October 2012 Roller Derby Spotlight - Diamond Destroyher

By Danielle Fairbanks | Sept. 26, 2012, 5 p.m. (ET)

Diamond Destroyher

Julie Willis AKA Diamond Destroyher is the October USARS Roller Derby Spotlight athlete.  Diamond received her first USARS card in 1973.  She spent her childhood and teenage years as an artistic roller skater under the tutelage of Omar and Dolores Dunn.  In October of 2008, she was one of 8 girls who attended the first practice of The Bakersfield Diamond Divas.  That first year she served as Co-Captain for the team and helped spearhead the importance of skating skills as part of our league’s focus.  She has proven that age is merely a number and that you can do anything you set your mind to.  Diamond designs and makes every game jersey and helmet panty that our league wears.  Not only does she spend countless hours on track, but she also is available at nearly all our charity functions representing the fact that we represent derby for a cause.  One of her most notable recent contributions came at the end of one of the league bouts when she cut her hair in center track to be donated to Locks of Love.  The team sold raffle tickets and the winner got the privilege of cutting 11” of Diamond’s hair, and the money raised was donated to Relay for Life.  Diamond is one of the reasons that the Bakersfield Diamond Divas shine so bright.


Hometown: Bakersfield California


Personal website/journal/web log (blog) address: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­I kept a travel blog this summer of my adventures in Ireland and London, which did include derby practice with 4 European leagues.  The blog can be found at Travelpod,  search drbysk8ter.


Occupation & current employer:  Kern High School District, Special Education Teacher


Career goals: I hope to continue to help special education students achieve their goals.


Current league: Bakersfield Diamond Divas


Derby name & number: Diamond Destroyher #67


Years involved in derby: 4


Coaches name: Major Woody


Diamond DestroyherFavorite derby position (blocker, pivot, jammer):  My favorite position on the track is blocking for my daughter, Penelope Pitstop, who is a jammer on our team.


When did you begin skating:  I began skating competitively in 1973

Fondest memory of skating: Every Artistic Regional Roller Skating Championship that took place in Bakersfield, and my very first jam in my very first derby bout.


Future goals you hope to obtain as a skater:  I hope to skate with my league long enough to skate with both of my daughters and continue to spread the importance of good skating skills in derby.


Awards, honors and statistics received in roller sports: I won my first National Roller Skating gold medal as a member of Skateland Bakersfield’s Precision Team.  I have been awarded best jammer and blocker at a few of the bouts that we have participated in. 

Other sports you currently participate in: I am currently an assistant wrestling coach for our high school wrestling team.


Who is your favorite sports figure:  Jessica Ennis is currently my favorite sports figure.  I was fortunate enough to be in the stadium the night she won her gold medal in the heptathlon.  Her drive and determination to be the best and survive the media spotlight is what makes her a true inspiration. 


Who is the person you most admire/greatest influence in your life and why: One of the biggest influences in my life has been my artistic skating coach Omar Dunn.  He was always more than a coach.  He taught me the value of persistence, to always get up when I end up on the floor, and that there is always room for improvement no matter how perfect you are.  I see him reflected in my teaching and coaching styles. 


List your hobbies: Scrapbooking, sewing, eBay, and yard sales.


What music do you listen to during training or competition?  Whatever My Lil Boney has put together for us.


Diamond DestroyherWhat makes you a unique and special person:  My sense of humor, patience, and my positive outlook on almost all situations.


Favorite food before a competition:  Marie Callendar’s Chicken Pot Pie.


Favorite movie: Up


Favorite place to shop: I love to shop in second hand stores stores!!!


Most prized possession:  My collection of 125 DVD’s that contain all of my skating memories.


If you could pick one word to describe you, what would it be: Dynamic


Anything else you would like us to know about you:  I have always been at home on my skates and I am probably in the best shape of my life thanks to this thing called “derby.”  Derby has allowed me to express myself in many ways including the fashion designer side of me that shines in every jersey that each of my team members wear.  The Bakersfield Diamond Divas have given me a place to shine!