Roller girls need space for busy 2012 season

The Yukon Roller Girls had a great premier season and have scheduled a busy one for 2012, there's just one piece missing: a Whitehorse location for bouts.

The Yukon Roller Girls had a great premier season and have scheduled a busy one for 2012, there’s just one piece missing: a Whitehorse location for bouts.

To coincide Alaskan organizations, the Yukon Roller Girls’ competitive season will run from February to June and September to November, largely overlapping with when local rinks have ice, as well as the Takhini Broomball Arena, the location of last month’s bout against Fairbanks,

“It’s a really optimistic goal,” said incoming president Ashley (Arctic Fox) Fisher. “We plan to do more here in Whitehorse because (last month’s Klondike Klash) was like the most amazing thing ever. Everyone I have talked to are like, ‘When are you doing more?’

“We’ve ironed out some of the bumps and we think we can pull it off if we can find space.

“We’re at the point right now where I’ve declared everyone in the league on the bout-location search committee. That’s a top priority right now.”

The Yukon Roller Girls have seven bouts – four at home and three away – scheduled for 2012. They will be going to Juneau to play February 18, to Fairbanks May 19 and Abbotsford November 24.

The home bouts will take place March 31, June 30, September 15 and October 27 against teams to be determined. Though the roller derby crew will likely be able to use the Takhini Broomball Arena – the “Rollerdome”- for the June and September bouts, they don’t have a location for the March and October dates.

“We have teams that want to come play us, but March 31 is the big one – if we don’t find a place to have that it’s not going to happen,” said Fisher. “But we’re looking hard and have some leads.”

“We have slotted a spot for March 31 for our first home game (in the season), but we don’t have a facility yet,” said outgoing president Shannon (Shenanigans) Pearson. “So that’s an important thing.

“Everyone has their ears open. We are taking a look at the convention centre where the old pool was but the floor is really uneven and it wouldn’t work unless we had a portable floor that we can lay down. But we’re still going to take a look at it and see how much is involved.”

A detachable, portable floor would cost the organization approximately $23,000.

“That’s not something we can entertain right now because we just don’t have the money for it,” said Pearson.

When first starting out, the roller girls had problems finding practice locations, eventually securing time in school gymnasiums. However, precautions needed to protect the wood floors and a lack of spectator room makes them unusable for bouts.

At the “Klondike Klash” last month, their first at-home bout, the Yukon Roller Girls defeated the visiting Fairbanks Rollergirls 159-104 at the Takhini Broomball Arena in front of a sold-out crowd of 749.

In what was both their first Outside bout and first club sanction bout, the Yukon crew beat the Oil City Derby Girls’ rookie team 187-127 in Edmonton in August.

As always, the Yukon Roller Girls are looking for new recruits. They have set up two drop-in dates for women who want to try their hand at roller derby on October 26 and November 20. (For times and locations, visit yukonrollergirls.ca.)

“We’ll be having them at schools to give people a chance to try it, so if they enjoy it they can come out and join the ‘Fresh Meat’ six-week program,” said Pearson. “By the end of the six-weeks they will be ready to join the main group.

“The can come out try it for free. All the gear will be supplied for them.”

The roller girls are open to ideas for where to host the March and October bouts. If you have any suggestions, contact them at yukonrollergirls@gmail.com.

“Any leads or any help is much appreciated, from anybody, because it’s not that far away,” said Pearson.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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