The Fighting Mongoose is hanging up her skates.
Whitehorse’s Amil Dupuis-Rossi – a.k.a. the Fighting Mongoose, a.k.a. the Jammer from the Hammer – has decided to retire from her position as jammer for the Yukon Roller Girls, she announced on Saturday.
“I started getting more wary of injuries, having said that I need to state that there aren’t any more or less than in other contact sports, it was just that I became less and less willing to risk injury for roller derby,” said Dupuis-Rossi. “There was a time I was willing to take that risk though, and I will take that risk for other activities that I do. My priorities changed.
“Also, I started becoming less challenged at this level. It was great as a coach to watch skaters challenge themselves and grow – I really found that rewarding, but I wasn’t getting that as a skater and I have that personality where I need to be challenged as well.”
Dupuis-Rossi spent three years with the Whitehorse derby club and travelled with the YRG to Hawaii and Washington State.
She was Yukon’s star jammer – a skater who laps the group of skaters to score points – over the last year.
Dupuis-Rossi was named MVP jammer for Yukon and the tournament when the Yukon Roller Girls won the first annual United We Roll Roller Derby Tournament in Fairbanks, Alaska, last May.
She was jammer and head coach in the YRG’s last bout, a 252-243 win over North Pole, Alaska’s Babes in Toyland in September.
Dupuis-Rossi credits a “collaborated effort” by her team for her success as jammer.
“I think my skills were able to be highlighted because we started working really cohesively,” said Dupuis-Rossi. “So the blockers and the jammers started working really well together.”
The Hamilton, Ont. native, used the city’s nickname, The Hammer, in her handle “Jammer from the Hammer.”
She picked up “The Fighting Mongoose” from an episode of the Matt Groening cartoon series Futurama.
“I’d caution anyone to do that because for the last three years I’ve been known as Goose,” said Dupuis-Rossi.
“I leave roller derby with a heavy heart,” she added. “I have done some amazing things with this team and I encourage anyone who has an interest to try it. The team, the sport and the community are amazing. I’m glad that I was a part of developing roller derby in the North. I just feel as though it’s time for me to move on.”
If the Yukon Roller Girls were to have a bout scheduled for next week, they’d be hard up for jammers. The Fighting Mongoose was the last jammer-specific player the team had.
Yukon jammer Jennifer “Lady C” Duncombe, suffered an ankle injury against the Juneau Rollergirls during a 188-182 loss in February and hasn’t been involved with the organization for a few months.
Jammer Paige “Shania Pain” Parsons, who was a rookie last season and showed a lot of promise in the position, is currently attending school in Ottawa.
“Essentially there are no specific jammers anymore,” said Dupuis-Rossi. “There are people who can jam, but I think I was the last specific jammer on the team.”
The Yukon Roller Girls currently don’t have any bouts lined up.
They hope to return to Alaska’s United We Roll tournament to defend their title in May and might host a bout in March.
“We’re in discussions with about three different spots,” said YRG president Lindsay Agar. “I can’t tell you anything because nothing is set in stone.”
The roller girls are focusing on building their “fresh meat” rookie program. They are also looking for people with athletic/coaching backgrounds who might be interested in coaching.
“We’re focusing on our fresh meat program, so we’ve had girls training since our bout in September … getting ready to join our ‘seasoned meat’ in our January to May season,” said Agar.
The Yukon Roller Girls are holding their annual general meeting November 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Christ the King Elementary School, one of the YRG’s practice locations. A new board of directors will be elected at the AGM.
“We’ll, hopefully, be passing a new membership policy … for our volunteers who want to be a member of the Yukon Roller Girls that might not skate or might not want to ref or be an official but are still a big supporter,” said Agar. “They could be the amazing volunteers we have, or they could be announcers – we’re having different levels now that are more encompassing of our roller girl community.”
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