Season 6, and so it begins

west kootenay roller derby league 2015

West Kootenay Roller Derby League 2015

As the West Kootenay Roller Derby league embarks upon its 6th season, we reflect on the years that brought us to where we are today. In 2010, Salmo and Rossland’s brand new teams faced off at Mountain Mayhem in the debut of a sport that the Kootenays had never seen but that fit seamlessly into the unspoken ethos of our region: community, adventure, creativity, and strength. The skaters themselves were (and still are) every kind of woman in the Kootenays. From ski bums to stay-at-home moms to nurses, artists, scientists, teachers and more, there was no ‘type’ of skater in derby – only people that felt Dam City Rollerssomething spark inside of them when they heard of or saw this unique sport. In the course of a year our league’s membership went from 2 teams to 8, including a travel team that put the West Kootenays on the map as a region brimming with fearless and determined mountain women – a reputation that lives on today. Even now, our league’s diversity continues to broaden. The skill discrepancy was vast upon the derby boom in 2011, but the inclusivity ingrained into the WKRD and the sport itself closed the gap. Once-prevalent blowout games waned as teams worked together to increase the skill and profile of our league. House teams folded, merged, and were Killjoysrecreated as newer, stronger entities. Skaters retired, new skaters joined, and we have found ourselves strong at 4 competitive regional house teams: Nelson’s Killjoys, Valley Brutality from the Salmo/Slocan region, Rossland Trail Roller Girls, and the Dam City Rollers in Castlegar. Since 2010, 4 different teams have put their name on the coveted Golden Boot trophy; most recently the Dams in 2014.
The 2015 season begins on March 14th in Castlegar, on the home track of the defending champions, with a rematch of last season’s Mountain Mayhem finals, and is sure to be as hard-hitting a pair of games as the Kootenays have ever seen. The derby season finals in June in Nelson has become one of the biggest local events every year. While a mere 4 months doesn’t seem long, in roller derby it can mean complete upheaval. With a few veterans remaining alongside seasoned skaters, and feisty ‘Fresh Meat’ peppered throughout the league, we’ve seen that it can be anyone’s game and can all change in an instant. From thundering Arlingtonbodychecks to spinning pirouettes, the speed, talent, and ferocity of WKRD derby continues to grow and to astound our fans year after year.
We start 2015 brimming with gratitude to our leaguemates. There are referees, Non-Skating Officials, and volunteers that surrender their time and hearts to this sport in support of the fierce-hearted women that live to skate. We thank our families and friends for their cheers, high-fives, and countless hours without us as we forsake all else in the name of ‘skate fast, turn left.’ We draw our power from our communities and hurtle it (and ourselves) into one another with abandon, the intensity of ourValley Brutality competition rivaled only by the depth of our camaraderie. We lead by example preaching teamwork, athleticism, determination, and inclusivity. We practice what we preach, our simple motto applying to all people in all walks of life:
Be your own hero.

Thank you for joining us this season.

⁃ Courtney Shove, Nelson Killjoys

The post Season 6, and so it begins appeared first on West Kootenay Roller Derby.

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