Penticton Pistoleras might be a little gun shy starting against the K City Rollers in the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre Saturday.
“We’re a little nervous because the team we are playing is a bit more experienced,” said Meghan Westfall, known as Roxy Horror Show on the roller track. “We have been practicing really hard and preparing for this game. I think we’re ready. We’re just excited to play on home turf.”
The Pistoleras last played in Revelstoke and lost 240-79.
“We had a rough game in Revelstoke,” she said. “We were met with some real strong strategy that we didn’t expect. And it’s not the style of roller derby that our team generally plays. They use a lot of what is called slow derby. We like a faster paced game.”
Westfall said the K City Rollers play similar to them.
“It’s definitely going to be a fast, likely hard-hitting game,” she said, adding that there isn’t a rivalry between them. “We’re not exactly going to be hugging during the game. We’re not out there to completely kill each other.”
With the match approaching, Westfall hasn’t had time to think about it.
“It’s kind of hard to even think about that when you’re running around getting everything ready,” said Westfall, who is also the chairperson for the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association. “All of a sudden it’s game day. We’re just excited to play to the home crowd. It’s the best feeling.”
Westfall has never played in the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, but has been a spectator there. She liked it because the vibe grows in the smaller venue. To her, everyone seems closer.
“You are pretty much sitting right on the track,” said Westfall. “It feels like you are right there.”
She said the reason the sport is attracting fans is because its new to the area and the team is made up of locals (Penticton, Cawston, Summerland and Naramata). As she put it, with Penticton being “a pretty close-knit community” most people will know someone on the team.
“It’s just something exciting and something especially for women,” she said. “Not really any sport like this available to women in the Okanagan. And for the men too, of course they like to watch it. It’s exciting, edgy and fun to watch.”
Tara Farrell, known as Muxy Huff, said spectators are drawn to the creativity behind the ladies on wheels.
“Women creating these personas. You can come up with any names. Face full of make up,” said Ferrell, a Pistolera. “I’ve been playing around with makeup. That’s part of derby too. Women create a character for themselves. Fans cheering on characters.”
Farrell will be officiating and not playing because of a neck injury. She’s new to the sport as she started playing four months ago. She’s also excited to learn the role of the referee.
“I’m not nervous because it’s so new,” said Farrell, who is a education assistant at Skaha Middle Lake School. “I’m more excited than nervous.”
She too is expecting a good, but fast-paced game.
“I think its’ going to be really exciting,” she added. “Closer games are better. Blowouts can get boring.”
Tickets are available at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office. People can also get tickets at a discounted rate from a Pistoleras derby girl.Check their Facebook page at Penticton Pistoleras Roller Derby. Prices are $15 for adults, $12 advance, seniors $8 and kids 10 and under are free.