AFA 10 jaar: ETTA’s Story

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Who are you, and what is your skater name?

Hilke, derby name: ETTA (former known as Etta NaPalm), number: #085

Where does your derby name come from?

My name refers to Etta Palm. A Dutch feminist and spy stood up for women’s rights even during the French Revolution. Napalm was an addition and gave my name a kind of ‘scary sauce’. Later I left this out. ETTA had meanwhile become the ‘scary sauce’ within RDNL and no longer needed an explanation 😉

How can we recognize you on the roller derby track? (bout makeup, playing style, signature move, outfit etc.)

I often heard from other players that I could be pretty intimidating. I didn’t realize this myself; at least I didn’t put a lot of effort into it. In the first years, I always liked to come out as a pity; later, I found my place as a blocker more and more.

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Why do/did you like Roller Derby?

Roller Derby is a sport where you can develop yourself enormously in different areas. It all starts with skating itself. You have to push your limits, or you won’t get there. The interplay and strategy are also very challenging together. This also affects your life next to derby. It makes you a stronger person.

From when to when were you active at AFA?

I was there at the birth, well before AFA became an official association. That was in February 2011. With an interval until the end of 2019, I was active in all roles.

Describe what AFA was like then?

Especially the first year, nobody knew what we were doing. In addition to learning how to skate better ourselves, understand the game and master the rules, we also had to pass this on to new members. Although this sometimes really felt like you were reinventing the wheel, it was beautiful to be with that group of motivated women.

What role(s) have you played in AFA or Roller Derby in general?

I was part of the board from the start of AFA. First as a general board member and later as secretary. I always liked to think along about progress and improvements. In addition, I have provided training all these years, especially to the FreshMeat group. I was also very involved in off skate training in the early years. To develop myself and get inspiration for my training and the progress of AFA, I regularly went to boot camp with other leagues or with international skaters.

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What is your most memorable AFA/Roller Derby moment?

There are so many memorable moments. My first scrimmage at a Crime City Rollers boot camp. I played in occasional teams like Angels of Pain or Team Random. Or special events, for example, the 24-hour scrimmage at ARD. I’m most proud that AFA finally had a whole team and that we travelled to Dublin with that team to give them a good game with fair and reasonable play. That was so delicious! 🙂

Do you have any tips for new players?

Don’t listen too much to that little voice in the back of your head because you can do more than you ever thought you had.

Do you want to say something in the context of AFA 10 years?

Roller Derby is one of the most beautiful trips I’ve made. AFA will always be in my heart.