Hard Knox Rollergirls

The Hard Knox Rollergirls are Knoxville's first competitive roller derby team. Come see what all the fuss is about.

October 2014 Featured Skater: Brooke Sloan

She’s a hard worker on and off the track, and that effort has paid off in spades as she gains recognition for her skills.  What motivates this dynamo to give her all to derby? How did it feel to be named Most Valuable? Read on to find out more about Brooke Sloan!!

Fan Photo

Fan Photo

Dirty Kopp, last month’s Featured Skater, noted that you set your sights on winning the MVP title at our bout in Memphis. How did it feel to achieve that goal?

For athletes, setting goals is rule number 1 in training. I am a goal-setting fiend. I eat up goals like the cookie monster eats up cookies, and I set two major goals for myself this season. Number 1 was to out cross train everyone else, and Number 2 was to have that recognized by someone else. To be named MVP in Memphis was the icing on the cake. As much as we are friends, we are rivals first and foremost due to proximity and how closely we are matched. So to really answer that question- it felt awesome! But meeting a goal so early in the season did something else I was not prepared for it; added fuel to the fire.

Do you have a signature move or a skill that you consider a “secret” weapon?

I have a whole tool belt of weapons that I am upgrading all the time. I think one of my favorites is that I can throw a wicked cut-back hit. I try to only use it if my blockers have the jammer trapped or as hail Mary play. But there is nothing more ego-boosting than to lay someone out and to remain standing yourself.

Your teammates know you are working out just as hard off skates as on. What is your workout schedule like?

Oh good an easy question… I train 4 to 5 times a week in the gym depending on if we have a game that weekend. I am normally at the gym sometime between 7 and 7:30am till 9 – 9:30am. I really try to get 2 hours in if I can. I do 30 minutes of cardio while watching game footage on WFTDA.tv. Unfortunately, like a true sports fan, I can’t help but start screaming at my smart phone when I see a bad play. At times I have scared the other people on the treadmills next to me! I do 2 lower body days, 2 upper body days and an agility/balance day. I’m currently Skating 4 times a week. I love my gym, and they have been super helpful in helping me hit my training goals so it would be super wrong of me not to give a shout out to the crew at 24/7 Workout Anytime in Powell. That group is awesome.

Photo by Rusty Riot

Photo by Rusty Riot

What keeps you motivated to work so hard towards your derby goals?

I used to be a casual derby skater. I would go to practice and come home. I had some hobbies and definitely had more of a social life with my husband and friends. I am a person that if I really want to improve on something I have to commit to it 100%. I think the biggest thing I did this year that was different than the other years is that I immersed myself in derby. I watch at least two games a week. I started listening to the Derby Deeds Podcast. And I really throw myself out there as far as taking opportunity to play at every turn. I went to several Atlanta Scrimmage Block Parties which led me to joining two other groups. I am now playing on the Smoky Mountain Mafia out of Johnson City and also in the South Central Subs, who put on bouts for charity and fill in when other teams have to cancel last-minute. I heard this analogy used and it basically sums up my life right now: Roller Derby is the gas that fills up every available space of my life.

Fans might recognize your face but associate it with a different name. What happened to Sushi Roll??

Sushi Roll was a girl that kept getting credit for all the awesomeness I was doing, and I got sick of it. So I ate her with brown rice and soy sauce.

Do you think the next generation of derby skaters will keep the alter ego & DIY attitude, or do you see derby heading toward a more straight-laced (SKATE PUN!) image?

I hope that in the future there will be a little bit of derby for everyone. I think it will always be by the skaters for skaters, so in that mind frame it will always be a little DIY. But as we get better at running the business of derby, I think we will see our more competitive teams take an NFL-like turn to being more professional and see the home teams or the intraleague season keep the alter egos and the creative atmosphere. I think one of my favorite things about derby after playing for 7 seasons is that it has carved an avenue and been so welcoming as a community to anyone and everyone that wants to play.

We’re getting a bit of a nip in the air! What’s your favorite thing about Fall?

What isn’t my favorite thing about fall! I love the crisp electricity in the air, the smell, the leaves, football, hot chocolate, that first day it gets chilly enough to snuggle into a good hoodie. Pumpkins! Yeah it all works for me.

Photo by Rusty Riot

Photo by Rusty Riot

When you’re not laying it down on the track, you’re working a mobile pet salon? Tell us a little more about how that works.   

Opening a business took a lot out of my family. It was the scariest and the best decision we ever made. My business allows me the finical freedom and the schedule freedom to continue to train at such a high level.

How it works is I have a groom shop on wheels. I come to people’s homes to groom their pets. Because I am doing one dog at a time its a little bit easier on the fur baby. They are normally in and out in under 2 hours. I do everything by hand, hence no cage dryers. Its basically the best job ever. Every pet is like my favorite part of girl movie. I always get warm & fuzzy in the makeover montage.

October will see the last bout of HKRG’s season. How do you feel the league has grown & progressed this year? 

Oh my, such a short question for such a lengthy answer! I think the short and sweet version of it is this. We as a league, like the sport, are ever-evolving. I think we had a massive amount of growth here at the end of the season and have a lot of ideas to apply to next season’s development. I think that’s what I am most excited about: taking what we have learned and setting goals for next season.   I know we are on the right track.  As far as what our fans can expect for next season, expect us to step it up.  We’re looking for ways to bring in bigger crowds. Roller derby is evolving so fast and has not quite found its place among the sports world yet. The fans really dictate what we look like as an event, and we are still trying decide if we are able to bring in the kind of crowds that football and baseball bring in, but we’d love to. In the next few seasons I’m also hoping to see the addition of junior derby (for skaters under 18), and co-ed or men’s derby. With these additions comes a lot more work but hopefully a lot more people to help.

Who would you like to see as next month’s Featured Skater?

Oh goodness I could no easier pick a star from the heavens.  I will go with Wrecking Ball. How she balances her life with the demands of being a board member, skater and having a family is beyond me!

xo

QB

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