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Press Release - Mar 11, 2013       Back   Download
With 110 Leagues Across Every Province in Canada Developed in Just 6 years, Roller Derby is Canada's Fastest-Growing Sport

March 11, 2012 (Edmonton,AL) In 110 cities across Canada, the whistles blow and crowds cheer as ice arenas become the stages and playing fields for Canada's fastest-growing sport, roller derby. The top-ranked teams from four provinces will compete in a tournament on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 15-17, at the West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace, to crown the first roller derby championship team of Canada. Tickets are $20 each for a daily pass, $40 for a weekend pass, and can be purchased at http://rollerderbycanada.ca/.

2012 marked the first year Canada had a play-off system which advanced teams from four regional tournaments, ending in this final, six-team tournament to crown the first Canadian national champion. Leagues competing in the national championship tournament will include: E-ville roller derby, Edmonton, AL; West Kootenay roller derby, Nelson, BC; Saskatoon roller derby, Saskatoon, SK; Pile O' Bones derby club, Regina, SK; Muddy River Rollers, Monction, NB; and Fog City Rollers, St. John, NB. In addition to Canada's first official national tournament of roller derby, exhibition games from the junior girls of roller derby, the Oil City Derby Girls teams the Dirty Harriettes will battle Grand Prarie's Rage N' Fyre, and a men's roller derby bout between the River City Riot and the Red Deer Dreadnaughts will be featured.

Having grown from zero to 110 officially leagues in Canada in just 6 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, fair-trade ticketing and the ability to accept league donations by BrownPaperTickets.ca, which also provides announcing and 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 in the 1940s, 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.

"We are pleased to be able to help Roller Derby to thrive in Canada," said Bob Noxious, the managing announcer for all Canadian Regional Tournaments, and a "Doer" for BrownPaperTickets.ca. "The fast growth of the sport in Canada, now topping 100 leagues, is impressive, but it's how quickly they've taken their play to a high-level that surprises me most."

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 2012, Team Canada was formed by inviting 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. "This first Canadian National Championship marks another historic moment for a sport that is growing faster than wildfire."

"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, a roller derby team from 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."

The Canadian National Championship of Roller Derby start at 6 p.m. on Friday, featuring a juniors' tournament and women's scrimmages. Tournament action begins on Saturday at 9 a.m., with bouts played throughout the day, ending in a double-header featuring the Dirty Harriettes vs. Grand Prarie's Rage N' Fyre, and a men's roller derby bout between the River City Riot and the Red Deer Dreadnaughts at 7 p.m. Tournament finals will start Sunday at 10 a.m.

For more information on Roller Derby in Canada, or to find a roller derby expert to help you to build your team, visit http/www.rollerderbycanada.ca, or contact Bob Noxious from the RDAC events committee, and the Doer specializing in roller derby at Brown Paper Tickets at http://community.brownpapertickets.com/Doers/index.html.

About Brown Paper Tickets: Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com), the Not-Just-For-Profit ticketing company, revolutionized the industry by putting free, professional tools for ticketing any-sized gathering on the Internet, and continues to champion the rights of ticket-buyers with the lowest fee for the most service in the industry. The company donates 5 percent of the profit from each ticket sale to build communities and nonprofits, pays its employees to work 40 hours each year for the cause of their choosing, and employs a team of "Doers," experts in industries such as music, new media, makers, roller derby and more, to fix, improve and revolutionize the communities where we live, work and play.

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