Featuring Poison NV from Saint John Roller Derby
This week my lovely featured lady is Natalie Vautour aka Poison NV from the Shipyard Sirens.
Alicia: Tell me a little but about yourself.
Poison: I’m the mom of a beautiful daughter, Kahlan, who is just about to graduate from High School. Time really goes fast as a mom. I can’t believe she is already getting ready to head off to University. I have an amazing husband, Jamie and 3 fur babies, who bring me endless joy.
Alicia: What do you do with your time off the track?
Poison: My job at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick takes some of my off track time. It is a fantastic work environment, with supportive co-workers and great energy. Away from work I like to be home with my dogs and my family. I get a lot of joy from watching my husband play guitar and seeing my dogs play together. Any time I get to spend with Kahlan is something I cherish, just snuggling on the couch and talking about our day is a good time for me. My other favourite thing to do, which actually helps me with derby too, is get Reiki treatments. It heals me physically and is a really great stress reliever.
Alicia: Why did you want to be photographed on the Beach?
Poison: The beach is my happy place. I dream of living in a hut on the beach and feeling warm sand on my toes every day. Going to the beach is something Jamie and I love doing together. The way I feel at the beach is really hard to describe, it is total peace and relaxation. Everything is calm and happy there. Each summer Jamie, Kahlan and I go on a beach vacation to Ocean Park in Maine. I look forward to that week on the beach all year round.
Alicia: Before Derby did you have any skating experience?
Poison: I didn’t have roller skating experience, but skating is something I have done my whole life. I played minor hockey for a few years as a child. Being on skates feels very comfortable to me.
Alicia: What drew you to roller derby?
Poison: I attended my first game as a spectator with no inclination to ever play. Within the first 3 minutes of the game I decided I had to play. It was captivating to watch. I loved the comradery between the skaters, the intensity of the hits, the athleticism of the skaters and the speed of the game. I just knew that I needed to be on the track and playing this sport.
Alicia: What is your favorite thing about Derby?
Poison: It is very empowering. As soon as your skates are on you switch into a competitor. As a skater you need to constantly evolve, learning new skills, new strategies and improving on what you already know. As you accomplish those goals, it makes you feel a pride in yourself that is immeasurable. I love seeing my teammates and the girls I coach in Fresh Meat go through the evolution of wanting to do something, working to do it, and then succeeding. That closeness between the girls in our league is something that I’ve never experienced anywhere before. We all want the best for each other, on and off the track, and nothing is more empowering then that.
Alicia: What teams have you played for?
Poison: Last season was my first as a player and I was lucky enough to be a member of the Razor Girls and I also played for Shipyard Sirens. This season with Fog Citys new structure, I play for the Shipyard Sirens. I feel blessed that I got to play for both teams last year. As a new skater on the travel team I had to up my training and really push myself. Razor Girls gave me a platform to be more experimental and try things out. It also doubled the amount of practices I went to each week, and that is never a bad thing.
Alicia: What is your favorite position play on the track?
Poison: I love to block. As a blocker you need to adapt to each opposing jammers strengths and skills in order to shut them down. You also need to adapt your strategy in helping your own jammer based on their skating style. In every day life I strive to be a peaceful and quiet soul, but when I am blocking I focus on trying to break the spirit of the opposing jammer. Working in a wall with my team mates and shutting jammers down is what this is all about for me.
Alicia: How did you pick your derby name?
Poison: The hardest part of derby is picking your name! Because we register our name in an international registry, you can’t have the same name as any other player. This is when I realized I wasn’t that original or creative. Every name I liked was already taken. I put a plea out on Facebook asking my friends for help. When Poison NV was suggested, I knew that was the name for me. I like how it implies that coming in contact with me is dangerous and that it contains my initials.
Alicia: What is your player number?
Poison: My number is 218. This is my favorite number because it represents my wedding date. When I am playing and I need an extra boost of confidence I look into the stands at my husband. Having our number on my jersey and on my arm gives me that extra power I need.
Alicia: Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans?
Poison: To the fans I say thank you. Thank you for making signs, cheering us on and encouraging us at each game. Thank you for embracing a sport that you had to take time to learn. Derby fans are passionate and are equally a part of the game as the players are. Coming back to our games this season, you are going to see how the training we are doing is paying off. Get Ready!
Alicia: Why should those who have never seen a bout come out to watch the Sirens play?
Poison: If you have never seen a derby game live, you are in a for a treat. You will get to see athleticism and fierce competitiveness. You will see hard hits, fast skating and real passion. The Sirens are a team who are there for each other 100%. Our walls are very strong this season, stronger than any defensive line in football that you may have seen. Our jammers are agile, smart, strong and relentless. Derby is fun to watch even if you don’t know the rules. It is high intensity and action packed. Come to a game and bring lots of friends. You won’t regret it!
Thank you for taking a few minutes to allow me to photograph you and letting us learn bit more about Poison NV # 218 of the Shipyard Sirens.