Roller derby a hit with Penticton supporters

With his daughter Eily, Lachlan McGreal enjoyed the Rock ‘N Roller derby at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on Saturday.

Combat Blondie (16) on the Reign Valley Vixens

Combat Blondie (16) on the Reign Valley Vixens



With his daughter Eily, Lachlan McGreal enjoyed the Rock ‘N Roller derby at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on Saturday.

The Reign Valley Vixens and Kootenay Cannibelles attracted a crowd of more than 700 as the sport debuted in Penticton. McGreal, who was in Kelowna and heard that the game was taking place, decided to make the trip to see his first match.

“It’s action packed and it seems like a good, family night,” said McGreal, whose wife is involved with a west Kootenays team that is trying to get rolling. “It’s full contact, but friendly.”

Both sides took to the floor on their 70s style roller skates and the crowed hollered their support throughout the night as the Vixens led for the entire night except for when it counted most. The end.  Leading 110-107 with a final jam to go, the Cannibelles, with their own cheering section, finished an incredible comeback to win 114-111. At half time, the Cannibelles trailed 71-49, which isn’t considered close.

Players from both sides didn’t disappoint with their physical contact as a few girls went flying off the track near the crowd. Fans sitting in the front, named “suicide seating,” had the best seats for collisions and there were plenty of big tumbles.

Ashley Perry,  known as Lil Miss Chainsaw, said the evening was wicked.

“We had a great turnout,” said Perry, who is among three who created the S.S. Rodeo based in Penticton. “Had almost 800 people here which is awesome for Penticton’s first game. We had a great half time show and all the players gave it their all. A lot of cheering. Everybody was super into it.”

The half-time show had two tables on the playing area, one for a makeshift bar and another for a card table. A few girls including Robin Banks, firing a gun, and Lil Miss Chainsaw carrying a chainsaw, skated round the track to Kenny Rogers, the Gambler. The show ended with dancing to AC/DC’s Hells Bells.

The goal of the evening was to promote the sport, which Robin Banks, Lil Miss Chainsaw and Evol Lin are trying to do in Penticton. In bringing awareness to roller derby, they hope it attracts new players in the Peach City. The next derby scheduled for Penticton is April 23. In B.C. there are the Peach City Tarts in Kelowna, the Terminal City Rollers in Vancouver, the Red Neck Daisies in Lumby, as well as teams in Nakusp, Slocan Valley, Vancouver Island and Prince George to name a few.

Ian MacKenzie, known as Mack the Mouth, is the coach for Team Canada and has been an announcer since 2006. He is part of a coaching staff that is selecting the best girls in the country to represent Canada at the Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto Dec. 1 to 4. The website Blood and Thunder (www.bloodandthundermag.com), a women’s online roller derby magazine has details on the inaugural World Cup.

MacKenzie said the matchup between the Vixens and Cannibelles was an “awesome way to represent the sport.”

 

“It was exciting, it was close,” said MacKenzie, who coaches the Terminal City Rollers. “I have been to bouts where it’s already done by the first half. As much as it was a 30 or 40-point game, you can see how quickly a game can change. That’s the exciting thing about

the sport.”

 

Check www.pentictonwesternnews.com for video coverage.