Georgia W. Tush is a charismatic individual who loves neon colours – she is the owner of Neon Skates – has a fascination for cute puppies – just take a look at her business logo – and is an example of a woman whose life revolves around roller derby.
She is the founder of Montreal Roller Derby, owns a roller derby business, has travelled abroad to teach the sport of derby to varying levels of players, plays for Montreal’s travel team the New Skids on the Block and took part in the first-ever Blood and Thunder World Cup as a member of Team Canada.
To say she has experience with roller derby is an understatement.
But what else is there to know about the eccentric skater with an infectious smile?
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tush and find out some more details about her life.
Bryan Mcwilliam: How did you get into roller derby? Did you play any sports before derby?
Georgia W. Tush: I heard about it happening in the States and wanted to play. Like really, really, really badly. Nobody was starting anything up in Montreal, so eventually I started it myself. I have played a lot of sports, but my enjoyment of rock n’ roll was starting to outweigh the sports part in my late teens and early twenties. I played hockey, competitive swimming, volley ball, cross country running and skiing.
BM: What was/is the best advice you ever received playing roller derby?
GWT: Goonies never say die.
BM: What advice would you give to a brand new skater in the sport? Do you have any advice for someone interested in playing derby, but who are too afraid to take the plunge?
GWT: Learn how to roller skate first and be comfortable before you start even thinking about hitting or getting hit on roller skates.
BM: Tell me how Neon Skates came about? What made you want to own a skate shop?
GWT: I wasn’t doing much with my life and I needed a reason to back why I was putting 100% of my energy into roller derby.
BM: Do you have a personal derby highlight so far in your career?
GWT: Some of my favourite moments are our first game in Montreal when people actually showed up to the game.
The first Skids game. It felt awesome. It was also kind of a hot mess.
First moment when they opened the doors at Anarchy in the UK and the fans, mostly roller girls, ran into the space and grabbed their spots.
First year at regionals.
When we were the first international team accepted into the WFTDA
Playing for Team Canada at the World Cup.
Meeting Rick Mercer, Kathleen Hanna, and Coolio. All because of roller derby.
BM: You’ve been an incredible jammer for Montreal Roller Derby and Team Canada, but this past season you played the role of blocker more often. What prompted the switch?
GWT: I came into the season a bit later last year and this was the first year we had about 10 players that were willing to jam. I found that I was put where my skills were needed throughout the season. It was challenging switching back and forth but something I’d like to be more confident in next season. Blocking is so much fun.
BM: You’ve travelled extensively training and playing derby, where would you love to
return to? What has been your favourite arena to play in?
GWT: The Carolina Rollergirls have a really cool space in Raleigh. I also got to skate at the Doll Factory in LA. That’s like the Mecca of roller derby right there.
BM: What do you do for fun when you’re not living the derby life?
GWT: Huh? Oh I guess there are other things I do like ride bikes, go to shows, and hang out with dogs. Lately I’ve been pretty boring.
BM: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
GWT: I could go into a very deep answer about world politics and the things that make me angry in the world, but I’m going to go in this direction instead. No wimps.
BM: Any last words, comments, shout-outs you’d like to give?
GWT: Hi mom!
The energy of Tush is magnetic and something that should be felt by derby skaters from all around the community, so if you have not had the opportunity to meet her than this is something new to add to your roller derby bucket list.
Track her down at a tournament or visit Neon Skates and say hello. She is not shy and she’ll probably end up talking your ear off, but you know what? It’ll be worth it when you realize just how much she means to roller derby and its continued growth.
Published by: Blood and Thunder