Roller derby is not only sweeping the nation, it is sweeping Vancouver Island, with women of all types flocking to the fastest growing female sport.
This summer, the Comox Valley saw the formation of a new roller derby team, the Brick House Betties. Made up of experienced players from other teams and those new to the sport, the Brick House Betties put the emphasis on fun and positivity.
“We are a very diverse group, and we are all here for different reasons,” said Twyla MacDonald, aka Ruby Whipper, who was drawn to derby for the physical aspect, and the chance to learn with a group of strong and interesting women.
MacDonald, who is a stay-at-home mom, was also drawn to the chance to indulge in a different part of her personality.
“I love the physical and the mental challenge of derby and of course the camaraderie. The roller derby community is small enough that an amateur, such as myself, can train with and speak to all-star skaters like Rollergirl, Luludemon and Eight Mean Wheeler of the Terminal City Roller Girls.”
Team member Karen McKinnon, a photographer and mom by day, was drawn to derby as a way to step out of her comfort zone.
“I truly have never been on a team sport, it was time to try something new, and this is just the perfect fit – we laugh a lot, we learn and we sweat,” said McKinnon. “Although my life is really busy, making it to derby just once a week has really changed my physical confidence, plus it is a great way to work out any stress of the day.”
Throughout the month of September, the Brick House Betties are welcoming those that are interested in trying out the sport of roller derby. Practices are Monday 7 to 9 p.m. and Wednesday 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cumberland Recreation. The Betties welcome all levels of interest, even those that just wish to join them once a week for the exercise aspect.
The atmosphere is welcoming and inclusive and if you contact the Betties beforehand they will even organize gear for you to use.
“If you have even a flicker of interest we welcome you to come check us out,” said MacDonald.
“One thing we all have in common is the silly grin we walk out of practice with and we guarantee you will be part of that.”
The Betties can be reached through their website www.brickhousebetties.com and will reply to any inquiries.
– Brick House Betties