Monthly Archives: March 2016

Player Profile: Van Melising

My derby name is Van Melising and my number, 28, comes from my love of hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Growing up, Tie Domi was always my favourite player. I admired the way he would stand up to anyone, regardless of their size, and that he was never the best player, but had a lot of hustle and heart.  I therefore wear Tie Domi’s number 28.

I am currently playing for the Beauty School Dropouts, Dollinquents, and the Dolly Rogers. I am in my second year of derby and completed my Fresh Meat course in December, 2014. I decided to join derby after feeling like my usual sports weren’t providing me with enough of a challenge. When I joined, I had actually never seen a derby game, but thought I had a general idea of what it was all about.  I was wrong. I remember putting the quad skates on for the first time and thinking, “With my hockey background this should be easy.” I spent longer on my butt those first few Fresh Meat classes than my feet.  All the coaches were really encouraging though, and eventually I caught on.

This leads into why I love the sport. Even though derby is a competitive sport, all the coaches and players, regardless of team, respect each other. There is not the cattiness that occurs in other sports and everyone is very encouraging. I also love the challenge of derby. There are so many new things I learn each and every practice.

My favourite derby moment happened during practice, when everything just clicked for me. I had spent many scrimmages seemingly turning in circles and not understanding what was going on. Then one practice, while scrimmaging, I all of a sudden knew what I was doing. My teammates had assured me that one day it was going to click for me and I would understand the game, but until this point I was skeptical. It was a great feeling!

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(Photo credit: Joe Mac)

Player Profile: Labrosse

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What can one say about Labrosse? Nothing. She says it all herself in her video bio.
When not playing roller derby or the ukulele, you can find Labrosse in the all-family musical rap quartet, Draincoatz.
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Player Profile: Lady Mayhem

My derby name is Lady Mayhem, or to my children Mommy Mayhem, and my husband helped me pick out my derby number, which is 53 (since I’m a super tall 5’3). I am currently sitting track-side with my foot elevated while I recover from an ankle injury..but soon will be back playing for the Beauty School Dropouts, Dollinquents and training with the Dolly Rogers.

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After having my two kids I needed an outlet-something that let me exercise, meet people and get out a bit. A friend mentioned she was going to see a game so I tagged along and FELL in love…it was love at first site… I kept saying, “Yep, I need to do this.” I may have messaged my husband 15 or so times with things like, ‘must do this’ and ‘found out you start with a fresh meat training course’ and ‘one just started..Damnit… But wait maybe I can join late.’ I completed fresh meat and found that my skating background with ringette helped a bit and I slowly got the hang of derby.

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I love this sport because…it’s awesome! So much to learn…so much to try…so much personal growth space…and that moment when you have something click and/or work out better than you ever pictured…it’s just amazing!

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I am entering my third season of derby but I still don’t have a favourite personal moment. I had some fun jamming for my previous home team and some good times on the road with my old travel team. I made a switch to CCDD this year and have been blown away with the coaching help I’ve received. I am super bummed to not be skating at the moment, as I am missing valuable learning opportunities. In summary…I play because‎…it’s awesome!

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Player Profile: 100% Alhurta BEEF

Please state your name and number, for the record.
My derby name and number: Alhurta Beef 100

And where were you every Thursday and Saturday for the past YEARS?
Practising and playing with the Dolly Rogers.

And why exactly were you doing that?
I started playing when I first moved to Ottawa. I was looking for people to connect with, I went to a derby game and realized I found my people. I joined fresh meet the next week.

And why do you keep playing?
Because… It’s the fucking BOOMB! I can be me, it’s so inclusive and people are encouraged to be unique, weird whatever they want to be. I also like being a part of the evolution of a relatively new sport.

What’s is your favourite personal moment?
Getting MVP Jammer in Moncton.

Why roller derby?
It challenges me in every way and now I have this awesome new family and obsession.

Alhurta Beef is DA BOMB. She plays competitive and house league derby, eats great big salads, and is responsible for the increased population of muscle roller sticks and balls that have become somewhat commonplace at practices, scrimmages, and games. 

GO BEEF!

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Player Profile: Kaio-kensi

Derby Name: Kaio-kensi

Number: 6
I play on my house league team the Bacon Pirates, CCDD’s WFTDA charter team the Dolly Rogers, and Team Ontario. I was recruited to play roller derby (along with Labrosse) by a couple of dudes on our recreational Ultimate frisbee team who were friends with my neighbour (Kent from Team Canada Men’s Roller Derby 2014 and Morson from Team Canada 2016) and I was kind of shy / nervous about starting a new sport in my late 20s so I convinced my derby wife Fish N Hits to try it with me.
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Many bad fashion choices and gear upgrades later (from a poorly fitting bicycle helmet and neon children’s L.A. Gear elbow pads straight from the 90s to a well-rounded set of 187 pads and a proper helmet), I finally passed my minimum skills test and played in my first roller derby scrimmage, which was a Team Canada fundraiser where we skated in anti-derby direction.
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I spent the better part of my childhood and adolescence as a figure skater with Olympic dreams, so being back on skates as a full-time athlete feels like I’ve come home. It’s also important to me that this sport celebrates queer women and provides a safe space and impetus for dialogue in the greater sports community concerning gender identity and expression. People just get to play “the version and composition of roller derby with which they most closely identify”, simple as that.
Kens Queer
One of my favourite roller derby memories is going to the Fresh and the Furious tournament in 2014 as the captain of CCDD’s team of newbies, the Cannon Dolls, and making it through the whole day to a thrilling final jam where we ended up taking the championship.
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My derby name, Kaio-kensi, is a throw-back to my days of watching Dragon Ball Z with my little sister in our shared bedroom on an old VCR or when it came on YTV. The Kaio-ken is a fighting technique invented by King Kai where you have a sudden massive upsurge of energy, where your power, speed, hearing, and vision improve dramatically, but you can only sustain it for a short time. As a child, I was bullied a lot, and superhero stories were always a welcomed escape from reality and coping strategy. So, in a way, my derby identity provides me with a powerful visualization tool for the short, intense jams we play on the track and it allows me to honour my personal journey.
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When I started skating I went by the number X7 (before letters were illegal), because a “Kaio-ken x7” is a near-impossible feat, and also in honour of my grandmother – I was her 7th sweet pea home from the hospital. She passed away unexpectedly the year before I started playing derby and it was still bearing heavy on my heart, so I wanted to feel like she was always with me at my back.
When I had to change my number, after much toiling, I went with 6, because in numerology, it is the most harmonious number – symbolic of caring, sacrificing, healing, protecting, and teaching others. While it is important to ramp it up and play at my personal best, the needs of my team have to come first. The things that the number 6 represents remind me of my mother and the things I admire most about her, and meditating on its meaning helps me feel balanced as a player.
So really, derby to me is about being part of a strong and supportive grassroots movement and community that plays an exhilarating full contact sport. It is truly a privilege that I get to share the track with my leaguemates and all those who we travel to visit or welcome to the capital. My goal is to always have fun, to show respect for my teammates and opponents, and to express my gratitude openly to all the volunteers, officials, and fans who make it all possible and worthwhile.
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