My Name is Kelli Clark and I am 35 years old from Chelmsford. At the weekend however, my name is Clark SMASH and I am the captain and one of the directors of Killa Hurtz Roller Derby! Before finding this amazing sport, I was the furthest thing from Sporty you can imagine. Due to having health issues I have never really been slender and had never had much self/body confidence due to being bullied at school.
Fast-forward to my late twenties. I watched a roller derby game when I was over in America, and thought to myself, OMG I have to do that. (Roller derby is a full contact sport. It’s a bit like a cross between rugby and a race, but there’s no ball and everyone’s on roller skates!) After much googling I found a team starting in Chelmsford…6 years and a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears later I now not only find myself Captain of a team of tremendous women, but have the body confidence and attitude to take on any challenge that is presented to me. Roller derby has empowered me. It’s great for cardio, endurance and strength. It has made me strong, fierce and confident. It is a sport that is totally inclusive, no matter what! I have learnt to use my size and shape to my advantage when playing. I complement my on skates training with trips to the gym.
One of the most rewarding things about roller derby is the sisterhood I feel with my fellow team mates. I feel like my league constantly strengthens and challenges me to be a better derby player, teammate and captain. I love the friendships that have formed from being a part of not only my team, but the roller derby community as a whole. It has been an amazing experience and I am incredibly fortunate to be a part of it!
I think the #ThisGirlCan campaign is awesome. It inspired me to try mountain biking over at the Olympic site in Hadleigh. I loved it!