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The Women's Sports Alliance

PRESENTS...

B-Girl Roxy – record breaking single mum seeks historic Olympic place


Image from Red Bull Content Pool


“Breaking is so exhilarating,” B-girl Roxy tells the Women’s Sports Alliance. “To actually do it or learn a new move is such a personal achievement and there's no more rewarding feeling.


“Well, other than maybe having a child!”


Roxy laughs after finishing that sentence, before an abrupt stop as she drops the phone to free an extra hand and stop her excitable two-and-a-half-year-old son, Leo, from diving head first off the bed.


“He’s fine, don’t worry I’m happy to talk,” she insists after the rapid recovery. “As you can tell he’s quite crazy, but he’s a product of me so I shouldn’t expect any different!”


Roxy, whose full name is Roxanne Milliner, exudes passion, particularly when talking about her son and her love for breaking – a competitive form of break dancing, which was born out of 1970’s hip hop culture in the USA – which will make its Olympic debut next year.


She has also long demonstrated a multitude of skills – a world junior champion trampoline star before switching sports, appearances in major music videos, high-profile commercials as well as leading brands, the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening ceremony AND she holds two Guinness World Records for headspins.


WATCH ROXY WIN 2022 RED BULL BC ONE UK CYPHER!


However, managing life as a mum while attempting to become Britain’s first-ever Olympian in her sport come Paris 2024 is an entirely different challenge for the B-girl, who will turn 35 before the Games begin.


“I really, really struggle,” she admits. “I'm a single mum and my mum is not very well so I don't have all that much help and since I’ve had him (in 2021) I’ve practiced maybe ten times.”


Despite this, qualifying for the Olympics is still a realistic possibility.


She is currently ranked 31st in the global standings, with 16 places available for Paris 2024 and there are a host of major qualifying events – including the World Championships – ahead.


“I had a really bad pregnancy and I was in a wheelchair for most of it, so I'm quite proud of myself for even being where I am now, but I know I have so much more to give if I had the chance to train,” says the London-based b-girl.


“It’s been frustrating, so if anyone feels that they want to come and look after a crazy two-year-old for a few hours a few times a week then please let me know!”


FROM BOUNCING TO BREAKING – AFTER A BACK FRACTURE



Trampolining was Roxy’s first love and after securing World junior gold as part of the British team in 2003 she was considering a long-term career in the sport.


At the age of 15, she was forced to reassess.


“I have a condition which is called Spondylolisthesis and was born with a slight curve in my spine, so I’m more prone to getting injuries, but from what I understand I broke my back and it was as complete snap.


“Luckily, I wasn’t paralysed and it was a gradual thing over about a year where my back was getting worse and it wasn't diagnosed straightaway.


“I tried to carry on (trampolining), but then I discovered breaking and fell in love so I didn’t want to really do anything else.


“I still have pain and that’s why my pregnancy was so difficult, but so long as my core muscles are strong, I can keep dancing.”


‘BREAKING SAVED ME FROM A DARKER PATH’



Roxy describes her young self as something of a “hood-rat” who often mixed with the ‘wrong sorts’ and in 2017 admitted to the BBC she had friends who were “stabbed or ended up in prison.”


She is well-aware that her life could have headed in a similar direction, but she found a purpose.


“When you're a kid you're only attracted to things that are cool that your friends want to do and you’re not thinking what am I going to do for my whole life,” she admits.


“When I started (breaking) it was an escape from a potentially bad life.


“I’m lucky I found it and it’s become my life, hobby, job, everything, which is really cool because it gives you so much freedom to express yourself and as a ‘tough nut kind of tomboy’ type it’s perfect for me.


“I've gone to countries I didn't even know existed, which opens your mind in a really different way and although I’ve never really fitted in, there’s an amazing community because we all kind of fit together through being misfits!”


OLYMPIC TRANSFORMATION DIVISIVE WITHIN BREAKING


Images from Red Bull Content Pool


Inclusion for Paris 2024, which was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 7 Dec 2020, was widely hailed by those associated with the competitive form of the sport.


It followed a highly successful trial at the 2018 Youth Olympics, but many of those within the community have now become frustrated by the new rules and regulations which have been integrated into breaking as part of the official Paris 2024 qualification guidelines.


“When I started our movements would reflect the hip hop that we listened to and we’d be able to show our personalities though the music, but that’s being washed away,” she admits.


“Now with the inclusion into the Olympics and the live streams there are problems getting the licensing for playing some music and that really limits what DJs are able to play.


“There’re also certain rules surrounding gestures which are a real integral part of breaking where people show their attitude through gimmicks and mocking people and that’s being taken away.


Roxy continues; “It’s inevitable that is that it's going to be a transition period and the Olympics does bring about some insane new opportunities, but quite a few of us are unhappy at the moment.


“Hopefully they can smooth that out over the next few Olympics.”


OLYMPIC PERFORMER TO OLYMPIC PARTICIPANT?


Roxy the model and mum - images from @bgirlroxy


While there are clear frustrations, Roxy herself is still desperate to achieve a lifetime goal, one she gained a glimpse of while performing in China 15 years ago.


She was part of a group selected to perform as part of the Beijing 2008 to London 2012 handover at the closing ceremony in the Chinese capital


It was a show some may remember included a performance by Leona Lewis and saw David Beckham kick a ball from the top of a red double decker bus.


“That was insane and so crazy,” Roxy tells the WSA


“It was weird because a lot of my friends (performing in Beijing) who were young like me didn’t really care that much about the Olympics, but because I did trampolining, I knew what they meant and I always had a kind of ‘the sky is the limit’ type of mentality.”



The b-girl acknowledges she needs to draw on all of that positivity in her bid to accomplish the life goal of becoming an Olympian next year.


Success in the arena and a sponsor outside of it would certainly assist that ambition.


“That (support) that really be life changing for me and my son,” she tells the WSA.


“I still think I physically have the capability to be at the Olympics, I just need to be able to put in the work.


“I’m willing and after having my son I never felt more motivated, I just need a little help.

Roxy concludes; “There are only 16 places (for the Olympics) available in the whole world, so it would just be crazy to make it, but it's not too late just yet.”



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