Skater of the Month: Leigh Featherstone
Our May 2013 Skater of the Month was nominated for her work off the track and even-tempered demeanor. Leigh started playing derby in 2010 and transferred to SVRG in July 2012. A member of the KillaBytes, she’s a blocker who loves to steal the jammer panty when an opportunity presents itself. Congratulations, Leigh!
How did you get into roller derby?
Back when I lived in Champaign, Illinois, I came across a flyer for a league just getting started. I was still new to the area and thought it would be a great way to meet new people. I showed up at the next practice and was hooked.
What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?
I played soccer and swam competitively throughout my childhood.
How did you derive your derby name?
I don’t use one anymore! I skated under the name Morley Bankrupt for my first two seasons, but never really connected with it. I gave it up and feel more comfortable using my given name.
Have you been seriously injured?
About one month into my derby career, I fractured my sternum. It didn’t get diagnosed for awhile, so I kept skating despite the fact I was in a ton of pain. I broke my right ankle in 2011, and broke my left ankle in 2012. Needless to say, I am the Queen of Physical Therapy.
What has been your greatest experience on the rink?
Returning this year from my second ankle break, I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with my skating. When I transferred to SVRG I thought I’d be lucky to roster, let alone earn any playing time, on the KillaBytes by the end of 2013. But I have responded to the excellent coaching and teamwork, and feel like I’m playing at a higher level. It’s a really good feeling.
Who is your biggest fan?
My husband! Any partner who is supportive after two separate ankle breaks is amazing. He is patient with me despite the injuries, the amount of league work, and all the nights I am away.
What are you looking forward to the most this season?
I was recently elected to captain the Hard Drivers, and we are going to the Attack of the C Squads tournament in June. Watch out!
What do you contribute to SVRG off the track?
I currently serve as league Secretary on the Board of Directors.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give skaters interested in playing roller derby?
Be good to your body. Don’t underestimate the power of cross-training. If you get injured, complete your physical therapy exactly as prescribed.
What kinds of skates and gear do you use?
I’m grateful to Strawberry Jam (formerly of the Naptown Roller Girls) at Vital Skates for getting me into a narrower boot with Avenger plates. My feet no longer slide around inside my boots, and I really like the action I get out of the plates.
Anything else we should know about you?
The lovely Take-Out Dinah gave me the best positive feedback before our first bout of 2013: “If derby was a pageant, Leigh would win Miss Congeniality. So nice yet hits so hard.” I love you too, Dinah!