Submitted by Jess de Groot
The Fernie Roller Derby Society recently made a big purchase and is extremely excited to share the news with their community. The Fernie Roller Derby Society is now the proud new owner of a 2005 Krystal Koach 21-passenger bus.
“We say thank you to the hundreds of people that bought raffle tickets from our fundraisers last year,” said Avalanche City Roller Girls (ACRG) coach Jenna Jammerson. “Each of those community members has played a role in helping us purchase this bus. “
The bus will largely aid the Fernie Roller Derby teams in reaching their goals to compete outside of Fernie and also offers the community an exciting new advertising opportunity. In the past, the teams carpooled when traveling, which was expensive and caused wear and tear on the skaters’ personal vehicles. The bus allows the skaters to travel together as a team, saving on expenses and also creating an important team-building opportunity.
The bus will also operate as a mobile advertising space as it travels locally, throughout western Canada and into the United States. With the 21-passenger bus, the Fernie Roller Derby Society also aims to offer a charter service to Fernie sports teams, community groups and private events, such as weddings.
The team is currently offering advertising space on the bus. Businesses and community organizations can now secure a rolling advertising spot. Interested advertisers are encouraged to contact Fernie Roller Derby Society to discuss and reserve space.
Along with fundraising and working to purchase a team bus, the board of the Fernie Roller Derby Society has been going through the process of having the league become an apprentice league of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The board received word in mid-January that the league had been approved and is officially an apprentice league.
The WFTDA is an international governing body for flat-track roller derby. They created and maintained the first standardized rule set for the game, which is followed by a vast majority of leagues playing flat-track roller derby today. WFTDA is the sanctioning body for games. They also host tournaments and playoffs where the best teams in the world compete for rankings and championship trophies.
Fernie Roller Derby Society president Jacqueline Fieldhouse said, “Being accepted into the WFTDA Apprentice Program has been a long term goal of our league since its inception. It has taken tremendous dedication and hard work to make it this far and I am proud of the women who have made it happen. Becoming a member is an important move for our league as it not only opens up higher competitive opportunities for our teams, but it will provide valuable collaboration and networking.”
As an apprentice league, Fernie Roller Derby Society is matched with a full-member league as they work through the apprentice program in order to become a full-member league. This opportunity is massive for the Fernie teams. They will be able to continue to grow into a stronger, more competitive league with the ability to travel to play higher-level roller derby games. In particular, the Avalanche City All Stars can now seek out higher-ranking teams for game play, teams that would not have considered them in the past.
The All Stars will travel in the new team bus to their first bout of the year in Coeur d’Alene to play the Snake Pit Derby Dames on Saturday, Feb. 21.