Women’s roller derby has taken the Kootenays by storm and on Sunday the newly formed league is celebrating with its championship match.
The West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby (WKWRD) inaugural season ends with a bang as the undefeated Rossland Gnarlies Angels take on Salmo’s Babes of Brutality in the second Mountain Mayhem championship game at Rossland Arena.
“I have no idea who is going to win,” said WKWRD spokesperson Michelle Sylvest. “I mean the Angels won against the Babes earlier in the season, but they’ve had a whole season to practice and last year at the Mountain Mayhem the Babes won, so I have no idea what to expect but it’s definitely going to be a very good game.”
As a primer, the night starts off with the debut of the league’s newest teams, Trail’s Bloodshed Betties skate against Slocan’s Valley Vendettas.
The Angels and Babes of Brutality started off the league in 2009 and since then, interest in roller derby has grown considerably as a two-team competition has now morphed into a seven-team league.
“We now have the biggest league in Canada if not North America, and we’ve even been asked to host the western championships next year.”
With the westerns to he held in Nelson a 99 per cent go, the league plans to fundraise to purchase a standardized roller derby sports court that is both portable and durable.
“It’s a bit of an investment but its something we can keep using,” said Sylvest.
With the burgeoning interest, the derby players’ talent continues to grow, led by the leagues traveling team the Kannabelles and the Babes’ Bobbi Barbarich, aka Beretta Lynch, who was named to Team Canada after tryouts in Abbotsford.
“The women are so much different here than anywhere else, they’re already athletes,” said Barbarich. “You just have to teach them how to play roller derby not how to be an athlete.”
Barbarich will join Team Canada in December to play in the World Cup in Toronto but is excited about the upcoming match. While she won’t engage in ‘smack talk,’ to repeat and hoist the ‘golden boot’ once again, would be just fine.
Doors open at the Rossland Arena at 4 p.m. with the exhibition game starting at 5 p.m. Food, licenced beverages and merchandise available. Tickets are $16 adults at www.kootenayrollerderby.com, Ross Vegas in Rossland or Gerick Cycle in Trail, and $20 at the door if available.