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Inclusiveness and roller derby

An action shot  of the July 18th roller derby bout./ Hannah Grover
An action shot of the July 18th roller derby bout./ Hannah Grover

How this rad sport is everything we love

On a Saturday night, what better to do than pull on some fun clothes, grab an old friend, and head for the Caledonian Curling Club to settle in for a good time watching roller derby? For the July 18 game, the Carillon decided it was definitely worth a visit. Much to our delight, the game was nothing short of thrilling. With an abundance of hits, falls, and an incredibly enthusiastic crowd, our experience with the Pile O’ Bones roller derby teams was a roaring good time.

The Carillon chatted with a member of Lockdown Lolita’s after the game: number 44, Parks ‘n Wreck (each derby player gets to choose a “punny” name, for example: Dolly Hardon, Matrianarchy, and Hermione Danger.) Before the interview commenced, we asked what she liked to be called. “You can just call me Parks,” she says, nonchalantly. She seemed very pleased about the evening’s event, saying that one of her favourite things about the games is how excited the crowds in Regina are. This wasn’t surprising, given the amount of Pile O’ Bones merch that is spotted around the city. Regina loves its roller derby!

“People come out to the games and actually know what’s going on, which is great,” she says. “I’ve competed nation-wide and we’ve never had crowds like we do in Regina, and that just gets us way more pumped up and it makes the game more fun.”

Parks thinks it’s a great environment, even just to come for the party, community, and adrenaline rush. We asked her how she feels to have a group of women represented through a sport, and she nodded happily, stating that roller derby is “totally girl power,” and the Carillon is always about that.

“Because I’m a total nerd, I’m always excited to talk about the gender politics of the game, which everyone is down for,” Parks says. “We’re all very open about gender dynamics within roller derby, and we try to make the game as inclusive as we can.”

She explained that Pile O’ Bones is working hard to make everyone feel welcome and is actively creating a safe space for all to get involved.

We were curious about the mentality of the crowd, and Parks noted that the roller derby community ultimately attracts the more artsy, open types. Even the athletes are immersed in the performance.

“It’s a very artistic sport. Some of our girls are even planning elaborate tattoos on the outside of their right leg, because that’s the side the audience will see,” she noted with a chuckle.

With such a well-rounded audience, the Pile O’ Bones roller derby games are always a party, accommodating people from all walks of life.

While the sports section has given these athletes some shout-outs, there could be even more done to promote this exciting game. Roller derby has an audience and people want to know what this game is all about. That’s why we’ve decided to give the Pile O’ Bones what it deserves – coverage. While we have decided to start late, given it’s the end of the season, with the championship happening on Aug. 8, the Carillon will be covering the Pile ‘o Bones Roller Derby games! And what’s more, we’d like to see as many U of R students out there as we possibly can. Even if you’ve never been, this is a fantastic opportunity to meet some cool people, learn about a new sport, or to just have a good night out. No worries, the pamphlets at the front door include an explanation of the game so nobody has to worry about cheering whenever the crowd does, or pretend to understand what’s going on.

As Parks says, roller derby is for everyone, and the Regina fan base certainly feels the same way.

To see the interview, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOoiIUW3hXw

About Hannah Grover

I’m the Arts and Culture Editor, as well as a writer when I’m not feeling lazy, outspoken feminist, and self-appointed cat queen.