An interview with LuchaGora and Spark Plug
Lucha Gora #04
This was our first season with an A and B team captain model, so our interpretation of what a captain is is always evolving and changing. In essence, the job of the captain is to be an advocate for her team – standing up for whats right for the skaters, working closely with a coach to create rosters, writing and running practices, and being a leader on and off the track. [Spark Plug] and I worked really closely this season to try to define the role of the Derailers, advocate for effective changes that would continue to grow and develop our team, and work closely with our [Coach Pain] in order to run practices that would best benefit the skaters on the Derailers. – Lucha Gora
Why did you start skating? I started skating during my first year of teaching. I needed a stress relief and coincidentally, SSRG was starting to practice at my first school. I mentioned it to someone once and they said “I could never see you doing that.” So I did it.
How long have you been playing roller derby? I’ve been playing roller derby since 2014.
Did you skate on any teams before SSRG? Nope.
What’s your favorite thing about roller derby? My favorite thing about roller derby is that it is a body positive, inclusive, and empowering sport. There is a place in roller derby for every body type, every age, and every type of person you can think of.
Do you have any advice for those new to the sport? If you’re new to the sport, just keep going. There are so many times when you will think that you’re not good enough, strong enough, fast enough – just keep going. You’ll surprise yourself out of the blue with how easy a skill becomes after struggling for so long.
How did you pick your name/why is it significant to you? Anyone who knows me knows that I love professional wrestling. I’ve loved wrestling since I was a kid. I’ve especially always loved lucha libre style wrestling and I love masked luchadors. A female luchador is a luchadora and my name is a spin on that.
Do you have any good luck charms or pre-bout rituals? I’ll drink a real caffeinated beverage the day of (normally 2 espresso shots in a root beer) and listen to some really heavy, loud music. When I get to the bout, I normally like to sit quietly for a while until it’s time to play.
What do you do when you’re not skating? I love my job – teaching 2nd graders, so you can find me doing something related to that more than likely. I like traveling, watching pro wrestling, and playing video games as well.
What is your opinion about this season? This season had a lot of ups and downs, but overall was an amazing time. We grew so much as a league, and the Derailers had an amazing first season. We’re continuing to work out the kinks of running two teams, but I love the amount of growth that I’ve seen from the Derailers and the flexibility that our league has had with any setbacks we’ve had.
What is your hope for next season? I hope that next season the Derailers can continue to grow and keep our forward momentum going. We have so many amazing girls on our team that have really come into their own and I can’t wait to see them as track leaders.
Spark Plug #50
To me, being a captain was an opportunity to act as a liaison between the coaches, league, and team. Lucha and I were able to assist [Coach Pain] with planning and implementing practices as well as creating rosters. Since this was the first year of these roles, we were able to help determine responsibilities. It was a great pleasure doing this for the team and with Lucha!
When did you start skating? I started skating in the spring of 2015. It was my first experience with derby. I was going through a very difficult time in my life with a lot of changes happening outside of my control. Derby gave me stability, confidence, and a place to be with strong and supportive women. I love the physical nature of this sport. It was a great release for me.
How did you chose your derby name? I chose my derby name, Spark Plug, because of my small stature but fiery personality. I chose the number 50 because I was almost 50 years old when I started.
What do you do when you aren’t skating? I am a pediatric physical therapist. My super power is helping children overcome their physical limitations to become the best that they can be. My kiddos are my inspiration and I love what I do!
What your opinion of this season? There were a lot of changes happening in the league this year. Some of those changes presented challenges. The Derailers are a group if strong and capable women, so we worked through the changes and grew together and will continue to grow as a team. My hope for next season is for the Derailers to continue to grow, learn, and hone our skills as derby players and team members.