Name: Jess Decker
Team: Knockouts, All Stars
Seasons with KCRW: 7
How has the league changed in the years you’ve been playing for KCRW?
“The change of venue has been a major development. We struggled, like lots of leagues do, with finding a venue, and I love our new home at Memorial Hall in KCK.”
Longtime veterans like you often serve as inspiration for fresh meat and Junior-age skaters. Where do you get YOUR inspiration?
“From other skaters, of course. I can’t help but be inspired by skaters like Bruz Her, Enigma, and Rump Wrecker, and through the years there are countless others like Evolution, Eclipse, Bella Fire, and Annie Maul.”
Any memorable injuries over the years?
“In Feb 2016 I broke my left fibula. That was a pretty big deal. I had never broken a bone before, so I had no idea how big an effect it would have on my life over the next couple months. What I did not expect was the amazing support I received from my friends in the derby community. There were times it brought tears to my eyes. I guess you never realize the support available to you until you need it. My experience inspired me to reach out to skaters when they are going through difficulties and do what I can to support them.”
Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?
“Four years ago I decided to go to school to become a chiropractor. One thing that breaks my heart in derby is seeing people forced to retire because of injuries. My first couple years, it seemed I could not fall without injuring my knees. After some chiropractic care, that stopped happening and I’ve had no difficulty with my knees since. I believe a well-balanced body is less injury prone and can take the beating inherent to our sport while remaining healthy and strong. My dream is to be able to help athletes stay in the game until they decide to retire because they want to pursue other fun goals, not because their body can’t keep up with where their heart wants to take them in this sport.”
You announced your retirement right before the Rink of Fire. What’s next for Jess Decker?
“I’ve always been a skater, so more skating, of course! I’m competing in artistic skating, going to regionals, and hoping to qualify for nationals in Lincoln in August. Also, I love the derby community, so I’m planning to stick around KCRW and find a place reffing and announcing and keep cheering on my favorite skaters. Oh, and finishing my final year of chiropractic school.”