By Jesse-Ann Hennessey
Special to the Kings County Register
September will be a year since the Riptide Roller ladies have pushed, punched, and skated their way onto the Annapolis Valley sports scene.
The Riptide Rollers is the fledgling Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby league in the Annapolis Valley and they are making quite an impression.
Nova LaFrance aka Mist Achin’, originally from B.C., moved to the Annapolis Valley and quickly realised we were in desperate need of a roller derby league.
LaFrance started bugging a girl she worked with about playing and starting a league with her, in three months she had her convinced and the league has grown from there.
“All the sudden it was like everyone knew about it,” said LaFrance.
The team began with four members and has now exploded to more than 20.
LaFrance said they are still in the very beginning of developing their league and is hoping eventually they will get enough players to be able to split the girls into teams so they can have games against each other.
April 23, 25, and 27 are the dates of the Riptide Rollers next Fresh Meat, where they will be recruiting new members at the Bridgetown arena beginning at 6 p.m.
LaFrance doesn’t think they will have much trouble getting more girls in on the action.
“You try it once and you just can’t get enough of it.”
This July the Riptide Rollers will be playing their first games at the Muddy River Atlantic JAMboree in Saint John, New Brunswick.
To get their skill levels up the women are practicing three times a week instead of two.
“It’s a commitment,” said LaFrance, “but by this point I’ve gotten them all addicted.”
LaFrance understands not everyone can make every practice so they try to be very inclusive, but members need to have two-thirds attendance.
The money the Riptide Rollers use to pay for space to practice in comes straight out of their own pockets.
All the sudden it was like everyone knew about it. - Nova LaFrance
To help solve this problem the league is teaming up with the Annapolis Royal Skate Board Park to raise money.
“We’re trying to hold onto our budget as tight as possible,” said LaFrance.
LaFrance said the best part of the league is the women who play; the team has become kind of like a family.
“All of us are going to be nice and old and comparing our replaced knees and hips,” laughed LaFrance.
LaFrance said she wants to make the Riptide Rollers a sustainable league so the people living throughout the Valley will have something different to do.
The Riptide Rollers have already started to generate some interest and LaFrance said she thinks they will be around for the long haul.
“I think it’s already at a point where it doesn’t even matter who started it,” she said, “it won’t be able to stop now.”