Name and number
My name is Dawn Cherry and my number is 1313.
Does your name an/or number have a meaning?
Seven years ago when I started playing derby, there were a lot more costumes. The name Dawn Cherry came from the idea that it would be super fun to wear loud prints and channel my namesake’s personality on the track.
13 was also always my lucky number but was taken by someone else in my league so I went with 1313 which was my address when I moved back to Ottawa.
Who do you play for?
I’m captain of the Dolly Rogers and a member of the Beauty School Dropouts. I also coach Ottawa’s men’s team the Slaughter Squad.
Blocker, blocker and blocker. Sometimes I also block.
What I’m known for
No matter how I start, I generally end up skating backwards and bracing.
I can keep a level head, trash talk and shenanigans don’t get to me, which helps in my role as captain. I like to make my teammates laugh and occasionally instigate roller dance offs. I may or may not use my authority as a coach to do this in practice.
Also I own the roller skate shop in Ottawa, so maybe I’m known for that too.
Why did you join roller derby?
Comically, I was looking for a sport that was less dangerous than softball, after a few too many balls to the face. I liked the idea of the showmanship and the ability to do a sport that was outside the box. The fact that everyone was starting from scratch also helped ease my ego.
Why do I keep playing?
Why I joined and why I stay have very different reasons. I started because of the novelty. I stay because this sport reminds me every day of how strong and smart I am and how much I truly didn’t get this before derby.
Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a very supportive environment where I was told I could do or be anything that I wanted. But being ladylike, delicate, and accommodating were rewarded behaviours. Derby has taught me that competition, strength, and perseverance are not in conflict with what I value; they are equally important, display a different type of beauty and make me a hell of a lot more well-rounded. I’m proud that the people I surround myself with in this sport make me a better person, a better athlete, and a stronger leader.
- Any time we’ve been underestimated for our size, which is like…always.
- Road trips with the dolly rogers, especially our trip to snake island.
- The first time Slaughter Squad members started calling me “Coach.”
Obviously I think that roller derby is pretty great. I left a comfortable job in high tech to pursue a career built around the sport and I haven’t looked back. So, either I’m crazy or there’s something pretty awesome in it.
To see Dawn in action, minus the loud prints and strange ties…she’ll be hitting the track on May 28, 2016. Click here for more information!
If you want to see Dawn Cherry in suspenders again, donate to the Dolly Rogers GoFundMe campaign. Please add a comment to your donation to the effect of “DAWN IN SUSPENDERS!” and we’ll make it happen, take pictures, and post them for your enjoyment.