While there is no direct English translation, the Finnish word “sisu” can be understood with words like determination, strength, and resilience. As SISU Guard states it on their website, “We like to think of it as this: when you’ve exhausted every resource, all your will, that last ounce of energy, sisu is what’s left that keeps you going.” With that in mind, there is no wondering why roller derby and SISU go hand and hand.
As derby players, we know why we love SISU. The amazing protection we get while still being able to communicate to our teammates when the jammer is coming, or being able to drink from our water bottles without having to take the guards out. We get so much from SISU, so we interviewed Rita Shelley, the director of marketing for SISU Guard, to find out exactly why they love derby.
When SISU first came on the market, they were looking for a sport to get into, something to put SISU on the map. They already knew how great their product was; their mouth guards allow athletes to talk, breathe, and drink with ease. Now all they needed was a sport to find this out on their own.
Rita explained that they saw no one catering to roller derby and yet these athletes seemed to be their ideal market. “The entire demographic is smart, vocal, and early product adopters. Plus they had this fierce loyalty to their own. We just knew we had to become the household brand of these women and we brought them the product they could really get behind.”
Rita has two kids and teaches Zumba when she isn’t spreading the good word of SISU. I asked her who her favorite Derby Dime is and she said Skim MILF, because “she was so very sweet and patient in introducing me to the then new-to-me sport of roller derby." You can read about Rita's first derby experience in her blog.
With roller derby being SISU’s first love, Rita stated that they have a very tender and loving relationship with the derby gals, (and guys) of the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes, their home team. The Ann Arbor Derby Dimes loves SISU too!
Flic is a 31-year-old who has two rambunctious huskies, and is a llama loving mama who firmly believes that llamas are better than goats