Roller derby Nordic Raider back on her skates after injury
WHEN Donna McLoughlin hurt her knee in September, her roller derby persona Nordic Raider took a holiday to let the injury recover.
The horns on her helmet (representing the name) and wheels on her skates lay dormant for more than four months, as she let the pain subside, before returning to action.
Starting off slowly to get the rhythm of her skating back, McLoughlin began her transformation back into Nordic Raider by attending the 'Freshie Intake' last weekend.
She was joined by a number of skaters who were completely new to the sport.
Coming from one of the 2012 intakes, Nordic Raider is by no means a 'Freshie', but saw the session as a good place to get back to the sport she greatly missed.
"It is weird though, I feel like I haven't been away," she said. "I started because I wanted to play a full-contact sport and I like roller-skating."
Having never seen the sport live before taking it up, McLoughlin slowly transitioned into Nordic Raider and over time became a black-level skater.
Involved in lots of Sunday training scrimmaging and home bouts for The Carnage Crew against fellow Gladstone outfit The Royal Pains, Nordic Raider found herself immersed in the sport.
"I have not bouted as a Hustler (the representative team), I have got to black-level though," she said.
"I have been a non-skating official plenty as well, and been away with the team."
Working her way back up toward the black level, McLoughlin found herself straight back in the derby atmosphere as Nordic Raider.
The social aspect and fitness will keep her returning, and encouraging new skaters into the scene constantly.
"It is great fun and the fitness is amazing," she said.
"It is all over for your fitness, you use strength, cardio and a lot of core too."