New year, new gear! What used to be known as the “Player of the Month” is now the “Star of the Month” because not all the stars are players. In this series we will also be presenting referees, officials and volunteers for their valuable work in our league. The first one to feature in our brand new series is the one and only… well, Only!
Only represents the oldies but goodies in HRD. She started roller derby in spring 2010. Since then, she has been stampeding on the track in the lines of Kallio Rolling Rainbow and Stockholm Roller Derby. We got her back in the turtle shell in spring 2014.
She has had the honour of representing Finland in both the national teams, in Toronto 2011 and Dallas 2014. Nothing seems to be enough for Only, as she is also a familiar face in the Vagine Regime Nordic. Wow! Besides on skates, you might have spotted her coaching the men’s national team in Birmingham 2014.
For Only, the most important and interesting aspects in roller derby are the team spirit, constant development and strategies. The most fascinating characteristic in our sport is, however, the DIY-attitude. “I strongly believe that the future is indeed what we make it to be, for the skaters and by the skaters. There are not many sports that have this opportunity and freedom,” she ponders.
The constant development happens both in the individual and in the community level. Only aims to develop her own skills as part of the team and also to take the Finnish derby scene forward in the future.
Only names Stefanie Mainey from London Roller Girls and Swede Hurt from Gotham Girls Roller Derby as her idols. European and multi-talented Stefanie Mainey motivates Only: “If she can do something, there is no reason why I or you couldn’t do it, too.” Swede Hurt has many characteristics that Only values high: she’s experienced, her leadership skills are excellent, and she has this ability to lift people to the next level–and yet she stays humble. “Swede has this amazing way to boost spirits. I’m not sure if it is a Swedish thing or her personal character. There’s no way to know,” Only sums up.
Only playing againsst Scotland in Dallas 2014. Photo: Marko Niemelä
Her derby name and number was cooked up when Only was working as a sales representative for, well, Only brand. At first it was just her number. “Only1” was a jeans brand with a suitable slogan — “Well behaved girls do not make history.” When time went by, “Only” stuck, and now this is how we recognize her on the track — she is known as Janica in her civil life.
There are a bunch of brilliant derby moments stored in Only’s heart. One of the clearest memories was the Team Finland vs. Team USA game in fall 2012 when Only scored points after receiving a star pass–a moment that everyone watching that game still remembers. Nonetheless, the most important derby days have been those when the team spirit has been higher than the ceiling. “The best moments are when the team gives everything it has and achieves something that they did not dare to dream of, plays as a unit, grows and develops.”
The ones who have Janica next to them in practices, games or in life in general are the lucky ones. Janica is a strong and ambitious player, teammate and captain. She is so joyful and positive. -Iiris
Satu H. (Translated by Maria L.)