Tournament to introduce junior derby in Calgary

Roller derby is still a fresh sport in Alberta, but the derby fever is spreading across the province and more leagues are forming each year.

With the sport’s increased popularity, the Chinook City Roller Derby Association said it was time to host an invitational tournament to get rankings in Alberta.

Rankings are not their only goal. The non-profit association aims to promote the sport while introducing their junior teams.

Tracy Stewart is a derby veteran and has seen the sport grow into itself.

“This is the first time a junior derby has happened in Calgary,” Stewart said.

She said the people who play are extremely passionate and that derby has become a real community.

“It’s such a cool sport and there is a real camaraderie,” she said. “Small cities are even starting to get into the groove.”

Flat Track Fever

Chinook City Roller Derby presents Flat Track Fever running from April 13 to the 15. As many as 500 skaters will participate in the tournament that will include competition for women, men and junior teams.

Skaters will compete against teams from Alberta, British Columbia, and the North Western United States.

Roller derby is in the bid for the 2020 Olympics, so the Chinook City Roller Derby, also known as CCRD, is excited about the tournament – as well as the juniors’ appearance.

“Junior derby is awesome,” said CCRD men’s team captain Jim Bourne. “What it comes down to is that the juniors today are going to be talented players 10 years from now.”

“As the juniors progress through, they will be on the path leading to international competitions.”

Bourne hopes the tournament will attract people in the city.

“We want Flat Track Fever to be a public event,” he said. “It is inexpensive and a fun environment.”

The image of roller derby has also been changing, Bourne said. “It’s beginning to look more like a sport.”

With women moving away from the fishnet and torn-up t-shirt look, the sport is becoming more mainstream, he adds.

“There are so many things I love about this sport,” Bourne said. “The community, the people. We are all here for one goal.”

Tanya Martinez plays on the women’s team and has been helping out with the juniors. She said that by being one of the first to get involved with derby in Alberta, the sport has evolved so much from women to men and now juniors.

“The tournament is super exciting because juniors are the future of derby,” Martinez said. “The more derby the better.”

The event will take place at the Olympic Oval and tickets are $15 in advance for the day or $30 for the weekend.

For further information about the event visit flattrackfever.chinookcity.ca.

rsecara@cjournal.ca