Roller derby team will soon debut in Crossfield (updated)
The widely growing revival and popularity of roller derby is about to make its first appearance in the region.
A new organization dubbed the Rocky View Rollers has announced plans to start a league and hopes to draw in players from across the counties of Rocky View and Mountain View.
Founding members Sarah Deveau and Sarah Hissett launched a Facebook page last week and will be holding an information session at the Airdrie Co-op’s Community Room at 7 p.m. on March 20.
“We wanted something that was closer for us,” said Deveau, who played roller derby for a year in Calgary, before taking time off to start a family. She is now ready for a return.
“Calgary can be a bit of a hike sometimes, plus it’s more of a competitive league and we want to start off being recreational. Everybody will be starting off on the same foot for the most part. There will be a lot of beginners who have not experienced derby before. It’s really fun to be on the ground floor.”
Roller derby is played by two teams of five members roller-skating in the same direction around a flat track. Games consist of a series of two-minute jams in which both teams’ scoring player, the ‘jammer,’ tries to lap members of the opposing team.
Each team attempts to help its own jammer through the pack while simultaneously trying to hinder the progress of the opposing jammer.
The sport was popular between the 1950s and 1970s, and then re-started in Texas in 2002, before quickly spreading across North America.
Leagues are present in a number of Albertan cities including Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Red Deer.
The new team reached a deal to play out of the Pete Knight Memorial Arena in Crossfield as soon as mid-April.
The Rollers are also seeking women aged 18 or older to comprise the team, with no previous experience required.
“We just put it on Facebook a couple of days ago and we already had 20 people RSVP for our first meeting,” Deveau said.
“We want to get our girls trained up – teach them how to skate, teach them derby skills and teach them to take a hit and give a hit.
“Once we feel there is a certain level of play, we’ll look for opportunities to travel to play games.”
“I’m actually surprised how much support we’ve had already,” said Hissett, who is from Irricana.
She started skating in Calgary in 2007 and was on an international team in 2008.
“I think (the region) is ready to have something like this.”
The Rocky View Rollers’ Facebook page is www.facebook.com/groups/315215395202031