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Friday, 30 November 2012 11:37

Redcliff Roller Derby Association is gaining popularity in the rural area

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A new southeastern Alberta-based roller derby  team is slowly starting to get on track and organizers of the squad are hoping to get rolling with the help of those outside of Medicine Hat.

The Redcliff Foxy Rollers are getting organized with a lot of recruitment being pushed in Brooks.
Kelly Lock, who goes by the roller derby name of Skittles — as well as acts as president of the Redcliff Roller Derby Association — said the squad is comprised of some members who were initially with the Gas City Rollers from Medicine Hat. They reached out to Brooks to see if there was interest. She was pleasantly surprised.
“We’ve got a lot of new recruits from Brooks,” explained Lock who posted a happy message Nov. 27 in regards to the success of a practice earlier this week in Brooks. A tryout in early November resulted numerous interested  women from the County of Newell totalling in the double digits and 15 emails from those who couldn’t make the first try-out. Now, in the next month or so, there are more practices in Brooks than at Medicine Hat’s Cypress Centre.
“There’s a lot of excitement in Brooks. It’s one person, who knows one person and word-of-mouth quickly spread ... we have an open-door policy. If you’re willing to make the commitment to drive out to a practice from Brooks, we’re willing to go out there.”
For the first practice, the more experienced members brought their own and extra equipment to lend to those who wanted to try out.
Lock said they need to have eight to 10 players at a time. The ultimate goal is to get enough players so as to form teams within the team. The issue is that they have to follow regulations and sanctions.
New regulations from the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Currently, there is a handful of players who have about four years of experience and a limited number of actual matches.
New recruits will be taught the basics — skating, stopping, turning and even how to fall properly. No one will be able to play an actual match until their skill level is up to par.
Lock said some of the rookies are “naturally advanced” while others need more time. This is why the team has a “full-time” coach who will teach the players some of the finer points of roller derby.
“It’s tough for (the rookies); there’s a lot of teaching. We know we’re starting from square one,” said Paul (Helter Skelter) Williams who is the squad’s coach. “Right now, we just want to play and have fun ... nothing beats the experience. The safety factors are utmost. We don’t want to push people who aren’t ready.”
“We’re excited to have the new girls,” added Lock. “We don’t mind having to sacrifice our time to get them ready.”
The new recruits, as well as the others, have to complete a series of tests including doing a number of laps of the oval in five minutes.
For down the road, the Rollers practice Dec. 3 (Brooks); Dec. 5 (Brooks); and Dec. 11 (Medicine Hat). All practices are from 7-8:30 p.m. Bring a mouthguard and $5 drop-in fee per skate.
“Once they get the roller derby bite, it stays with you,” said Williams.
Check out the group on Twitter at @FoxyRollers, see them on Facebook at Redcliff Roller Derby Association or for more information email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Ryan Dahlman

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