Castlegar’s first roller derby team had a distinct message for city council Monday night: we’re here.
The team, named the Dam City Rollers, packed the seats in the Community Forum during the meeting to introduce themselves and explain how they hope to play a role in the community.
The Rollers formed in October when a few girls bought skates and taught themselves the rules of roller derby through YouTube videos. Now, the team has 20 women from the ages of 21 to 47.
The team has been practising in the Robson Hall three times a week, but they’re looking for a bigger space. Once the ice comes out at the Community Complex, they’ll start practising there, however practice times will have to be scaled back because the venue is pricier than Robson Hall.
“That’s probably our biggest challenge, finding somewhere to skate,” Kristina Kruchkowski, also known as Kitty Karnage, said.
Coun. Deb McIntosh said the city would write a letter supporting the team, which would hopefully help them secure gym space to practise in for the fall.
Kruchkowski said two teams in Nelson currently practise in Trafalgar Middle School, however schools here have been hesitant because they’re worried about the skates marking the floors. Kruchkowski said the wheels and toe-stops on the skates are non-marking.
“As soon as you mention roller derby, people don’t want to let you in there,” she said.
Practice space aside, the team is optimistic about their future and is looking to involve more people.
“Flat-track derby is hailed as one of the fastest growing sports in North America, if not the fastest growing sport,” Kruchkowski said. “We want to be inclusive for everybody.”
This includes having men participate as referees or non-skating officials.
New members are welcome as well.
“Until you pass the skills test you’re considered fresh meat,” Kruchkowski said.
Castlegar’s first home bout will be on May 6 at the Community Complex against Salmo’s Babes of Brutality. After that, the Rollers are planning to be involved in June’s Sun Fest.
“We want to be in the parade, for sure,” Kruchkowski said.
The team is also hoping to foster a junior team for 12 to 18-year-old girls in the fall. Kruchkowski said the Slocan Valley has already started a similar team.
For more information on the Dam City Rollers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.