As winter arrives and the ice rinks freeze over, the Avalanche City roller derby team is forced to find alternate practice spaces for training and competing. Fortunately for the Fernie roller girls, they found a free space in Lethbridge on November 10 at the Live Free and Skate Hard invitational tournament.
Derby competitors from across the region came together to battle it out in two bouts, in memory of Canada’s veterans. East Kootenay girls were well represented with nine players strapping on skates, four of those from the Avalanche City team.
Several skaters had to withdraw from the competition at the last minute due to poor weather and icy road conditions. Fewer competitors led to a bigger opportunity for the Fernie skaters, allowing them to compete in both the rookie and advanced games.
Having started skating just 18 months ago, and competing in roughly ten bouts so far, Fernie girls Jenna Jammerson, BreakaDawn, CrackHer Jax, and Flash Fury proved they could keep up with the best. Jenna Jammerson showed her dominance during the rookie game and was awarded Most Valuable Player. All four girls went on to help their team take the win for the advanced bout.
Having the chance to play two back-to-back bouts was a test of the girls’ endurance during what’s considered the off-season for roller derby. The Avalanche City girls left inspired with the progress and skill level they have each developed in the last year and a half.
“I just didn’t think it was possible to love roller derby even more,” commented BreakaDawn. “This [bout] has taken us to an entirely new level of play.”
The roller girls will take their skills back to the Avalanche City team and continue to work on developing their 15 new ‘fresh meat’ players. Half way through the ‘fresh meat’ program, the team is hopeful that all 15 potential players will be skating for the team when roller derby season kicks off next May.