When you think of roller derby, an image of Skinny Minnie Miller may spring to mind. Or, depending on your age, you might remember the 2009 movie Whip It. And if you’ve had your ear to the ground, you may even think of one of the roller derby leagues surrounding Vernon.
Either way, if the sport intrigues you, the Okanagan-Shuswap Roller Derby Association has got you covered, starting with their season opener Saturday.
Rollvember hits Armstrong’s Hassen Arena track at 6:30 p.m. as OSRDA goes up against the Chilliwack NWO Outsiders.
“If roller derby is something you think you’ll enjoy, we encourage you to come out and watch a bout,” said Bryer Manwell, an OSRDA director.
While these girls have been hitting the sport hard for years now, the game itself dates back to the ‘60s and ‘70s. At that time, Gwen “Skinny Minnie” Miller was making her name in the sport, where roller derby was played on a banked track and was considered a coed sport.
More recently, in the movie Whip It, with Drew Barrymore, the banked track and aggressive fighting remain, but the roller derby resurgence is seen as more of a women’s sport than a performance.
Created in 2009, the OSRDA is B.C. Interior’s first roller derby league.
“It is a not-for-profit organization based in Armstrong, and is composed of local players from all ages and walks-of-life,” said Manwell.
“Although the modern game is primarily a women’s sport, there are a few coed leagues around including our very own OSRDA.”
This season began with an official rebranding, which resulted in the new team name Farmers’ Slaughters, and the juniors’ team Apocalypse Meow.
“Stay tuned for the official launch of the Farmers’ Slaughters,” said Manwell.
Following Rollvember, OSRDA hosts a Christmas charity scrimmage Dec. 10 with Armstrong Parks and Rec at Hassen. Then Derby Love hits the rink Feb. 18, followed by an April 29 bout at the Vernon Curling Club against the OKRD Cherry Bombs.
Visit www.osrda.org or check out the teams on Facebook for an up-to-date list of upcoming events.