never reach their true potential because they couldn’t win the battle with their own heads. Don’t neglect your psychological toughness training. It’s just as important as anything on skates. Oh, and leave pride at the door whenever you turn up to training. Every training session you need to walk into prepared to learn and not presume you know anything. That goes doubly for skaters at the top of their league.

You can follow Team England on Twitter (@TeamEnglandRD), facebook, or visit their website if you’re interested in helping contribute funds to individual skaters or all of Team England to help them get to the 2011 World Cup.

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