Roller derby hits Fraser
October 28, 2011
Tracey Windmill started the Mary Jane Roller Girls at the beginning of the summer. She got the idea while living in Australia in 2010.
“I saw a poster recruiting members and joined,” she sadi.
Windmill had no skating experience nor does she compete in competitive sports.
“It was fun,” she said.
When she got back to Fraser and saw that no one was doing roller derby here, she started talking to friends and asked the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District if she could start a team in the “The IceBox” Ice Rink at Fraser Valley Sports Complex.
At the same time, the Grand Park Community Recreation Center wanted to put the facility to more use.
Her idea became a reality; they had a place to skate.
Now she just needs more women.
The first practice four women showed up.
Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is the ruling body for the sport. There are many rules and even this beginner group must adhere to all of them. But also, to be a member, women must eventually pass a skills test that includes jumping on skates, skating fast including finishing 25 laps in 5 minutes; just to name a few rules.
This team is not for the faint of heart: Roller derby is a contact sport. Rules dictate that women cannot use elbows, feet or knees against opponents. You can use shoulders and hips. There is a penalty box, and points are scored when passing the opposition.
Since its inception, the team members have incurred some injuries: bruised tail bones, a broken ankle, and cement burns.
This is a fun group of women. Each member of the team must have a unique roller derby name. The outfits are fun, too.
The team color is cyan and all skin should be covered for safety, however anything goes and the women wear retro style skirts, tank tops, knee high socks, and protective gear such as knee pads and helmet.
Amanda Pina (Minxy) lives in Granby and played for a team before moving back to Grand County. She’s been skating for just over a year.
“It’s a great sport to take out your aggression. All it takes is just one hip check and you will like this sport,” she said.
Sarah Hershfelt (TrikeHerPose) came to the first practice with no experience except rollerskating as a child.
“I feel tough,” she said.
Liza Brent (Moshra) says she is the least athletic person but joined because it was something different to do. Reed Jones (LoisSlain) and Erin-Rose Schneider (KillCulus) also had little rollerskating experience and joined this summer.
They all agree that being on the roller derby team is empowering and different from anything they have ever done.
The team is still learning the rules and it’s not too late to join them on Mondays at the Ice Rink 6-8 p.m. The practice dates and times may change once they secure a winter venue. Windmill says new members do not need experience or even have any particular athletic skill.
“You will develop fitness as you go along,” she said.
Windmill is also looking for sponsors to help fund travel to other towns such as Rifle, Evergreen, Summit County and Eagle. Windmill says they her team isn’t quite ready to compete, but soon.
“We need more women and referees.”
Even referees need to pass skills test as well as know all the rules. The cost is a $5 facility fee for each practice.
Questions: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: Mary Jane Roller Girls
Roller Derby Names Database: http://www.twoevils.org/rollergirls/
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