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05 Oct

Relan Bernardin #717 Die Sharona

Relan Bernardin, also known as Die Sharona #717, the Virgo jammer, blocker, occasional referee on OSRDA’s Candy Strykers, first got into roller derby two years ago because, "It looked like a whole lot of fun and an excellent way to get in shape."

Her appreciation of the game deepened, after just the second game she played, spending a year as a ref in what became her most memorable derby experience. "We were down a jammer and they threw the star on my helmet," she recalled. "I don’t think I stopped smiling for a week. I was hooked. Even after partially tearing my PCL, I couldn’t convince myself to take much time off.” If for no other reason, I love these women and can’t stand not seeing their smiling faces!"

ref2Since then, the love and those smiling faces of her teammates have become her favorite part of the game. "It is amazing to see so many different women from all kinds of walks of life mesh so well, to come together and form a strong bond," she said. "Not everyone was athletic when they started (myself definitely included) but watching everyone turn into tried and true athletes has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced."

Having experienced the transformative qualities of the game herself, she now dreams of helping others experience it, too. She would support anything to bring roller derby as it is to the masses. "I want to share this sport with everyone," she said, later adding, "Derby is for everyone! Come on out, we’re an amazing bunch of people and you will just want to join, I assure you! If you can’t skate, that is fine. We can teach you. If you are too afraid to skate, there are always non skating officiating jobs, or volunteering with other aspects of running a bout. If nothing else, come watch a game! If you have problems following it, grab a derby girl and ask questions! We love spreading the knowledge around."

Die Sharona has four tattoos("for now!!") and Rob Hope is her favourite artist. "He’s the one who did my first 2 and got me hooked.
I’m currently planning half sleeves, and need to find an artist in the Shuswap/Okanagan!"

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