By Stephanie Fleming
The Invermere Killer Rollbots crowned themselves atop the East Kootenay Roller Derby League during the championship bout at the Marysville Arena on Saturday.
The Rollbots beat the Avalanche City Roller Girls out of Fernie 205-119, while Kimberley’s Bavarian Barbarians edged the Cranbrook-based Mountain Town Maulers 206-198.
In a rollicking atmosphere charged by an enthusiastic crowd, the Killer Rollbots and the ACRG—the first and second seed in the league—hit the cement floor to determine the champion.
The ACRG beat the Rollbots in a bout back in June, but it was the Rollbots who earned some revenge to take the title with a 205-119 score.
Titled Back in Black and Blue, the first ever East Kootenay Roller Derby League Championships were held at the Marysville Arena on Saturday night to a colourful and vocal crowd from all over the valley. Undefeated in the four bouts leading up to the final, the ACRG headed into the championship bout with high hopes, “We were feeling as confident as we could be but we still knew they weren’t going to be an easy team to beat,” said Jacqueline Fieldhouse aka CrackHer Jax, co-captain and coach of the ACRG.
The battle was tight in the opening jams before the Invermere Killer Rollbots pulled away to an eventual 205 to 119 win. “We knew the Rollbots had been training hard and working on their mental game and it really showed.” says Jacqueline who has watched the Fernie team develop throughout the season. “We are extremely proud of how far we’ve come both physically and mentally; we are such a strong group of girls.”
Fernie definitely got behind it’s first ever roller derby team as a group of 40 fans dubbing themselves the Avalanche City Roller Girls Booster Club hired a bus and made the journey to Marysville to show their support. Dressed in red, wearing ACRG merchandise and sporting black eyes in honour of the hard hitting ladies, the Fernie local cheer squad definitely made themselves heard. “It was really exciting to have a Fernie representation, the sheer noise they were making was overwhelming and they really lifted us,” said Jacqueline.
The ACRG went into this championship with a team of nine girls instead of the standard 14 due to injuries and will definitely be looking towards recruitment for the 2013 season. They will be holding an information session on October 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Max Turyk with a seven-week fresh meat training schedule starting Oct 18. The sessions are open to both men and women who want to get involved and Jacqueline wants to emphasize that anyone can try out, “None of us had even been on skates before we started roller derby and look where we are now.”
From the first meeting of a few ladies at the beginning of 2011 to a group of dedicated, determined sportswomen who now live and breath roller derby, it is clear that the Avalanche City Roller Girls are only going to gain momentum. “Once you’re on the skates you’ll find the addiction too,” says Jacqueline who on behalf of the team would like to thank all the sponsors, supporters and fans for making the ACRG’s first season such a success. To find out more about the team and how to get involved visit www.fernierollerderby.com