Blogger, writer, traveler, explorer and now an international roller derby star, Evada Perón began her skating career with bang in 2011 when she started participating in scrimmages and boot camps around Chilliwack, B.C. before playing in her first bout with the Sea to Sky Sirens during the summer. Towards the end of her first year, Perón co-founded the competitive Chilliwack league, the NWO Rollergirls, with a few of her closest friends.
But her eyes were always skating with the Terminal City Rollergirls. In 2012, she finally decided to go for it so packed up her things and moved to Vancouver. It was a big gamble, but in the end she is glad she took the leap as it quickly proved to open up doors that would have otherwise been closed to her. “I have always been extremely competitive, especially when it comes to sports. I knew at some point I would have to try to be a part of the highest level of play possible, and that meant being a part of the TCRG All-Stars in Vancouver,” she explained. “I also had dreams of skating for Team Canada someday. I definitely did not foresee myself changing jobs and moving to Vancouver to skate, but am so grateful that I did. It has truly been the best thing that has ever happened to me.” In her first season with the TCRG, Perón was drafted to both the Faster Pussycats house team and the All-Stars as part of their jammer rotation.
For 2013, Perón left the Faster Pussycats to focus more intensely on developing as a member of the All-Stars. As a group the set a goal for making the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Division 1 playoffs and after a hard-fought season they earned their spot to compete in the coveted tournament this past September 13 – 15.
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KEVLAR: What has your experience been like playing with the Terminal City Rollergirls?
PERÓN: I am so in love with this league. I began skating with the Faster Pussycats in 2012 and that team will forever have a very special place in my heart. I have had the honor of working on several committees within the league and have gotten to know a lot of the women and men on a personal level. As I had moved away from family and friends (in Chilliwack) to live and skate in Vancouver, TCRG became family to me. It is such an encouraging and supportive environment, but also extremely competitive, and we are so lucky to have some amazing coaches and skaters to inspire and challenge us.
KEVLAR: You recently competed in the WFTDA D1 Playoffs in Richmond, Virginia this past September 13th to 15th. Were there any noteworthy lessons you learned that will prove valuable to you over the next year?
PERÓN: Being part of Div 1 Playoffs was goal that my team, the All-Stars, made early on in the season. We worked so hard to make it there and it was so gratifying and surreal at the same time. We knew we deserved to skate at that tournament and we were excited to show the world what we could do as a team. Personally, the experience taught me how much you can accomplish as an individual once you can truly trust in your team mates. Before Virginia, we focused a lot on bonding and trusting each other and communicating on and off the track. I learned last year that I am never out there on my own, that my team is there for me always. I was and still am so proud to have been a part of that. We have big plans to grow together even more this season and kill it in 2014.
KEVLAR: You must be incredibly proud to have made Team Canada 2014, how does it feel to be competing on the flat track alongside so many incredible Canadian athletes?
PERÓN: Honestly, I still catch myself while I’m driving or talking to my Mom on the phone… we will be talking about what the uniforms will look like or where I might travel to with the team and my heart practically leaps out of my chest and I want to start jumping around and fist pumping. It was a dream that evolved into a tangible goal that now has become a reality and I am still waiting for it all to sink in. Being a part of this roster is such an honor and I can’t wait to meet all my new team mates from across the country! I know I will learn so much from being a part of that bench. I take the sport and this opportunity very seriously and am committed to doing everything I can to make my friends, family, Coaches and team mates proud this year.
KEVLAR: Outside of practicing with the rest of Team Canada, how else are you planning to prepare for the 2014 Blood & Thunder World Cup?
PERÓN: Currently I cross train on average five times a week, and skate twice a week (soon three times a week). Before roller derby I was an avid runner and really enjoyed Crossfit. I have gathered a lot of information and tools from past training, speaking with team mates, and trying out different fitness regimens. I have continued to implement cross-training throughout my skating career. From experience, skating against teams like England and Texas has taught me that off-skates strength and conditioning is a must. I also have the privilege of skating with the All-Stars this season and being Coached by Mack the Mouth, and will be skating as much as possible to prepare.
KEVLAR: What advice would you give to the other skaters who tried out but did not make the roster this time around?
PERÓN: You have to believe in yourself. Only you know what you are capable of. If something doesn’t go according to plan, readjust, and know that wherever you are headed, it is right where you need to be.
KEVLAR: I see that you run a blog called “For the Love of Derby”. Can you tell us a little about why you started it up and what you enjoy to write about most?
PERÓN: I love to write. I studied creative writing in University and have enjoyed writing poetry, short stories and plays from a young age. I knew when I discovered roller derby I was beginning a new chapter in my life and I wanted to have a way of documenting that. It has been a really fun outlet for me and also very meaningful. In sharing some of the ups and downs of my journey so far I have had a lot of members of the derby community contact me to share their experiences, or words of wisdom. It has been awesome. My favorite things to write about are the lessons that the sport has taught me that have become extremely applicable to my everyday life, such as the values of patience and trust and perspective. I need to write more!
KEVLAR: According to your Facebook profile you attended the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (the National University of La Plata). What were you studying there and what was the experience of attending school in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina like?
PERÓN: After high school I participated in a student exchange and lived in City Bell, Argentina for a year. I attended the Universidad Nacional de La Plata for a semester with a couple of friends of mine. I was still learning the language and so I was attending more for the experience than for the grades. Living in Argentina was incredible. I fell in love with people and the culture and the language immediately. I have continued to go back and visit my host family and friends there as well as backpack all around South America. I consider it my second home and that is where the inspiration of my derby name came from.
KEVLAR: Aside from derby, what other activities, hobbies or causes are you passionate about?
PERÓN: I have an English Bulldog, Bruin, who just turned one, and he keeps me busy. We spend any free time I have exploring the city of Vancouver and going on little adventures. He is surprisingly quick and energetic for being such a big tank. I also love to hike and skate the seawall and discover new restaurants and cafes with my girl. We recently did the Polar Bear swim at English Bay and plan to sign up for a bunch of marathons in the city this year. Vancouver just has so much going on all the time!
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In the months leading up the 2014 Blood & Thunder World Cup of Roller Derby I will be posting more interviews with the other skaters selected from Western Canada. Keep an eye out for next month’s feature on Buffy Saint Fury. Thank you to Evada Perón for the wonderful interview and a special thank you to Nicolas Charest of www.rollergirl.ca for use of the photographs!
Follow Team Canada Roller Derby on their Facebook page to stay up to date with their training and progress!
They recently faced off against their B&T World Cup competitors, England and France, on February 15 at the Super Brawl in Nantes, France. Evada and her teammates played great games, losing to Team England by a final of 259 – 145 then defeating Team France 460 – 96. The following day, on February 16, they played Team France Men’s Roller Derby, who ultimately triumphed over their North American guests 206 – 131.
If you missed it, check out my January interview with Eve Hallows!