From servers to welders, clerks to engineers, and mothers to grandmothers, Tanya Gates, president of the Okanagan Shuswap Roller Derby Association (OSRDA), says roller derby players come from all backgrounds and all walks of life.
In roller derby, Gates, who goes by the moniker Tannibal Lector on the derby track, says, there’s a place and a role for everyone.
“People might have an idea of what a roller derby player looks like,” she explained.
“But we are so diverse that they might be shocked to realize that most players don’t fit that model.”
Created in May 2009, the OSRDA is a not-for-profit organization comprised of local women who have discovered the fun and fitness benefits associated with one of the fastest growing women’s sport in North America.
Gates’ team, the Farmer’s Slaughters have been gearing up for OSRDA’s ninth season home opener on Saturday, Nov. 18, when they take on Derby A-F, from the Kootenays.
The Rollvemeber game whistle blows at 5 p.m. at Hassen Arena in Armstrong.
She says Slaughters are psyched, and more than ready to get back on the track this weekend.
“We have been preparing for this game ever since we returned from the off season at the beginning of October,” Gates said.
“Our practices have been intense and fast paced with a focus on endurance and strategy. I can’t wait to put all of our hard work into practice on game day.”
In October, OSRDA hosted their first annual Rookie Scrimmage. The non-profit association invited rookie skaters (those with 0-5 games experience) from around the region to participate. This was a co-ed event, and in addition to local rookies, skaters came from as far away as Kamloops and Kelowna to participate.
More experienced members of the Farmers’ Slaughters participated by coaching and officiating.
In addition to games, OSRDA hosts a scrimmage at the Hassen Arena in Armstrong on the third Wednesday of every month. Skaters come from all over B.C. (weather permitting) and teams are created on the spot. These events are open to the public.
For more information, or to get involved, contact OSRDA at www.osrda.org/contact-us.
OSRDA’s next game is a charity scrimmage Dec. 20.