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Local youngsters learning the basics of roller derby

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 11:33 am

Morgan Moyer (left) Claria Stone, and Janessa Grenier made their way around the track at Genesis Place on Feb. 6 during a practice session for the Rocky View Junior Derby Association.
Morgan Moyer (left) Claria Stone, and Janessa Grenier made their way around the track at Genesis Place on Feb. 6 during a practice session for the Rocky View Junior Derby Association.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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After watching a Rocky View Rollers roller derby bout at the Pete Knight Arena in Crossfield last year, 11-year-old Airdrie resident Walker Hindman was interested in trying out the sport.

Now he has the chance to do just that, as the newly formed Rocky View Junior Derby Association (RVJDA) has officially started to hold practices on the basketball courts at Genesis Place on Thursday nights.

“I just thought it would be a lot of fun to take part in, and it has been so far,” Hindman said. “We are all learning a lot of the basics right now, and we do that through games and things like that.”

“Right now, we are learning about starting and stopping, and we do that by playing red light green light as we go around a track,” he added. “I’m getting better at it, especially when it comes to my stopping, so it’s going well.”

The RVJDA held its first practice session on Jan. 30, and have had 22 skaters come out to learn about the sport so far.

“It’s a nice solid base to get things going,” RVJDA Board Member Adena Cheverie said. “We do have a lot more girls (19) than guys (three) at the moment, but that kind of goes along with the amount of people that are involved in the big roller derby leagues at the moment.”

During the practices, which take place every Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m., the skaters are learning about the basics of the sport so that they know the proper way to do things.

“The first thing we talked to them about was their overall safety,” Cheverie said. “We talk to the skaters about their helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads, and we let them know how to put them on properly and things like that.”

“Now we are focused more on the main basics of the game,” she added. “This included starting and stopping on their skates, how to fall properly without hurting yourself, and all of those basics before we get into the proper mechanics of the game.”

The sport of roller derby is a full-contact sport where two teams of five members will skate in the same direction around the track in a quest to score points.

The two teams will designate one player, known as a jammer, who scores points by lapping members of the opposite team. The teams try to assist their own jammer by blocking the process of the opposing jammer.

At this point, the RVJDA is mainly focused on making sure that the skaters, who are between the ages of six to 17, understand how to play roller derby before they have games.

“We would like to have our skaters either have a scrimmage against one another or with a junior derby team from Calgary,” Cheverie said.

“But right now, we just want to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing before we get into the process of telling them what a jammer does and how to block other opponents.”

The RVJDA is still accepting members who are interested in trying out the sport of roller derby.

The cost for registration is $150, but it can be prorated depending on how many practices the new skater has missed before joining the RVJDA.

For more information, email the club at rvjda@hotmail.com


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