Val Halla #795

Name: Val Halla

Number: 795

Age: 32

Hometown: Bolton, ON

What's the story behind your derby name/derby number? My name is aspirational - one day I will be a member of the Striking Vikings. My number is my old Off-road Ontario XC number.

When did you join Roller Derby/Renegade Derby Dames? Why? I joined the fall 2015 fresh meat class and never looked back. As a teenager I played rugby, but got out of it for a variety of reasons. I was thinking about getting back into it, mulling over the cost and the driving to get to the closest club, while hitting the gym to get back into rugger shape. One day in August while at the gym I notice a 1950s-style car hop BBQ in the parking lot and decide that a post workout root beer float was exactly what I needed that day. I met Daemon Star, Keri Daway and the rest of the crew and signed up that night. I had never even seen a bout, or watched Whip It! or anything. My only reference to roller derby in pop culture was an episode of King of the Hill.

What's the best thing about roller derby? Hitting people! Just kidding, kind of. The sisterhood and family aspect of it is amazing - I've never been part of a club or league that has been so instantly accepting and instantly wonderful and helpful. Every single person wants you to succeed, even if it means you'll be better than them.

Why do you keep playing? I'm addicted - what can I say? A week without my roller skates is like a week without coffee: doable, but I'm going to be very cranky.

Favourite derby moment? So far. I've got two. The first was my second game and this really powerful blocker was rushing at me trying to take my jammer back, and rather than let her run over me, I got low and popped her right in the stomach, knocking her back and letting my jammer hop right back in. The second is at Fresh and Furious, working with my amazing amalgam team. We had skaters from THREE leagues, most of us had never skated together, some of us had never scrimmaged or played in a bout before, and they elected me Captain. Me! I had never Captained even a scrimmage before. With the help of our awesome bench staff and some amazing team work we made it all the way to third place, beating out the Montreal Roller Derby freshie team, Smash Squad, for the bronze. Third place has never meant so much to me!