March Volunteer of the Month: Jonny Demonic
Without our volunteers, SVRG would be nothing. We wouldn’t have referees, non-skating officials, or EMTs – all of the essentials that allow roller derby practices and games to occur. One of SVRG’s long time volunteers and our March volunteer of the month is Jonny Demonic. He’s been SVRG’s head referee for many seasons, and has also been keeping our website running smoothly for years! Did you know that he even has his WFTDA Level 3 Referee Certification?
Jonny was chosen for this honor for all of the work he does, sharing his immeasurable knowledge with skaters and his officiating team, rolling with the punches during our exhibition fundraiser bout (he even jammed), and training all of our new officials. We are very grateful for Jonny’s dedication, positive attitude, and all of the hours he puts in to keep our league running smoothly!
How did you get into roller derby? How long have you been with SVRG?
I started in November of 2008. My wife started derby a year or so before me and I helped out a bit. Eventually she convinced me to get some skates and become a productive member of the derby community.
What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?
I had been around SVRG before becoming an official so everyone knew me by my real name. I combined that with some cyberpunk influence and a bit of dark imagery for good measure.
What is your primary position when you are officiating?
I love anything on skates but I gravitate towards pack reffing. I think I'm drawn to the chaos of a cluster of skaters all doing different things at the same time.
Have you ever been injured while officiating?
PAC Destruction 2014, I broke my leg while Front IPR. So yes, I have been injured.
What positive aspect has derby brought into your life?
I now have a huge group of friends that I doubt I would have run into if not for derby. The people are definitely my favorite part of this sport.
What are your goals for 2016?
Keep practicing and keep learning.
What is your worst habit?
I've left so many water bottles at various venues and practice spaces in several states over the years. I'm better about it now but still have to run back into places I just left fairly often.
If you could ref a bout with any teams playing, who would it be?
We saw you jamming and playing at the SVRG exhibition bout and you killed it! Is there any chance you'll be joining a men's team?
I've always had a huge appreciation for the players and for how difficult skating while giving and taking hits can be. It’s occasionally fun to be reminded of that by getting hit by those same skaters. I can't really predict how I'll feel in the future but, at this point, I think being on the other side of roller derby will absolutely never happen for me in a million years.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give potential volunteers and/or skaters?
As a volunteer run organization, you get what you put into it. While derby can always use more people, the more driven and harder working people will excel. It isn't always fair but you will absolutely get noticed if you work for it.
Congratulations Jonny! We couldn’t do it without you!
If Jonny has inspired you to volunteer with SVRG, visit http://svrollergirls.com/get-involved/volunteer/