It’s the first time Team Romania has been in the Roller Derby World Cup and they’re planning on making it a debut to remember! Alina, or Tenacious on track, is a tiny but powerful jammer who began wowing everyone at KRG with their skate skills 4 years ago. Alina has gone on to win pretty much every derby award going and hopes to do some serious point-scoring in Manchester. We caught up with them to find out more…
How long have you been involved in roller derby?
I discovered roller derby 4 years ago. After years of living in Kent I wanted to get back on my skates and Iooked up roller skating online. It turned out Kent Roller Girls trained in the same town I lived in! I had never heard of Roller Derby before and I only skated on in-lines. After learning about the sport more and more I wanted to get better and better at derby.
Tenacious breaking out of the pack against Wirral Roller Derby
Who inspires you?
On skates, Erin Jackson is a wonderful inspiration. The idea is growing in my mind to try speed skating ever since I came across her! And off skates, Dame Kelly Holmes, her day to day training is insane!
How much harder have you found it training for the World Cup than regular games?
Training, in general, this year has been difficult as I have had some health challenges and as it is the first time for me to play at an international level. It’s been a great reason to get better and stronger and helped me look at the future with a more positive attitude. It’s also been in planning for ages so I have had to stay focussed for a while. So yes, it has been harder but it is only by challenging yourself that you get better. I have seen the benefits of upping the off skates training too.
Skating in front of the home crowd at The Bay Arena, Herne Bay
What drives you to put in the extra effort needed to train for the World Cup?
I am very proud to be representing Romania in the World Cup, especially because this sport is unknown in Romania (we are working on that). I feel like RDWC is so important as we are making history, so I want to give it all I can and make my team and Romania proud! At the same time I’m representing Kent Roller Girls and I want to show appreciation for the time my coaches have put into our training programme.
Do you find it easy to stay energised and focused between games in a tournament?
If I don’t have enough sleep I am very grumpy and can’t focus. I try to eat well everyday, getting lots of energy in, keeping hydrated and keeping the odd energy drink along side my water bottle. I get very nervous before a game until the first jam is out of the way. Usually a good warm up helps my mental game too so I try to kit up and put my skates on as soon as I can.
Taking a huge hit from Swansea City Roller Derby
As a World Cup skater, people see you as a role model, what qualities do you hope people see in you?
I am dedicated to this sport and my on skates time has always been very precious to me. I am also very competitive and I hope I do inspire through these two traits of mine.
High fives after coming first in Tier 3 of British Champs
Do you have a signature move that we should be looking out for at the World Cup?
My signature move is a one footed transition, I think. Well I thought it was mine until someone told me all about Lexi Lightspeed from LRG and then I went along to most of her bootcamps to help me perfect it!
The Team Romania roster
The Roller Derby World Cup is an international roller derby tournament including teams from all over the world. It takes place in Manchester from the 1st until the 4th February. For more information check out www.RollerDerbyWorldCup.com