Featuring Debee Lee Downer from Saint John Roller Derby
The next lovely lady that I would like to introduce you to is Debee Lee Downer. I had a great time photographing her at her country home on the Kingston Peninsula.
Alicia: Tell me a bit about yourself. What to do you do with your time when you are not in skates.
Debee: Most of the time when I am off skates, I am working at my convenience store on the Kingston Peninsula. Other than that, I love to be at home, hanging outside near the water or by the fire, I love nature. Oh and of course, hanging out with my kitties!
Alicia: Before joining the Saint John league what previous skating or derby experience did you have.
Debee: Before I joined Fog City Rollers, I had played in Barrie, Ontario for the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers(SSRR). I am actually one of the founding members! But before that, I played ringette from age 5-15, then played hockey for 1 year. So That is mainly how I learned how to skate I found when switching to roller skates, it felt natural.
Alicia: What teams have you played for?
Debee: As mentioned above I played for the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers (SSRR) in Barrie, then here in Saint John I have played for the Razor girls and the Shipyard Sirens.
Alicia: What drew you to roller derby and what is your favorite thing about it?
Debee: Not just the game, but the community within the sport of roller derby. There isn’t anything like it really. No matter where you go, or who you play for, I get the same vibes that anyone is welcome no matter what. The love is there. I am truly lucky to have come across this sport. I don’t know what I would do without it!
Alicia: What position do you like to play most?
Debee: I am mainly a Jammer, but I have been practicing on my blocking a lot this season. I never thought I would like blocking for some reason. When I started derby, I just wanted to skate…and fast ha ha. I just never felt comfortable being a blocker, because it was out of my comfort zone. I am so happy that I decided to work on my blocking though, because I have come to realize I LOVE it.
Alicia: How did you pick your derby name?
Debee: Well… My first name is Deborah, and middle name is Lee. Just one day, I was driving, trying to think of a name, then I tried to think of how I could incorporate my actual name in the mix. So the saying “stop being such a Debbie Downer” came to mind. so, I thought to myself, My derby name will be Debee Lee Downer! My coach at the time had suggested my name should be Lee Majors because I almost fouled out in my first-ever derby game, ha ha, but, I didn’t want to have the reputation, so I thought of Debee Lee Downer, and it stuck.
Alicia: Do you have a favourite team to compete against? Why?
Debee: So far from who I have played, within our region, Moncton Lumbersmacks is my personal biggest competition. I always have fun playing against them because they are a challenge. They always bring their A-game. It is also always a great game for the fans when Sirens play Lumbersmacks, we all keep our fans on the edge of their seats. I am really looking forward to playing them next weekend!
Alicia: Is there anything that you would like your fans to know about you?
Debee: I want my fans to know how much I appreciate the support from every single one of ya’s. Derby wouldn’t be what it is without all of you. For that, I say Thank-you
Alicia: If you could say something about roller derby to the people of Saint John what would it be?
Debee: I say if the sport is for you, join. You never know until you give it a shot . It will change your life in so many amazing ways, I know it has changed mine for the better. Not only do I have an opportunity to stay in shape and feel healthy, I have the chance to be apart of another family who I love dearly. And if it’s not for you, you should still come to a game and check it out! You wont be disappointed
Thank you Debee for taking the time to allow me to photograph you on your amazing country property and for us to learn a bit more about # 4211 of the Shipyard Sirens.