Dava (Punky Bruiser) Waller

Dava (Punky Bruiser) Waller

Candy Crushers craving sweet taste of victory

Rough-and-tumble junior roller derby action will fill the floor this coming Saturday (April 19) at Frank Crane Arena.

It’s the Candy Crushers versus the Honey Badgers, but these teams aren’t quite as sweet as they sound.

Rough-and-tumble junior roller derby action will fill the floor this coming Saturday (April 19) at Frank Crane Arena, as Nanaimo hosts Chilliwack.

“Things are coming along good,” said Amanda Gould, coach of the Candy Crushers. “We’ve got a pretty jam-packed season; we’ve got a whole bunch of games.”

The team will travel a lot this spring and summer up and down the Island, to Powell River and over to the mainland. A more serious schedule means a more serious commitment, but Gould said it’s an easy sell.

“They’re die-hard,” she said.

The core of the team has been together for a while, and knows the fundamentals of roller derby – the object is to clear a path for a ‘jammer’ to lap skaters while blocking the opposing team’s jammer from doing the same.

“We don’t really have to work that much on skills any more with them,” said the coach. “We’re getting into more of the strategy and what can we do to shake things up a little.”

In past years, she said, the Candy Crushers were just happy to participate.

“This year I think it’ll be a little different because they’ve been playing as a team for a couple of years now and I think it will show.”

The Honey Badgers are capable opponents and the Crushers know that and are game planning appropriately.

Gould and her coaching counterpart from Chilliwack have competed in women’s action before and some of that rivalry has translated to the junior teams.

“It’s all in fun, though,” Gould said. “This is probably going to be one of the best games of the season because this team brings a whole new level of competition for us.”

DERBY DETAILS … Admission to Saturday’s bout is $5 and the action gets underway at 7 p.m. with a matchup between the ‘training wheels’ teams from Nanaimo and Chilliwack.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com