Roller derby matches can be pretty few and far between, so when it’s game on, it’s a big deal.
The Nanaimo Brass Knuckles Derby Dames and the Nanaimo Candy Crushers junior team have bouts scheduled for this Saturday (July 13).
It’s the second doubleheader of the season for the program – the teams were both victorious at the Nanaimo Ice Centre back in May.
Amanda (Miss B Haven) Gould, a Brass Knuckles player and the coach of the Candy Crushers, said it’s hard to organize bouts with the scarcity of floor time and all the officials and planning required. But the Brass Knucks are determined.
“Everybody’s got the same direction; everybody’s working towards the same goal and it’s really been fantastic,” she said.
The co-ed junior team is also becoming stronger, as more girls – and a few boys – are deciding to try the niche sport. Gould said derby can suit most any body type.
“I don’t fit into the typical sports category; I’m not a runner,” she said. “That’s why derby’s great for me and I find that with the kids, too.”
Not many roller derby teams are co-ed which makes finding bouts even more difficult, but Gould said she’s determined to let the boys play if they want to.
Even if the players don’t get regular bouts, they’re practising and bonding and improving.
“The juniors are positional blocking only, although they’re starting to get a little bit rougher out there,” said the coach.
In Saturday’s main-event bout between the Brass Knuckle Derby Dames and Maple Ridge’s Haney Hooligans, there will be more hitting and more strategy, said Gould.
For those who haven’t seen the sport live, she said, it can be faster and more physical than they might expect.
“You’ll hear that at the end of the game, ‘Oh, that hit you did on so-and-so, it was awesome,’” she said.
DERBY DETAILS … The Candy Crushers will scrimmage with a mixed Island team Saturday (July 13) at 6:45 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The Brass Knuckles will take on the Haney Hooligans at 9 p.m. Admission is $10 or free for kids 10 and under.