Roller derby may seem like a blast from the past (specifically the 1930’s), but this high-intensity, contact sport is still quite a popular Canadian past-time. In fact, London has one of the oldest leagues in Canada – the Forest City Derby Girls.
Torque (otherwise known as Heather off the Derby circuit) coaches the “Fresh Meat” or beginner Derby team. She explains how roller derby works.
“So you have ten people on the track at any one time. Four from each team are blockers. They try to make sure that there person gets points and the other person doesn’t get points. And they are all after the jammers. Jammers have stars on their helmets, and essentially a jammer on this team gets a point for every person on the opposite team that she passes.”
Torque adds that unlike in the movie Whip It , close-lining or hitting the lower body are illegal and do result in a penalty. Since derby is a full contact, high-intensity sport, there is often a misconception that you need a background in hockey to make a derby team. Chatter Knox is a member of the Forest City Derby Girls (FCDG), and also a Fanshawe Student. She became interested in derby through her sister, tried out for the “Fresh Meat” team and now competes in bouts with the FCDG, and she encourages anyone who is interested to try out for the “Fresh Meat” team.
To become “Fresh Meat” you simply need to contact FCDG, and begin attending “Fresh Meat” sessions. If you are interested in seeing the Derby Girls in action, their home season begins February 20th.