Public gets first glimpse of Yukon Roller Girls

Jammers scored points in the Yukon for the first time in history over the weekend. About 200 spectators took in the first public performance of the Yukon Roller Girls, the territory's first roller derby crew, at the Takhini Broomball Rink on Saturday.

Jammers scored points in the Yukon for the first time in history over the weekend.

About 200 spectators took in the first public performance of the Yukon Roller Girls, the territory’s first roller derby crew, at the Takhini Broomball Rink on Saturday.

“I think it was a success all the way around,” said Jennifer Duncombe (aka Lady Cuntessa), event co-ordinator for the Yukon Roller Girls. “The girls were able to handle the intensity of skating from nine in the morning until nine at night, which is a huge feat.

“Our coaches have done a great job preparing them with the rules and strategies to play a smart game. That has been a huge success. That’s what gets you wins in bouts, is the smarts of understanding the rules and how to play.”

The first public scrimmage, which was admittedly a glorified practice open to spectators, was the culmination of a three-day camp hosted by the Yukon Roller Girls. In addition to skills building, the camp helped lay groundwork for the future by including clinics for on-skate and off-skate officiating.

“For a brand new derby league, the way these girls are organized and what they pulled off this weekend blows me away,” said Jeff Tichbourne (aka Noah Backtalk), one of three derby veterans up from BC to help run the camp. “Their dedication and the amount of work they have put into this weekend, and their very first game, really impresses me very much. And I’ve seen a lot of different towns that are new, a lot of derby leagues that are new, and these guys are doing it right.”

Tichbourne, who referees for the Terminal City Rollers Girls in Vancouver, founded the Team Canada’s Men’s Roller Derby and competes on a men’s team in Vancouver, was also impressed by the jump in skill levels.

“The amount that these girls have learned in two days, to go from what they were like on Thursday to today, is night and day,” he said. “All these girls are picking it up and taking it to the next level in a very short amount of time.”

The two other derby specialists in town for the camp were Ana Kresina (aka Risquee Biznatch), who has been skating with the Terminal City Roller Girls for the past three seasons and has travelled the continent competing and attending boot camps, and Kelly Duncan (aka Beaver Canoe) a five-year veteran of competitive roller derby with the Eves of Destruction out of Victoria, BC.

For the public scrimmage, Kresina and Duncan both captained teams of Yukon Roller Girls – black versus white – and it turned into quite a show. Not only was it a neck-and-neck battle throughout, with big hits, it was an exciting come-from-behind win with white defeating black 117-108 in the final jams.

“Their jammer went to the box, so they couldn’t score any points – for us it was a power play,” said Kresina, who was captain for white. “So we made sure we played very tight and held the player back, creating a pack in the back, which means we are controlling the speed of the jam. So our jammer got through and scored a bunch of points.

“That was great for us because when their jammer was in the box, ours was still on the track and could score points.

“We had some great walls that were playing really well together in order to not allow the other jammer to pass. And there was a lot of communication going on.”

The Yukon Roller Girls, a non-profit organization, was first established about a year ago and has the long-term goals of establishing a local competitive league and a representative team to take on other cities at home or away.

In the works is also a Junior Yukon Roller Girls squad for Whitehorse girls ages 12-18.

The derby crew holds practices Sundays and Tuesdays, with an additional practice on Thursdays for newcomers or “Fresh Meat.”

More information can be found at

“Everyone had different moments to shine at different points through the day,” said Duncombe, who now lives in Whitehorse but started with the Eves of Destruction, competing and coaching throughout Canada. “People keep coming out, get to know your favourite players, and support them. Everyone has their own character, and that’s what we want to build up.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Connie Peggy Thorn, 52, pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to manslaughter in the 2017 death of Greg Dawson. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of Greg Dawson

Connie Thorn, 52, was arrested in October 2019 and pleaded guilty in Supreme Court on Jan. 27.

Abigail Jirousek, left, is tailed by Brian Horton while climbing a hill during the Cross Country Yukon January Classic in Whitehorse on Jan. 23. Jirousek finished second in the U16 girls category. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Cross Country Yukon hosts classic race

Cross Country Yukon hosted a classic technique cross-country ski race on Jan.… Continue reading

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver talks to media on March 5, 2020. The Yukon government said Jan. 25 that it is disappointed in a decision by the federal government to send the Kudz Ze Kayah mining project back to the drawing board. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Territorial and federal governments at odds over Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The federal government, backed by Liard First Nation, sent the proposal back to the screening stage


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 27, 2021

Yukon RCMP said in a press release that they are seeing an increase in tinted front passenger windows and are reminding people that it is illegal and potentially dangerous. (RCMP handout)
RCMP warn against upward trend of tinted windows

Yukon RCMP are seeing more vehicles with tinted front passenger windows, prompting… Continue reading

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old man facing two tickets violating the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em>. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Arrest warrant issued for CEMA violation

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ansh Dhawan over two tickets for violating CEMA

The office space at 151 Industrial Road in Marwell. At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 25 meeting, members voted to sign off on the conditional use approval so Unit 6 at 151 Industrial Rd. can be used for office space. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Marwell move set for land and building services staff

Conditional use, lease approved for office space

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

Most Read