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Derby "Grrrl" Power

Jennifer's Journal

Soon Weyburn will be home to an exciting and trendy new sport for women - roller derby. And whether you plan to participate or simply observe be forewarned, you might get hooked.

Although I have yet to see an actual game I have several friends who have been attending bouts in Regina, home of the Pile O' Bones Derby Club. These derby girls can put on a rough rumble, from what I have heard, and the fans love it! Apparently, the best seat in the house is in the "danger zone" where fans can get in on the action of the game by getting crashed into by players.

Derby's not just about the sport. These ladies put on a show that would rival a professional wrestling match, complete with stage names and costumes. The only difference is the injuries are real!

President of the South East Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association Breck Harris said that roller derby can become like a second job because of the time requirement and the commitment level involved. She also admitted that the more you get into roller derby, the more you want to do it.

Some girls say derby took over their life. They became more self-aware and self-assured once they started participating and even began taking on the personality traits of their alter egos (stage personalities). With monikers like "Cherri Blaster," "Pokherface" and "Kitty Militia" folks may want to watch their step around these derby girls!

Considering what I had heard, I will admit that I was a little intimidated when I walked into the first practice for the new Weyburn team. It didn't take long to relax though, as I began to recognize the faces under the helmets. They were all regular women from all walks of life. I went to school with some of them.

Of course, the girls at the practice are not official derby girls yet. They are still considered "fresh meat" by their colleagues. In time, they will develop all the attitude and style necessary to be a true derby "grrrl."

As intrigued as I was by the whole idea, I never found the courage to try on a pair of skates at that first practice. What I did find was several excuses, such as "I forgot socks" and "I didn't bring a helmet."

Next time will be different; I will show everyone how tough I can really be. I will march right over to those derby girls and demand, "excuse me ladies, may I try your fine sport, please?" That will show 'em!