Ride in Comradeship: Derby Brings Together a Diverse Community


Tia Tomstick is playing her first season. Inspired by the movie Whip it with Elliot Page, Tomstick decided to give it a try.

“At first you feel a bit like a baby giraffe. You wobble a bit, but once you’re stable on your skates it’s really fun, ”said Tomstick.

With players sometimes side-by-side, Tomstick said the bond is unlike any other.

“I feel like you have a stronger connection if you play this sport with your friends because we help each other out that way, and it helps strengthen your bond a lot more,” she said.

While pushing, shoving, and falling tend to be what is described, players say the physicality of the sport isn’t that bad once you’ve learned how to fall properly.

“If you get down low enough and someone hits you, you can kind of absorb it by leaning over them,” Tomstick said.

According to Crockford, the sport of Roller Derby has evolved with different levels of contact. Some leagues have little or no contact at all.

Sport is also universal and does not require much to get started. It’s also home to a diverse set of gamers, from moms who want to get out of the house to high school kids who just want to have fun after school.

“You don’t need to have any experience. I mean I’m from hockey and ringette, but we have girls who have never skated, never played sports, and they just hang out. We teach them all the basics of how to skate, how to play the game, and it’s great socialization too. Said Crockford.

The Medicine Hat Roller Derby Association is currently recruiting new players for its adult and junior leagues. Anyone interested can contact her on Facebook.


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