One of the Castlegar Dam City Rollers has been drafted for Team Canada Women’s Roller Derby’s development program.
Kylie Morin, #306 for the Dams, moved to Rossland from Saskatchewan just over six years ago and has been playing roller derby since April 2014. On Oct. 23 she attended a Team Canada tryout in Calgary.
The tryout was divided into two: a morning portion that anyone could attend and then in the afternoon the top 34 skaters were split onto two teams of 17, with six jammers each, to participate in the scrimmage. Morin was one of the skaters picked as a jammer.
“Since they picked six, which is a lot, … we probably only got to go three or four times each per half, so you really had to show your stuff,” said Morin.
As a member of the newly introduced development team, Morin will participate in all team events and training, have access to all the resources, and will get to attend all the camps and practices. “I’m just not eligible right now to be rostered for the games,” said Morin.
She said she left the tryout feeling like it went well. “I wasn’t really expecting to make the team, but the tryout went well, better than I expect actually.”
Following two tryouts, one in Ontario and the one in Calgary, Team Canada Women’s Roller Derby drafted 28 skaters to compete on Team Canada in the 2017 Roller Derby World Cup. But it also drafted six players, including Morin, for the new development program. “In order to promote development of the sport across the country, Team Canada is introducing a Development Program,” read a press release announcing the new Team Canada lineup. “In addition to the team of 28, six development athletes will train with the team and have full access to Team Canada coaching and training. The development athletes represent six leagues, five of which are not otherwise represented on the team, providing these leagues with access to Team Canada’s training resources.”
Anything Morin learns while training with Team Canada, she’ll be able to bring back and teach to the rest of the Dam City Rollers. Even the trip to Calgary has already proven fruitful for the Dams. Morin and three other Dams made the trip to tryouts, and also attended a Team Canada boot camp the night before. They were able to bring back a new defensive move that the Dams successfully executed at their bout on Nov. 19.
Morin also looks forward to being challenged and learning more of the strategy of the game. “And also just having more offense helping me as I’m jamming versus just four blockers blocking 100 per cent of the time,” she said. “Because it seems at the higher level, they’re really getting into the offense rather than just playing defensively.”
Anyone who attended the the Dams’ bout on Nov. 19 got the chance to see Morin’s speed on the track. While Morin’s only been on the roller derby track for two and a half years, she started speed skating when she was eight and skated at the national level for 12 years. “It was like my family sport,” she said. “We spent every weekend at the rink.”
Morin will attend her first Team Canada practice in December. The practice is in Toronto and Morin is responsible for her own travel costs. “The team will do some fundraising,” she said.