The Mile Zero Mercy, Dawson Creek’s very own roller derby club, is officially bringing the madness of roller derby to town, as the group will host its premiere bout this Saturday at the Encana Events Centre.
The Mile Zero Mercy Mixed Massacre will attract bruisers and cruisers from as far south as Williams Lake, giving residents of Dawson Creek a taste of derby mayhem.
“We’re basically having it to raise awareness about roller derby in the community and how it is starting out in town,” said Sue Bertrand the unofficial manager of the Mile Zero Mercy, which was formed approximately six months ago.
The Massacre should only help an already popular club that has upwards of thirty members.
“There are so many women that want to do it, and every day I am running into women that want to try it and come out and do it but are scared to, but have no reason to be scared because we are all rookies,” said Bertrand.
The bout will showcase the talents of skaters from Grande Prairie, Fort St. John, Grimshaw, Prince George, Quesnel, as well as a trio of skaters from Dawson Creek ready to compete in their first derby.
Unlike most bouts where clubs faceoff versus one another, the Mixed Massacre will divide skaters up according to experience, pitting teammates against each other.
“It’s going to be fun, but the one thing that is scary is your teammates aren’t actually going to be your teammates, so who is going to be covering your butt out there?” asked Lorna Merrick (aka. Lornado Tornado) during a Mercy practice Monday night at the Northern Lights College gymnasium.
By roller derby standards Miss Tornado is considered ‘fresh meat’ – the popular moniker given to new competitors and recruits.
She says the Mixed Massacre is all about attracting new faces to the sport and letting people know this is an available option in the community.
“It will bring some awareness to town and hopefully it will recruit more ‘fresh meat’,” she snickered.
Roller derby has seen a revival of sorts since the early 2000’s with over 1,200 amateur leagues popping up worldwide, and organizations such as the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) being established – of which the Mercy are a registered club.
The WFTDA requires all skaters be ‘benchmarked’ before a bout to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of others. Benchmarking demands that every skater passes a series of tests that reflect the necessary skills needed for roller derby battle.
As a new club to the derby scene only three of the regular Mercy members have been benchmarked for the Mixed Massacre, but it is for their own good says Bertrand.
“I’d rather be safe than have super-rookies out there getting hurt,” she noted.
The benchmarked Mercy skaters will be getting dirty with others that have significant bout experience; one competitor from the P.G. Rated Rollergirls (Prince George) has 40 bouts under her belt. Tornado and the new skaters say they might be intimidated at first but expect the veterans to lend a hand, and show them the tricks of the track.
“We all kind of love each other but want to hurt each other at the same time,” said Lenore Boudreau aka. La Horror, another ‘fresh meat’ competitor. “What happens on the track stays on the track.”
“You bout together then you go for drinks afterwards,” chimed Angie Dokken a Mercy member that will miss out on the Massacre due to injury.
She still looks forward to taking in the event.
“It’s something new and exciting, who can say they have seen a roller derby?”
The Massacre begins at 7:00 p.m.