Okanagan Derby Dolls apex jumper Brick HitHouse makes a pass at a recent Okanagan-Shuswap Roller Derby Association game. The OSRDA hosts Derby Love Saturday at Hassen Arena in Armstrong.

Okanagan Derby Dolls apex jumper Brick HitHouse makes a pass at a recent Okanagan-Shuswap Roller Derby Association game. The OSRDA hosts Derby Love Saturday at Hassen Arena in Armstrong.

For the love of the game

Derby Love, a full day of roller derby, gets underway at Hassen Arena Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Okanagan-Shuswap Roller Derby Association is spreading some love Saturday and hopes to recruit some ‘fresh meat’ for the sport.

Derby Love, a full day of derby, gets underway at Hassen Arena Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The four-team, round robin style tournament is the last home bout of the season, so this is the last chance to catch the local girls in action.

“It is the most forgiving, best sport ever,” said Amanda Nitchie, aka Manda Moon.

The wife and mother of three (plus one foster child) fell in love with the sport seven years ago.

“My husband read an article way back when in the paper and said, ‘you should do this.’”

Now Nitchie can’t imagine her life without derby.

“I’m a lifer, I’ll never leave. It’s family to me.”

Nitchie is currently a referee and trainer for the league, following an ACL injury.

“Seven years of roller derby, you can’t get away scot-free.”

The OSRDA is rebuilding and hoping Derby Love will bring out all of those interested in catching the action and possibly inspire some new recruits for the fresh meat program.

It’s a sport for all ages, genders and abilities, Nitchie explains, as OSRDA has had players up to age 55 and as young as eight (in the junior derby team, which goes up to 18).

“For juniors there’s no hitting. But older juniors can skate with us if their parents sign.”

Despite the female majority, the sport is also open to men.

“There’s actually a boy who skates with the girls in Kelowna,” said Nitchie, adding that there is also a co-ed scrimmage at Derby Love.

And since the players are trained, there’s no need to worry about feeling flimsy on roller skates.

“We have a lot of girls who have never skated on eight wheels,” said Nitchie, who gets players to practice by roller skating in the kitchen and around the house.

The association is open to players from throughout the region, who generally flock to Armstrong for its track.

“From Revelstoke to Lumby, people travel to play in Armstrong, that’s how much people love roller derby,” said Nitchie.

For more information about Derby Love or roller derby in general, visit osrda.org

Tickets to Derby Love are $12 at the door or $10 in advance from any player (members can be contacted through the Okanagan Derby Dolls Facebook page).

OSRDA welcomes the following teams: Doomsday Bunnies from Cloverdale, Team Smoulder (OKRD/TCDD mashup) and  Dam City Rollers from Castlegar.

Local band Apollyon will play after the last bout and there is a licensed beer garden.