The Yukon Roller Girls have a lot on the go these days, preparing a fundraiser, a public scrimmage and a weekend skills camp.
But perhaps most ambitious are the expansion plans.
Fresh into its second year, the non-profit organization is hoping to establish a junior squad in Whitehorse for girls ages 12-18.
“I started up a junior league in Prince George. So much of what’s great about the junior league is it is providing community for young women that is so empowering and inclusive,” said Yukon Roller Girl and junior co-ordinator Stephanie Hammond, aka Soupmix. “It creates a great sense of, ‘I can be strong, I can be part of this community, I can be a leader, I can be part of the team.’ All that great stuff comes out in junior roller derby.”
Open to all skill levels, the junior squad will have weekly practices on Tuesday evenings at the Takhini Broomball Rink throughout the summer and a three-day camp is also in the planning.
“It’s going to be about skills, learning basics on the roller skates – we’ll have a range of skill, I imagine,” said Hammond. “We totally welcome all abilities.
“We’ll also be learning about the game, working towards scrimmaging against each other, playing the game.”
The long-term goal, like the senior Yukon Roller Girls, is to establish a representative team that can compete against other junior squads, such as ones from Fairbanks, Edmonton and Prince George, BC.
“So there are opportunities for travel in the future,” said Hammond. “Right now we’re just looking at skill development in the Whitehorse community.”
To ring in their first anniversary and raise money for a camp the following weekend, the senior roller girls are hosting their first annual Derby-versary at the Boiler Room Lounge this Saturday. The celebration will include a karaoke contest with prizes donated by local businesses.
The three-day camp will include the first public performance of the Yukon Roller Girls, putting on a scrimmage on May 14 at 7 p.m. at the Takhini Broomball Rink.
“We’re encouraging people to bring a lawn chair, if they want a place to sit during the bout,” said Hammond. “The roller derby (track) will only take up the middle section. The bleachers are there if you want them, but for a better seat bring in a lawn chair and sit right in the rink.”
If interested in learning more about the junior program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend a public meeting May 16 at 7 p.m. in the Whitehorse Public Library.
Contact Tom Patrick at