Bring on the Brutal Babes - Derby fever sweeps the Kootenays as the roller girls return

By Contributor
April 6th, 2011

The largest roller derby league in Canada is skating into its first official season with a double-header in Rossland April 16th.

The West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby League presents “The Quads Must Be Crazy,” featuring a bout between Salmo’s Babes of Brutality and Rossland’s Gnarlie’s Angels.
The derby girls fought hard last summer in the league’s first sell-out bout in Rossland, but the Babes managed to come out on top.
After killing it in Lethbridge this winter against the Deathbridge Derby Dames, Rossland’s dedicated women have tightened up their hits, blocks and skating in preparation to take on Salmo’s hardcore team once again.
But the Babes don’t intend to let their guard down, one that has continued to build up over the winter with steady practicing and an-out-of-area bout in Enderby, where they annihilated the River Town Rollergirl’s
The entertainment in the West Kootenay will once again be turned up during the fan-favourite bout, which will be accompanied by a first-time appearance for Nelson’s Killsjoys versus Lumber Jackies.
“Women haven’t had an empowering sport in a very long time,” said Shelly Grice-Gold from the Babes of Brutality. “Full contact sport is usually made for men and then adjusted for women to play. Roller derby was made for women and mountain women are strong, we can handle it.”
Shannon Marion of Gnarlie’s Angles says it’s never difficult to fill a roster “because as sweet as us Kootenay women are, there’s a little bit of agro in all of us!”
Roller derby has caught on fast in the region, which now has seven teams. The West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby League is made up of Salmo’s Babes of Brutality, the Gnarlie’s Angels from Rossland, Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers, Nelson’s   Killjoys and Lumber Jackies, Slocan’s Valley Vandettas and the region’s travel team, the Kootenay Cannibelles.
The sport has even appealed to the younger set, with the newly formed West Kootenay Junior Roller Derby.
The league has four double headers scheduled for the season, plus playoffs and finally a championship bout on Sept. 11.  Come out and support the West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby League!  For up-to-date information, follow the league on Facebook.
Tickets can be picked up in advance at RossVegas in Rossland, Gerick Cycle and Sports in Trail, HTR in Castlegar, Skyway Hardware in Salmo, The Goods in Ymir and Phat Angel in Nelson.
Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Rossland arena, with bout time at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and $2 for kids 10-years-old or under. Last year’s bout sold out quickly so residents looking to cheer their derby girls on are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.
Beer and coolers will be available at the arena, along with snacks. For those looking to support the West Kootenay league, fan merchandise will also be up for grabs.
And after the exciting double-header wraps up, an after-party will be held at the Steamshovel in Rossland.

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