My other life: Steph Johnson, Hood Group - roller derby


When she’s not product and distribution manager, Johnson spends her time on her skates

How did your interest in roller derby start?
I got into roller derby through a friend who used to work at the Hood Group. She had been playing for a couple of years and invited me along to watch a game and I was hooked straight away.

How did you build up your skills?
I have been training three times a week for the past three years. Training sessions consist of a mix of fitness, skills, agility and scrimmage, which is practice game play. I was head coach of the Essex Men’s Roller Derby Team for a time and still take part in coaching my own women’s team. I have also been a director of the Seaside Sirens League, which includes organisation of the league, involving anything from funding and recruitment of new skaters to organising games and coaching sessions.


What has been the highlight of being involved in this sport?
My highlight so far has to be winning our final game of the Women’s Championships and being voted Most Valuable Player. But while winning is always nice, there’s so much more to it than that. Each training session is different and managing to pull off that certain skill you’ve been trying to achieve for weeks is just as rewarding as scoring points in a game.

How has the experience changed you?
Roller derby takes over your life. You find yourself touring across the sports halls of the UK either to play or watch a game or take part in a boot camp. Add that to regular training sessions, league meetings and that all your friends (and boyfriend) play and you’ll soon find that everything is roller derby, even down to the clothes you wear.

Any crossover between roller derby and your insurance day job?
Not at all! They are completely different environments. That’s why roller derby is so great, it takes me away from the insurance day job.

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