It’s the end of roller derby season, but really, the skating has only just started.
The Nanaimo Nemesis and Harbour City Rollers didn’t win any bouts at the Vancouver Island Rookie Roller Derby Tournament on Saturday and Sunday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. But they got a chance to play against the region’s best rookie teams and get inspired for next season and beyond.
Vancouver’s Terminal City Roller Girls won the inaugural Island championship, defeating Abbotsford’s Reign Valley Vixens 212-73 in the final.
Nemesis player Kristy “Turbo Vixen” Todd said the tournament was a real success.
“It was really good and positive and fun and we learned so much,” she said. “We pulled it off and it’s been a lot of positive feedback and we feel really good right now.”
The Terminal City players were in high spirits, too, as they rushed for the ferry after their victory. Belinda “Didgeri Doom” Williams said the Roller Girls “couldn’t be happier” with the tournament, the win and the team-building experience.
She said her squad was able to win on the weekend by staying calm on the track.
“It’s more about strategy, so if you’re cohesive, you can really shut them down,” Williams said.
The Nanaimo teams saw right away how tough the competition was at the tourney, as both the Nemesis and Rollers lost their first bouts by blowout scores. But measuring themselves against their own expectations, the Nemesis said they played great.
“Even though we did not win, I’m very proud of us and I think we played better than we ever have,” said Lia “Jane Wreck” Light.
Todd said the tournament helped to build relationships with other teams and players in the sport. The Nemesis will heed any advice, she said, and keep learning and building.
Eventually, Nanaimo’s roller derby teams can be championship-calibre, too.
“Looking back at where we’ve come from and how quickly it’s happened – one year – I’d like to think so,” said Light. “Based on the level of our improvement in the past, it’s entirely possible.”
DERBY DETAILS … Victoria’s Eves of Destruction and Comox’s Rink Minx tied for third place with one win apiece.