The Fort McMurray Roller Derby League is encouraging adults and youth alike to give the sport a try.
Through the rest of the month the league is offering adults off skate workouts to prepare them for life on roller blades.
Then starting in September, they’ll be kicking off their Junior Roller Derby Program for kids ages 5-17.
Elizabeth Wells stars for the Fort McMurray Tar Sand Betties and she tells Mix News both programs begin with the absolute roller derby basics.
“Learning how to fall, learning how to move on skates. When we have practices, we split up into different skill levels so you’re not going to be skating with someone who’s got five years of experience, you’ll be skating with people who are at the same level as you.”
Things will be a little simpler for the kids.
Braden Hermus with the Fort McMurray Crude Assassins says the Junior program is completely non-contact.
“They can stand in the way while the Jammer tries to get behind them but they cannot actively try to hit. It’s an up and coming program, pretty young team but very fun to watch. 20 kids show up on roller skates and their little equipment and when they fall, it doesn’t seem to hurt as much because obviously, they are three feet shorter than the rest of us.”
Hermus, who got involved with roller derby after he transitioned from the hockey rink to the roller rink, says there’s no comparison to being on roller skates.
“There does not seem to be one muscle you use in hockey,” Hermus said. “I thought I’d walk in there and be able to skate circles around people but – not so. From a team side, I’ve met 20 of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life and not knowing anybody here, if you’re new to town, what better place to meet these amazing people?”
An info session for the Junior Roller Derby Program will take place at MacDonald Island on September 5th from 7 to 8 p.m.
The final off-skate workout for adults will be held at Holy Trinity Field from 7 to 8 p.m., next Sunday.