5. April 2014 09:04
Naez T Bird
Naez T Bird - Gothenburg Roller Derby
‘It was the final jam, both jammers
were lined up and ready to take off. Then the jammers hugged each other with
huge smiles on their faces before the signal went off. In what other sport to
you see that kind of love?’
(During the first ever international bout
between Finland and Sweden)
This is Hank Oscarsson’s best memory during his time as an NSO.
Hank started out on skates in March 2011 and kept it up for a few months.
Although he reckons his skating was not bad and learning the rules was not a problem
it was combining them both that posed a challenge. Eventually the skates were
left looking sad and lonely in his apartment until he sold them to a player in
Västerås and settled back to pursue a career with Team No Fun.
Are we not always wishing we had plenty
of NSOs from which we could pick as many as we want for each bout we organise?
Flamingoes need their flamboyance in order to keep up their good work and
manage being hunted down to exhaustion by preying leagues and officials. It
seems like our leagues are forever crying out to ask for their voluntary
Hank volunteers as an NSO on average 10 times a year depending on his work
situation. You will find him among that splendid array of sober pink. Disguising
his chuckle behind a bearded chin and with a twinkle in his eye - however
stressed out other beginners may be.
Similar to other devoted NSOs he has
worked a lot of the NSO positions only
lacking Penalty Box Timer and Inside Whiteboard on his roller derby cv. His
favourite is scorekeeping because it
gives him a chance to work with some of the best referees and practice in
watching the bouts as an official.
Team No Fun usually, of course, has
a lot more fun than the name suggests but lack of organisation can really put a
damper on the party. Referees and NSOs invest time and money doing this because
they love the sport and they really appreciate a locker room, water and
something small to eat…or somewhere to put their bag down!
Hank says the worst experience, especially in a case like this, is if a player
gets hurt so badly that they need an ambulance. That awful silence when all the
audience and all players and officials are just sitting down quietly waiting
for the player to be taken care of. He hopes and thinks that as the players are
progressing and getting stronger and better there will be less of these
Countless officials both on skates and off skates spend a lot of money
travelling to help out at bouts. The furthest Hank has previously been is
Helsinki in Finland and and coming up next is West Track Story II at Nantes in
France which he is really looking forward to.
Watch the players and appreciate the officials at the tournament! As for
Hank, he is out to dazzle the French in his favourite NSO outfit: the pink
t-shirt, pink tight shorts, pink knee-high socks and pink Converse. In fact you
might have seen him before, nicknamed ‘Hank the Hottie’ in the live-feed, during
the streaming of the bout at Helsinki.
All hail the NSOs!
Naez T Bird
Gothenburg Roller Derby
Photo courtesy of Bengt Persson at bengster design
Interview with Hank Henrik Oscarsson