Andrea Cadmus’ derby name comes from her love for taking care of children. Whether it is at the daycare where she works or at home with her own children, Kiddie CATmus, suits her perfectly. However, when Cadmus is skating with the Reading Derby Girls, she’s not so maternal. Knocking down the competition is this girl’s specialty, and she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Cadmus, 35, lives in Sinking Spring with her two daughters, who also love to roller skate. Like most of the girls that make up this year’s roster, Cadmus found the Reading Derby Girls through their Fresh Meat practices, held every Wednesday night at the girl’s home rink, the Skateaway in Reading, for women who may be interested in roller derby.
“I was hooked on it from my very first fresh meat practice,” said Cadmus. “It was finally something for me, it challenged me, something I progressed at, something I came home and couldn’t stop talking about.”
Cadmus made the team in January 2013, only two months after trying out. Well aware of roller derby’s aggressive nature, Cadmus took on the role of a blocker, a position that requires strong physical contact. Knocking down the competition is no piece of cake. But according to Cadmus, mastering the basics is even harder.
“Fundamentals is something I will always want to continue to work on and getting even lower – the lower you are, the harder it is to get knocked over,” Cadmus said. “You might be able to do tricks, skate super fast, or hit hard, but in derby if you don’t continue to work on basic skills or keep up with all the rule changes, I think it is harder for you.”
The rules of roller derby change and evolve frequently. The players are responsible for keeping up with the rule changes and being conscientious of them at all times on the track. According to Cadmus, it is exciting to see herself and her teammates grow alongside the sport.
“Being able to challenge yourself in such a physical level on roller skates keeps derby exciting,” said Cadmus. “Our team has all skill levels on it so it is great to see how myself and my fellow teammates improve and grow mentally, physically, and confidently within ourselves over time.”
The Reading Derby Girls practice twice a week between bouts, and like any other team sport, it requires a commitment. Cadmus works full-time at a daycare and full-time at home as a mother. However, she admits that a large part of her life revolves around roller derby.
“It is a huge commitment like any professional team, but it all depends on how seriously you wish to take it,” said Cadmus.
Cadmus appreciates that the Reading Derby Girls is family orientated. Her daughters received their first pair of skates last Christmas.
“Life often revolves around roller derby so much that they are just a big part of our Reading Derby Girl family as well,” said Cadmus. “I am thankful that my team is family focused.”