|Press Release - Jun 13, 2012 Back Download|
|British Columbia Becomes the Canadian Capital of Roller Derby - Home to 30 Roller Derby Teams the Most in Any Province|
"Klash in the Kootenays" Roller Derby Tournament in Nelson, BC, June 15-17 is First of 3 Regional Canadian Tournaments, Ending in the First Canadian National Championship
June 13, 2012 (Nelson, British Columbia) What happens to hockey rinks after the Stanley Cup is won? In 86 cities across Canada, including 25 British Columbia cities the most in any province, the whistles blow and the crowds cheer as rinks become the stages and playing fields for Canada's fastest-growing sport, roller derby. A tournament for the top-ranked teams in the Western Region of Canada, including British Columbia and Alberta, called the Klash in the Kootenays, will be played this weekend, June 15-17, at the Nelson and District Community Complex in Nelson, BC.
Having grown from zero to 86 officially sanctioned teams in Canada in just 4 years, roller derby has won the hearts of hundreds of athletes and thousands of fans. Embraced and supported by Internet and television media outlets, professional analysis, play-by-play announcing and commentary, roller derby specialty skate shops in Vancouver and in Toronto, inexpensive ticketing and the ability to accept league donations by BrownPaperTickets.ca, which also provides announcing support for all Canadian tournaments, Canadian roller derby has reached a tipping point of public acceptance and success.
"Roller Derby is in Canada to stay," said Mandy Osipenko, president of the Roller Derby Association of Canada (RDAC). Although the sport had major acceptance in Canada, and flat-track roller derby was enjoyed as an intramural sport at the University of British Columbia from 1946 through 1948, interest in roller derby virtually died in the 1970s. Its resurgence in Canada is bigger than any movement in the past in terms of the number of athletes who are actively participating in the sport.
Globally, the renaissance of roller derby began in 2001; the Canadian teams now are a part of over 1,200 roller derby leagues that are skating worldwide. In February, Team Canada was formed by the some of the best roller derby athletes in the nation to compete against teams representing 13 countries; Team Canada came in second in the world. "That win really solidified roller derby as one of Canada's national sports," Osipenko said. "There's no going back." This spring, the winners of all regional tournaments will compete for the "Stanley Cup" of roller derby The Canadian National Championship, which will name the first national championship team.
"We have to play around the hockey season, because we are using their rinks," said Osipenko. "That gives us a short window to compete in from the day after hockey season ends until September, we will play our league games and hold our regional tournaments, and at least for now, the season will resume with the Canadian National Championship Tournament each spring, when we can get rink time back again. It may not always be this way, but lets face it, hockey is Canada's national sport we play around their schedule."
The Klash in the Kootenays tournament will pit eight roller derby teams from British Columbia and Alberta against each other for the title of Western Canadian Champions. The Vancouver team, the Terminal City Rollergirls, is currently at second place nationally, and first in the western division, but the Kootenay Kannibelles are on their heels at second place in the west, and at 8th place, nationally. The Western Canadian Division is the largest league in Canada, and the West Kootenay Women's Roller Derby League (WKWRDL) boasts 7 house teams and one all-star team, even though it is only 18 months old.
"Female empowerment is what draws me to the sport," said Shannon Marion, also known as Injure Spice, as well as the team captain for Gnarlie's Angels, the roller derby team representing Rossland, BC. "During the day, we are moms, nurses, daycare providers; we come in all colours and from all different economic backgrounds. By night, we can become the character. We take on the characteristics of the roller derby personality we are portraying, be that tough, athletic, cute or sexy. We do it for fun, to be challenged, physically and mentally. Derby lets you be a kid and a grown-up at the same time."
Some members of Team Canada are now ambassadors of the sport, and hold boot camps to recruit and train more athletes and teams, as well as to train harder and boost the level of play in the existing leagues. One does not have to skate to be a part of the roller derby scene - there are also referee camps, coaching camps and more.
"It is an incredibly enriching experience for women and redefines what we think of as beautiful and strong," Marion said. "It elevates our voice and binds us to one another, and in turn we are able to walk in our neighborhoods and among our community, inspiring others."
Tickets to Klash in the Kootenays are $15 per day, or $45 for a three-day pass, and are available at http://www.kootenayrollerderby.com/. The Klash in the Kootenays is presented by the RDAC and the WKWRDL. For more information on Roller Derby in Canada, or to find a roller derby expert to help you to build your team, contact the Roller Derby Doer at Brown Paper Tickets at http://community.brownpapertickets.com/Doers/index.html.
About Brown Paper Tickets: Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.BrownPaperTickets.ca) revolutionized the ticketing industry by putting professional tools for ticketing any-sized gathering in the hands of anyone with access to the Internet, and championed the rights of ticket-buyers with the lowest fee in the industry. Brown Paper Tickets remains the only online ticketing agency to provide a 24/7 customer service call centre staffed with in-house experts who can answer questions in English, French or Spanish and who are available in an average of 30 seconds notice. Brown Paper tickets was the first to have both e-ticketing and hard-ticket options, 24/7 customer service call centres for event promoters and ticket buyers, reserved seating charts, event sales analytics, mobile ticketing, English, French and Spanish language ticketing and more. Donation tools, ticketing directly from the event owner's website, and MailChimp email marketing integration makes selling tickets to your workshop, networking event, class, sporting event or fundraiser as easy as a few clicks. Brown Paper Tickets is the world's only fair-trade ticketing company, and aspires to inspire giving by donating a portion of each ticket sale to charity, paying its employees to work 40 hours each year for the nonprofit of their choice, and employing a team of "Doers" to make a difference in our communities, and to lend a hand to our neighbors. Brown Paper Tickets cares about people over profit, gives back, positively influences communities, and hopes to inspire other businesses to do the same.