February’s Co-RSRD Volunteer/Referee of the Month: Beat Ho Ven

Beat Ho Ven

Name: Beat Ho Ven

Title:  Referee/Fresh Meat Coach/Trainer

What’s the story behind the name?
I am a PhD student of orchestral conducting and I was looking for a musical name that was both easily recognizable and aggressive. My name was almost “Mauler” (from the composer Mahler) but it was too obscure and decided to go with something more popular.

What is your favorite thing about derby?
In my opinion, it’s the best sport in the world. I don’t understand why it’s not a college sport or in the Olympics yet, but I have no doubt that it will be in the near future. There’s no better feeling than the one you get after a good jam because you know that it was a team effort and not an individual one.

What first attracted you to roller derby?
My wife, Val Killmore, was a player for Hattiesburg and I really loved watching roller derby. A year and a half ago she encouraged me to become a ref. I started skating but I would’ve probably abandoned reffing if it wasn’t for the fact that, at the time, a men’s league was forming in Hattiesburg and I had an extra incentive to skate. It was a great decision! I love the sport and how in shape it got me.

What is your most memorable derby moment?
I have the luck, or not, to be married to one of the best jammers around. I owe a lot of my skills to her. I will never forget the first time I got lead-jammer against her. It was an awesome accomplishment, which still doesn’t happen often, but it helps both of us grow and become better skaters.

What type of gear do you prefer?
I don’t have top of the line gear, but what I have has served me well. My skates are relatively cheap for derby (Riedell Hybrids) but I really love them. I’ve had them for almost 2 years and they are still in good shape. One thing that I encourage all players to buy are volleyball pads to wear under the kneepads. I hurt my knees when I started playing and it wasn’t fun at all. Now, that extra cushioning from the pads allows me to feel nothing when I fall. They’ve helped me become fearless! Also, the one piece of gear that I will always use are the Gumball toe stops. They are amazing!

What do you do when you’re not participating in derby activities?
I’m in class, practicing flute or conducting, playing or conducting concerts, working (Barnes & Noble), working out with Val (mostly running), and playing video games if there’s any free time left at all.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from derby?
It has reinforced my musician beliefs that if you want to become great at something, you have to work hard for it. As a musician, we spend most of our time (about 90%) practicing instead of performing and if you want to perform well you must practice the same skills over and over again until you’ve mastered them. This has actually helped me become a better skater because I am obsessed with mastering every little detail. When I started skating, I would spend hours on one skill until I felt it was good enough and I still do so with more advanced skills.

What other sports should start incorporating roller skates?
To be honest, none. If you want a good sport with roller skates, there’s already an incredibly refined one and it’s called “Roller Derby”. Be a part of it!

If you played derby, would you want to be a blocker, pivot, or jammer?
I have played derby and I’ve played mostly as a jammer and I really enjoy it, but blockers are equally as important and I enjoy playing both. There’s nothing like forming an impenetrable wall with your teammates! There’s nothing like backwards blocking someone. There’s nothing like sneaking through the pack as a jammer! It’s the best sport in the world!

Who is your favorite non-RSRD roller derby player?
Peter Pan from Your Mom Men’s Roller Derby. He is a true athlete and you would never think he used to be an Olympic skater by the way he looks. He looks like a regular guy, but his technique is flawless. His jamming skills are amazing and he holds the MRDA record for most points scored in a jam at 45 points. A close 2nd is Mr. Furieux who plays in a men’s league in Toulouse, France. I know you’re reading this on a computer; got to YouTube NOW and search for these two skaters! You won’t regret it.

What is the most outrageous, awesome, or funny thing you have seen happen at a bout?
The most awesome thing I’ve seen is Quadzilla jumping the entire pack through the apex.

Beat Ho Ven hears the music of roller derby (and he totally sees you committing a major, so you should probably go to the box now)

That guy makes it look so easy!

What Pop Tart flavor would you be?
I’m from Venezuela. Therefore, we don’t have pop tarts there. I think I’ve only had the strawberry before. So I guess that’s the one I’ll be.

The Clash or The Ramones?
I’m gonna say the Ramones even though I don’t like either of these choices that much. Give me some Tchaikovsky!

If you could arm wrestle any girl in the league, who would you arm wrestle and why?
I guess I would try Glock, but I would fail miserably. She’s a cop for crying out loud!

How badly do you wish that the next season would just go ahead and begin already?
I am extremely excited for this season. The girls are improving so much and so fast. It’s gonna be a good one.

Do you have any advice to anyone thinking about getting involved with derby?
Please! I beg you! Come to the games and if you don’t like it, I will give you your money back. I promise you’ll love it! Come skate with us as well. It’s one of the best things that has happened in my life.

What is the one thing you want to make sure fans of RSRD know?
Red Stick – Red Stick: OI-OI-OI !!!

When did you join Red Stick Roller Derby?
I transferred to RSRD in August of 2012.

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