21 Blackjack Belle

Blackjack Belle-21

What’s the inspiration behind your derby name?
Blackjack is a variation on my nickname Pontoon, same game. Belle is my paternal grandmother’s name – I’d have been named after her if we went by tradition. It’s also originally my burlesque name.

What’s the inspiration behind your derby number?
My nickname, Pontoon.

What was your proudest roller derby moment?
Getting the Spirit of Derby award at the 2014 MEC.

How did you first discover roller derby / what convinced you to join?
I got a friend request on Myspace from “roller derby Scotland” and asked to attend a meeting in a pub in Aberdeen round about Feb 2007. After that I bought skates for £10 off ebay and started learning to skate in the carpark above Toys’R’Us with no pads or helmet! :o

What was your best fresh meat moment?
Never did fresh meat… soooo old … stinky meat!

What have you learned from roller derby?
How to “brush it off!” You come off track angry at penalties missed or poor performance. I’ve learned to let go, take a deep breath and concentrate on what’s next. This applies sooo often in life outside derby too.

Who are your roller derby heroes?
Suzy Hot Rod, Trish the Dish, Stephanie Mainy, Kid Block, all really down to earth and never came across as being too good to talk to you, even when I was pretty much a rookie when I met many of them.

Which team do you look forward to playing / officiating the most and why?
Granite City or Auld Reekie cos they are where I learned so much. … and I get hugs!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved with their local team?
Don’t expect to fly before you can walk. However set small goals and watch the overall thing fall into place as you achieve the small goals. Also be nice to officials! They have the best feedback and are a great source of knowledge, even better, become an official to expand your knowledge of the game, it does make you a better derby player!

What other sports / training do you do when you’re not on eight wheels?
T25/gym/weights and a bit of running, often up Wheatslade.

The Canny Belters
The Whippin’ Hinnies
Toon Raiders