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Friday, 31 January 2014 10:03

Foxy Rollers ready to play host to some Angels; helping family who suffered recent tragedy

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Roller derby is a hit in southwest Saskatchewan and is quickly becoming equally as popular in southeast Alberta.

The Redcliff Roller Derby Association and its squad the Redcliff Foxy Rollers team formed in late 2012 as some players left Medicine Hat’s Gas City Rollers. Since then, while players tried to practise and improve their skill levels in order to attain their credentials, the Rollers have played a few games in 2013.
However, there’s major anticipation within the Foxy Rollers’ ranks as they will host their first home match in their history. The Foxy Rollers will take on the Angels of Assault from Lloydminster Feb. 1 starting at 7 p.m. at the Cypress Centre Pavilion in Medicine Hat. Doors open at 6 p.m.
“We are all so excited,” says Foxy Rollers’ jammer Ariana Neilsen who has been in the sport since 2011. “We want to put our skills to work ... can’t wait to get out there; once you do it once, it’s in your blood.
“I played in a bout last year and there was zero thinking about being scared or nervous ... it was just awesome. All I thought was how great it was to be out there.”
“It’s going to be such an adrenaline rush,” adds blocker LeDawn Herringer who says she’s a little nervous going into it. “I’ve never played in a bout before. The first time I strapped on the skates, I was hooked. I’m doing anything to be spreading the word  (about the game vs. Lloydminster). I know I’ve got 30 people who will be there just because of me ... it’s hopefully going to be a packed house.”
Asked why roller derby was such a rush, Herringer’s eyes lit up. She was a fan from the first time she witnessed it and decided to actually participate.
“Most derby girls eat, sleep and breath derby. It’s fun, I’ll just smash into my husband for fun,” she explains half demonstrating a hockey-like shoulder check. She adds with a smile, “I tried taekwondo and it wasn’t that exciting. It’s not a team sport. I’ve tried a few other things and nothing fit. I don’t have to be a lady here, nothing polite. It’s all about aggression and looking out for your teammates.
“I’m nervous already. It’s the fear of the unknown and it’s the game anticipation. It’s your time to shine.”
Ruth Streivel agrees. She went to a roller derby match after being encouraged for a over a year to go by a friend. Streivel loved it.
“It’s everything about it I love — it’s the team (bonding); it’s the support,” explains Streivel. “It’s also the reputation of being a derby girl too. It goes a long way with my students in welding class (where she instructs at the Medicine Hat College).
“But, I’m a little bit terrified of playing in a game.”
Streivel is also thrilled about the Rollers’ first match even though she won’t be playing. She has a good reason: she just gave birth a short time ago.
“It was tough being away and I just got back on skates about a month ago,” explains Streivel who took the necessary training and passed her credentials. “We’re a team, there’s support there and it’s fun because we’re working towards something.”
According to Neilsen, their opponents, the Lloydminster Angels of Assault, are a young squad as well and have the same number of rookies as Redcliff does. It shapes up to be an exciting evening.
Neilsen says the team practises at the Cypress Pavilion and Southridge YMCA in Medicine Hat on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The roster is fairly healthy, but recruiting and finding/ organizing practice times is always a challenge. This is especially true with the Redcliff team as it’s made up of players from southeast Alberta.
Streivel,  is from Medicine Hat. Herringer is originally from Redcliff.
“There’s a lot of extra work involved and many people have stepped up and taken on extra jobs,” adds  Herringer. “The Brooks people are pretty committed, other than work and weather, they’re always here.”
“This team is a really great group and we all felt an immediate connection,” says Neilsen who lives in Tilley. “There was nothing judgmental (for skills) it was all very encouraging. We’re more like a family.”
The Feb. 1 event costs $10 for adults and those under the age of five are free. It’s a fully-licensed event. There is no doubt the Rollers are ready to rock.
“I’m absolutely jacked,” adds Herringer.

Fundraiser for family-Contributed

Along with the bout, they will have a Duck Toss planned.  They'll be selling ducks ($2 each or 3 for $5), then at half time everyone will throw their ducks at a target.  The closest to the center will win 50% of the proceeds.  The team has decided to donate the other 50% of the proceeds to a local father of two who recently lost his wife.  We'll also have a donation jar set up for others who wish to donate.  Below this is their Facebook post and a link to the original story.

As a team, we all understand the importance of support. Whether it be from friends, family, or complete strangers, we couldn’t do this without them! That’s why we were extremely saddened to hear about the recent death of Medicine Hat resident, Maria Atsatata, who is survived by her husband and two sons, one of which is just over a week old. We have a lot of support for our team and we believe in ‘paying it forward.’ As a result, we will be donating our half of the funds raised from the Duck Chuck at our first home game on Saturday, February 1, 2014, to the family to assist with funeral costs and other expenses. There will also be a donation jar set up at the door for those who wish to make a donation to help the family. Come out, watch some roller derby, and help out a local family in need!

Details of the story and a link to an online donation page are available here:
Read 2516 times Last modified on Friday, 31 January 2014 10:08
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor