Roller derby seeking mid-Island volunteers

Want to be part of the rise of Roller Derby in Port Alberni?

Roller derby skaters leap over fallen competitors in this photo from the Library of Congress

Roller derby skaters leap over fallen competitors in this photo from the Library of Congress

Want to be part of the rise of Roller Derby in Port Alberni?

From Alberni Valley Roller Girls Society skater/president Diandra Jurkic-Walls comes word the newly formed team is looking for skating and non-skating referees and officials to join them for the upcoming season.

To that end the Roller Girls will be holding a training session for referees and non-skating officials today (Tuesday, Oct. 4) from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Alberni Elementary Field House. Admission is a toonie, and the session will feature famed Derby referee, Book ‘Er, and Non-skating Official, Plenty Official, from the Comox Valley. Potential referees are asked to bring skates and a helmets, “all other volunteers just bring your awesome selves.”

No stranger to the action-packed game on wheels that is in the midst of a resurgence, with new teams popping up all over the world, Diandra, 29, co-founded the Rated PG Roller Girls in Prince George back in 2008. Roller Derby as we know it today dates back to the mid-1930s.

A non-profit group numbering some 25 female skaters, AVRGS was officially formed last May, and the community support, “has been fantastic.”

The team is made up of women aged 20-50(ish), which makes them one of the older teams in B.C., but don’t count the Roller Girls out said Diandra, “we’re all pretty gung-ho — we’ve been practicing hard since May.”

Beyond the skaters, she said it takes about three volunteers per skater to make an event happen.

“It’s a huge event, so we’re always looking for volunteers, and we’re also always looking for new skaters, so there’s lots of ways to participate.

“It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” Diandra said with vim, adding, “it’s family oriented, affordable, and the most fun you’ll ever have watching a sport. It’s amazing.”

In this, their inaugural season, the Roller Girls will be going up against teams like Cumberland’s Brick House Betties, Comox Valley’s Rink Minx and Dodge City Rollers, Nanaimo’s Harbour City Rollers and the Nanaimo Nemesis, and the Eves Of Destruction from Victoria. Salt Spring Island has The Committed, Powell River the Pow! Town Roller Derby, and there are two other teams on the Sunshine Coast — the Sea To Sky Sirens out of Squamish and the Whistler WolfPack. B.C. actually lists 27 teams in all.

All the teams are members of the Canadian Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (est. 2009).

For more call 250-720-4895 or email


GAME ON — The Roller Girls make their home debut Dec. 10 at Glenwood Centre in Port Alberni. The action gets underway around 7 p.m.

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