They’re back on their four-wheeled “quad” roller skates and looking forward to circling around a track to score points while preventing the other team from doing the same.
“We have all been anticipating the season start so we could get back on skates, doing what we love most — roller derby,” says Leah McCormick from the North Coast Nightmares of a six-week new skater intake and training schedule now underway.
“This year our team is really focusing on advancing our individual skills, sharpening our team synergy and growing the team so that we can get back to playing games,” said McCormick who is also known as Rainbow Brute in following the tradition of skaters adopting colourful nicknames.
Roller derby is a contact sport in which blockers from each team try to prevent an opposing team’s “jammer” from circling a track to collect points while assisting their own jammer to score, making the action defensive and offensive at the same time.
Players wear protective gear and the Nightmares have plenty of equipment to loan out, McCormick said.
She said Covid kicked the sport hard.
“Covid really challenged the roller derby world, and many teams are just getting back to it. There will hopefully be a chance to play against Prince George, Penticton, Kamloops or a few of the other ones whipping their teams back in shape,” McCormick said.
Those locations means the team travels a lot and to places with purpose-built roller domes. Other teams use arena floors once the ice is out which is what happens locally so there won’t be any games until April and into the late spring.
In the meantime, coach Chris Thomas AKA Skimo is happy with the morale and enthusiasm being shown.
“It’s so nice to be back to skating again. We are working on building the team back up to get back into games now. The team is eager to grow, travel and play this season. I’m excited to see what happens,” he said.
Thomas is not only the coach here — he is also the head coach for the Team Canada roller derby team and for Team Alberta.
The team is made up of Terrace and Kitimat skaters and trains 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Northwest Trades and Employment Training Centre (the old Thornhill Junior Secondary School).
Anyone interested can contact the team through its Facebook page or by email at email@example.com.