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Published on November 4th, 2011 | by DerbyLife

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Meet Team England: Raw Heidi

Name: Raw Heidi

League Affiliation: London Rollergirls

Years Skating: Just shy of 4

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

RH: Aside from being a keen rollerblader as a teenager, I was the antithesis of athletic when I was growing up. I once got guilt-tripped into a school swimming gala against my better judgement, I nearly came second but I was too busy celebrating my unexpected awesomeness to touch the side of the pool to complete the race. I was not invited to another sporting event.

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

RH: Why WOULDN’T you want to represent your country doing something you love? I was curious to know if I would make the cut too, there are an awful lot of talented skaters over here in Blighty and I want to skate with them all instead of always against them. Playing and learning from the rest of the world – well it’s the stuff dreams are made of innit.

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

RH: The email was so long and I was trying to scan it to get to the good bit, firstly I saw ‘thanks to everyone for coming’ which made my heart sink and eventually I saw the paragraph about being invited to join the team. The coaches didn’t make it easy to read I’m telling you, my heart was beating out of my chest! I don’t know how I felt – elated, relieved, proud, excited – my hands were shaking. I phoned my Mum who said “I am so proud that my daughter, MY daughter, is representing England in a sport no-one has ever heard of” – which, if you meet my Mum (and you might in December if you’re lucky) is the highest of high praise and very nearly made me cry. It was an extraordinary day that I’ll never forget.

DL: Which skater inspires you most, and why?

RH: It’s tempting to reel off the famous skaters I have watched and admired for years (pretty much all of whom are skating for Team USA I should add) but I am constantly inspired by all levels of skaters that I watch and play with or against. Everyone can do something I can’t and while that frustrates me, it also drives me on to be a better skater and push myself further, so basically it’s probably you – thanks.

Props must go to Kitty DeCapitate (former LRG now VRDL) who was the first skater to help me believe that not only could I achieve my goals as a skater but that I should be constantly reassessing what those goals are and shooting for the moon every time.

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

RH: I wish someone had stressed to me how important a strong core was when I was starting out, I’m sure I’d be totally buff tings by now if so… Do press ups every morning, or your calisthenics of choice – it’s helped my game loads. Don’t badmouth the refs, they deserve your respect and you aren’t going to get better unless they do. Actually don’t badmouth anyone, save your energy for being a badass on the track. And never eat yellow snow.

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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