Monthly Diary of a League: Fierce Valley in October: Gallus Cooper

This month’s monthly diary from Fierce Valley comes around again, and it appears that school is never out for Gallus Cooper!

An… unusual… look for Gallus Cooper, at the Great Scottish Skate

What first attracted you to derby?
I’m not entirely sure what first attracted me to derby. I do remember telling all my friends I was going to play before I even knew what it involved. I had a long conversation with old friends (well, they’re not old, I’ve just known them a really long time!) where I told them about derby and that I wanted to play and they all thought I was crazy! It took me nearly a year to find out about Fierce Valley and their Fresh Meat intake, but once I did, I did not look back, except to keep an eye on that jammer!

Who are your derby heroes?
My wife Joustin Beaver is my biggest hero. She took up derby as soon as she realised she would never see me if she didn’t. Joustin never gives up, she falls over a lot, but keeps getting back up and just keeps trying – inspirational! I love watching her progress, she gets better every training session.

Derby names are an important aspect of the sport, especially when you’re starting out. How did you choose your name, and how does it reflect your personality on track?
Ha ha! I put my friends on the case for my derby name, and Lynz (one of the really old friends) came up trumps. Can’t beat a bit of Alice Cooper and I may be a wee bit Gallus, both on and off the track! Naming the derby girl has become a bit of a challenge that a lot of my friends have gotten involved in, we even re-named my dog – Jed Zeppelin.

What was your biggest initial difficulty?
Well, the first time I put on my borrowed skated I could hardly stay on my feet. Once I figured out how not to fall on my ass, T Stops and crossovers were my stumbling block. It took me so long to just get it with both of them.

Lots of roller girls find it hard not to spread the word about their new sport. How have you been spreading the word?
I’m not entirely sure what I talked about before derby? I have asked people, nobody else could remember either. I can’t believe how quickly and completely it has taken over my life.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt/ done this month?
Not to start a new class at the gym 2 days before team tryouts! I could not walk for 2 days never mind skate! I’m learning something every time I put my skates on, it’s been such a steep learning curve. We have some amazing skaters @ FVRG and they are all teaching me how to be a better skater, whether it’s tactical, technical or just people skills, it’s truly amazing.

What were the most difficult and the best things?
The most difficult and the best thing so far has been that moment just before my first scrim. I felt like a fish out of water, I had no idea how to put all that practice into play, but once I got on track I loved every second of it.

What’s new for the Fierce Valley this month?
We are busy preparing for our first open home bout “For whom the skate rolls” at the Peak in November against the Wirral Whipiteres. We have also just started a new Fresh Meat intake, I do so love the smell of Fresh Meat in the morning!

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