The Oil City Derby Girls in Merge Magazine - Pick yours up today! Or read online here
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 22, 2011
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history of this sport, five years ago there was only one roller derby league in Edmonton: The Oil City Derby Girls. Some of the members branched off and formed the E-Ville Roller Derby League to prove that, like heads, two leagues are indeed better than one – and it seems that they may have been right. Over the past five years both teams have been striving for success, learning from losses and racking up wins in games with teams all over Canada and the USA.
However, despite the close proximity of these two leagues, they have never matched up head to head – or league to league. Last September, OCDG won the coveted Wild Rose Cup from the three-year-firm grasp of Calgary’s Hellion Rebellion. E-Ville was the first team to step up to challenge OCDG for the cup, and OCDG has enthusiastically accepted.
Some say it will be a grudge match, others say it will be a blood bath; one thing we all know is that it’s about time for Edmonton fans to see a bout of such epic proportions! Book it now and be ready to cheer, scream, and flinch as these girls skate hard, turn left, and bring their best strategies to knock each other into oblivion… or at least the laps of those sitting in Suicide Seating.
Interleague representatives show the signed contract! Pamtera from Oil City and Nerd Badger from E-Ville.
Players circle the track during the Wild Rose Challenge at Northlands Expo Centre Saturday night.
Updated: Sun Sep. 19 2010 19:06:34
Local roller derby players are looking to gain new recruits for a contact sport that's as much about entertainment as it is about athleticism. Those involved in the phenomenon, which first gained popularity in the U.S. during the 1970s, say their culture is shifting from underground to mainstream. "There was like 12 skaters when I first started," said player Bonnie Batersby, whose derby alias is Bamm Bamm.
"The fans and even the crowds have turned out more and more. The fans know the game better now and so they are enjoying it a lot more."
Roller derby pits two five-person teams against each other on an oval track. Points are scored as a designated player referred to as ‘the jammer' laps members of the opposing team. A revival of the sport in the mid-2000s saw an enhanced female slant, with many players dressing in a pronounced punk aesthetic.
While public interest in roller derby dwindled for several decades, many local enthusiasts credit the Hollywood production Whip It for the resurgence of interest in the younger generation. "The movie… really helped with the popularity," said Sharie "Scarlett O-Harm" Edwards. "Roller derby is huge in the States and it's starting to rub off in Canada." Leagues are also cropping up in Europe and Australia.
The Wild Rose challenge at the Northland Expo Centre saw a large turnout on Saturday night, with many watching the Edmonton Oil City Derby Girls take the Calgary Hellions 165-85. Local organizers say they now average 700 people per match.
The Oil City Derby Girls will hold an information night on Tuesday for those interested in joining them on the track this season. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Metrosportsplex on 144th Avenue and 112th Street.
With Files from CTV's Jay Rosove
Roller derby's more than just rough
Team helps boost confidence, provides sisterhood
By KRISTY BROWNLEE, QMI AGENCY
Last Updated: September 19, 2010 7:09pm
After Sour Cherry cracked her head on the concrete, the roller derby girls started to wear helmets.
When Edmonton's Oil City Derby Girls were born five years ago, in short order, they learned protective gear is a must for the high-speed contact sport.
"This isn't ballet," said player Foxy Fireball matter-of-factly, on Sunday. The league's Oil City All-Stars are fresh off a big Wild Rose Cup win on Saturday against Calgary's Hellion Rebellion at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Luckily, and oddly enough, no one was seriously injured -- in a game where "it's not if you get hurt, it's when you get hurt." This notion is proved, after five team members -- in less than a year -- broke their ankles. And bruises, well, "They're badges of honour," said Foxy, 26, a.k.a. Amber Hiebert. "This is a sport like no other."
The game, with roots in the U.S. during the Great Depression, is played by roller skating around a flat track. Points are scored by the "jammer" who attempts to lap members of the opposing team.
With the Wild Rose Cup (like the Grey Cup in Alberta's derby world) in hand, the team reflects on their humble beginnings. The grassroots league progressed from skating in underground roller rinks to hosting bouts in a 3,000 capacity venue.
On Oct. 16, Edmonton will host the High Desert Darlins of Tri-cities, Washington at the Expo Centre.
"I couldn't skate at all," said Foxy, speaking of when she first joined in 2005. Now, the smiley-brunette confidently races around the track with funky eye makeup, false lashes and spandex shorts. But derby is more than rough skating with fishnets and wild nicknames, the ladies say. The gals -- some teachers, nurses, welders and stay-at-home moms -- say they came out of their shell after joining the derby ranks.
"It made me stronger. I was a shy girl. It empowered me to be more independent," said Foxy. "It gave me better self-esteem," said Zoom Byah, a.k.a. Marilyn Bulanda, 23. The league provides a sisterhood -- despite a high risk of injury -- that unites them regardless of their varying backgrounds. Derby girls, no matter what team they play for around the world, share a special bond, Zoom said. "Roller derby is a religion," said Foxy. "You eat, sleep and breathe roller derby."
Awesome Pictures from the Wild Rose Challenge- Roller Derby Champs - 630 Ched Sports