Just because we have not talked about Roller Derby in a while…

I am a Roller Derby fan. I’ll do my darnedest to convince you to go out to an event when events become a reality again. In the meanwhile, I’m stepping into a time machine that brings us back to May 9th, 2019.

That is when I released an article on Win Column Sports which included a short interview with a Roller Derbier that goes by the name Roxy Belleboa. Win Column Sports is now Love Wrestling so that story now only lives in my e-mail…until today!

When the original article was published back in 2019, Roxy Belleboa was a member of Oil City Roller Derby (OCRD). It was released just ahead of a tournament called “Flat Track Fever” which has been cancelled for 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Instead of using a question and answer format, I’m simply re-posting Belleboa’s responses:

“So for our Flat Track team name. Our league does have the two co-gender teams, the Near Death Stars and the Space Oddities, but sometimes (like this tournament for instance) we don’t have enough players from one team so we mix them up and we get the Near Death Stars. Normally we would just use either The Near Death Stars or The Space Oddities name but for a tournament or game, but we get a custom to saying the Near Death Oddities so we just went with it.

We did play the FMRD (Fort McMurray) Crude assassins on March 9, 2018 with the OCRD Near Death Stars winning 214 to 157. In this game we actually had a lot of new skaters playing their first game with is so that was really exciting for them and us. We went into this game with a lot of nervous and scared skaters, but we always say that we play as a team and if we win or lose we do it as a team and we always have fun.

The CCRD (Calgary) Natural Born Thrillers and the SRDL (Saskatchewan)  Killa Bees have always been a good teams. Our ladies house teams as well as our ladies travel team have played them in the past with either loses wins or losses. Unfortunately it has been a long time since we have played them so it’s going to be a good few games especially since we have not played their co-gender teams yet.

https://twitter.com/flattrackfever/status/1127719548809957376?s=20

We have whats called “Watch Nights” where we all get together for a “team bonding” night at someone’s place and watch opponent games as well as our own so we get a feel of what the other team is capable of doing, but you never know until you are all lined up against them and ready to play. In this sport, player development can happen so fast. One day a skater is scared of hitting an opponent and the next they are clearing an entire line of apposing blockers.

Yes, my derby name is interesting and people do intend to laugh at it which makes me happy. I have been playing roller derby now 7 years. Six of them are with Oil City Roller Derby League and my fist year was with the Lakeland Lady Killer’s of Cold Lake.

My position in this sport is all. I am a jammer when my teams needs a “bull in the China shop”. I play pivot so my jammer’s have someone to rely on when they get tired and need to pass the star and I am a blocker. I have the ability to work with my blockers when we need to be strong but I can also play solo and become what we call “shinny” when we have a blocker on the apposing  team who is strong and making it hard for our jammer to get threw. I get “all in their business” so they pay attention to me and not their blocker’s or our jammer.

Being a captain/co-captain in a lot of work. I have been the captain of our travel team OCDG and the Dirty Harriets and now the co-gender team, The Near Death Stars as well as the co-captain for the same team.

Your main job is to make sure all of your skaters are ready to play. When a game is announced you have to with with your co-captain and check everyone’s availability for that date. If you have enough on your team thats perfect, if not, then you have to check with the other co-gender team to see who is available for that date. Once that is all solidified making sure everything is good to go, like the jersey’s colors, helmet covers are ready, make sure everyone know when to be at the venue (especially if it is an away game) and just checking in on skater’s up until the game.

In my seven years this game has changed so much. From the one whistle blow to let the blockers go then the two whistle blow to let the jammer’s go to how skaters would form up in a line across the track instead of the “diamond” formation. I love how this sport continues to grow and change and be inclusive so that everyone can play.

The million dollar question.. Well we need more coverage. Roller Derby in a whole needs to be out more and in people’s faces. I find that when I tell people I play roller derby they look at me funny and say ” they still do that?”. I am lucky to be apart of the first Roller Derby< league to start in Canada and sadly only a handful of people know this. We do get little shots of acknowledgement here and there, but we, as a sport, needs more overage so that everyone can enjoy the sport that we love, that I love so much.”

That is your trip down Roller Derby memory lane. Here is to the hope of creating more Derby memories in 2021.

Need a basic introduction to Roller Derby? CLICK HERE!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: