Louisa, I wish all of Derby could know you.

In her own words:

“So yeah, I still suck at skating, I don’t have all the time I wish I did to practice. It sucks. it does. So after a year I am still “Raw Meat” – that sucks, it does! But that is also okay! Okay? Because I have my enthusiasm of 12 cheer-leading teams for all things Derby. If you aren’t down with that and the fact that I am still almost a total beginner, you are on the wrong page! But I have asked ALL of you here for your expertise, experience and…and…and well, frankly, anything you are willing to share and give to others. We all started in the same place, we may not end up in the same place – but c’mon, give a hoot! Talk to each other and let’s make this a real community of sharing. Derby (heart) Love!”

That is what Louisa Kalimeris says on the wonderful site she created on facebook: Roller Derby Compendium for Freshies Worldwide…..and she has almost 2000 members following and contributing.


Louisa is no longer with us; she was in a hospital in West Toronto, having had such a severe asthma attack that she was in a coma and did not recover.

What a tragedy for all of us!

I never met her in a person, but what a kind, caring, self-effacing talented woman. From Australia, living in Toronto, a member of the Canadian Professional Writers’ Association. We had many discussions as friends; as a new wannabe skater she was trying so hard to be Derby and ran into the buzz saw of Derby drama of being put down for her ability by some teammates (are you ever going to face up to Derby drama!). So she started the website https://www.facebook.com/groups/rawmeatsydney/ to have an exchange with others just starting in Derby.

And she blogged and asked my advice on coming down on those who tried to crush her but couldn’t do it in a mean or vengeful manner….that is Louisa.

And she was excited because she was starting a costume photo contest on her site on Easter (ironic, now a resurrection) and the winner would get a copy of my book.

So the site will continue as a living tribute to Louisa. Please share and post it all throughout your world. And Aaron and Ref are continuing as administrators and they want you to keep contributing. And her friends are creating stickers, ribbons and other ways to honor her and want to set up a campaign to end asthma. go to the site above or her page on facebook to get all the information.

And what can you do for her?

Keep Roller Derby the wonderful movement it is…..Show kindness and aid to Newbies and others…..that’s all Louisa wants.

18 comments on “Louisa, I wish all of Derby could know you.

  1. As always, Jerry, an amazing post. I hope that her contributions and enthusiasm will live on to tell the story of perseverance and the lesson in how special the sub-culture is to all of us, and that anyone making it any less needs to look in the mirror and ask why they’re involved. The one piece of advice I leave nearly every league I visit with is to “love each other. Derby owes you nothing, for it has already given you so much. Your task is to make sure the shared experience is positive for all of you.” Yeah, it’s a sport, but the beauty all involved should get to share is the support of the family. There’s room for everyone.

  2. Jerry, Louisa has been taken off life support, but is breathing and has a pulse. They are monitoring her. Please see my post on the freshie page from her cousin.

  3. Pingback: The World Needs More People Like Louisa | 909's Fresh Meat Tips

  4. Thank you for sharing Louisa’s story, it helpede make a change to my derby life and put my health first! I have shared this link ony page to help others validate skaters who do struggle with breathing problem.

  5. Reblogged this on RollerDerbyJesus.com and commented:

    she will never realize how much she has done for Derby, and thanks to Aron and Ref for keeping the site going with over 4000 members. Derby drama is good for no one.

  6. She inspired me, in more ways than one. She championed for the underdog, for kindness and equality. She was my right hand as an admin on a site for female officials and we often talked about how frustrating it is when females (themselves and other females) become their biggest obstacles in a world where we need to be lifting each other up. I miss her. I think of her often. She is one of the reasons I speak up. She is one of the reasons I speak out. She was an important part of this community and will be missed. Verily.

  7. do not thinki of Roller Derby as an escape from life…it is life…..Y. L. expresses it best for all us…..just be kind and helpful…..a pretty simple message from Louisa.

  8. Loretta’ Little Iodine’ Behrens

    June 17, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    Girls Just Want to Have Fun
    Enemies In Your Own Camp
    Over the years, I always felt that I was being held down by a few other skaters. The ones that seemed to occupy the spot light would never mention any of their other teammates or skaters when they had an interview. I saw the sport as a team sport. It wasn’t like tennis where there is just one player. Because I was a team player, I just thought that those few skaters had some sort of personal issue and I ignored them for the most part. I loved to skate, even if my adversaries were there. In fact, they were at all of my games, and they skated on my team. My teammates were the ones who were harder to get along with, more than any of the athletes from the other teams we skated against. The Roller Derby is a funny world that way.

    Women In Competitive Situations
    For women that take on a professional sport or a competitive career, there may be some unique challenges you may encounter that men may not. Women might want to hold a grudge longer than a man. It is important to learn to ignore your desire take those grudges off the field or out of the sport and into your personal life. Women of the 21st century are learning to reach down and help mentor the younger women rather than hold them back. Just as men have the “old boy’s” network, today’s women are developing an “old girl’s” network. Women have these unique challenges ahead of them when they embark on a professional sports career. We need to remember how we felt when we were young, and help those youngsters to see that they have a friend and a mentor in the sport. But once the game starts, watch out!

    It has been my pleasure to be with you,

    Loretta “Little Iodine” Behrens

  9. Sorry about this news of a wonderful lady loving this sport, many gal’s don’t understand it takes practice and time to learn to skate the correct way to play derby no matter how your all changing these orginal rules.Not everyone will become a great skater or a jammer to go out and make a name for the game but eveyone is a team player and should get the credit it has coming to each one out there.Your all a team and should help and learn from our past what it took to become an athlete. My prayers go to keep you all safe and learn its only a game, after its over enjoy each other.Tomorrow is another day.
    Love to everyone you have my blessing and any help were all out here.

  10. Pingback: Louisa, I wish all of Derby could know you. | RollerDerbyJesus.com

  11. I am an asthmatic. It is a huge struggle with derby. It took me forever to pass my 27/5 because of it. Ive looked for support group for this. Can’t find one. Thank you for keeping her memory out there and sharing her story. Xoxo

  12. Pingback: Link Shovin' 29-03-2015 - Rink Rash Radio, Bootcamps + Louisa Kalimeris. - Treble Maker 909

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