There’s never been a better time to lace up some skates and get involved in the sport of roller derby.
That’s the message from the Lake City Derby Girls, who just started their third season in Williams Lake at the beginning of October.
Hot off the heels of this past weekend’s first ever Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto, the local club is hoping to roll in some new members.
The sport, said Lake City Derby Girl Melanie Ablitt, who goes by the derby name Mel-A-Liscious, has increased drastically in popularity over recent years and has multiple benefits.
“After you have been a part of the sport for a little while it really becomes a part of you,” Ablitt said. “Not only is it extremely fun but it lets you be a bit more phsyical than is generally accepted by women and it is very empowering.
“The confidence you gain from knowing how strong you can be, and being part of a close group, that is an even stronger feeling.”
Gone are the phony, staged roller derby matches of the 70s and 80s. In its place is a fast-paced, intense and physical sport played on a flat oval between two teams.
Fans in Williams Lake got a taste of the sport first-hand in August 2010 when the Lake City Derby Girls played their very first home match in front of close to 600 fans at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
And now, just over one year later, the team said plans are in place to host its second home game on April 28, 2012 against the Missfits of Mayhem from central Alberta.
In preparation for the season several team members — Amy Lucas (RedRum), Tamara Garreau (Mara-Nator), Jennifer Simms (Bombshell Gizmo) and Ablitt attended two roller derby boot camps in B.C. The first, a two-day session, was held in Armstrong from Oct. 30-31.
“At least 60 girls from around the province were in attendance,” Ablitt said. “It was extremely tough. We were on the track at 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day with intensive training on and off skates.”
The girls were joined by Team Canada derby players Lulu Demon (Lucy Croysdill), 8-Mean Wheeler (Kim MacKenzie) and Beretta Lynch (Bobbi Barbarich).
Following that the team was in Prince George from Nov. 5 for the second annual Skatefest Boot-Camp and Bout, hosted by the Rated PG Roller Girls.
“We had an excellent time and were so excited to get another full day of training in from 8-Mean Wheeler and Lulu Demon,” Ablitt said. “They are awesome roller derby players and are making quite a name for themselves in the derby community.”
At this past weekend’s Roller Derby World Cup 13 teams from around the world squared off to become the first ever world champions of roller derby. Teams competed from Finland, Australia, Germany, U.S. and Canada.
“The U.S. ended up winning but not after a spectacular effort by our Canadian girls,” Ablitt said.
“A few of us watched it all weekend and it was amazing to see how this sport has exploded over the past few years. Most of the teams have just started over the last two to five years.”
Now the Lake City Derby Girls would like to invite new players to attend their practices.
Practices go Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Marie Sharpe elementary and on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Nesika elementary.
For more information contact Ablitt at 250-267-8134 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team also has a Facebook page, “Lake City Derby Girls,” with all of its practices and events listed.