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Skate like a girl with Annapolis Valley's Riptide Rollers

The Riptide Rollers, a flat track roller derby league, has been rolling around the Annapolis Valley for about six years. The skaters come from as far away as Windsor and Digby.
The Riptide Rollers, a flat track roller derby league, has been rolling around the Annapolis Valley for about six years. The skaters come from as far away as Windsor and Digby.

MIDDLETON - It’s Wednesday night and the wheels are turning at the NSCC gym.

Every week in the winter members of the Riptide Rollers practice their moves at the Nova Scotia Community College.

This flat-track roller derby league has been rolling around the Annapolis Valley for about six years. The skaters come all the way from Windsor in the east and Digby in the west.

“Our members are all ages and from all walks of life,” says Judy van Bommel, a member for the past five years.

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members. Teams roller skate around the track in the same direction. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) where a scoring player (the “jammer”) tries to lap the opposing team.

The team’s objective is to help its own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer. Being a competitive sport, sometimes things can get a little rough, but the skaters say that burning away a little stress after a hard week is great therapy.

“You could have the worst day, but then come to derby and feel great,” said Amanda York, a derby girl for four years.

Every week in the winter members of the Riptide Rollers practice their moves at the Nova Scotia Community College.

This flat-track roller derby league has been rolling around the Annapolis Valley for about six years. The skaters come all the way from Windsor in the east and Digby in the west.

“Our members are all ages and from all walks of life,” says Judy van Bommel, a member for the past five years.

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members. Teams roller skate around the track in the same direction. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) where a scoring player (the “jammer”) tries to lap the opposing team.

The team’s objective is to help its own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer. Being a competitive sport, sometimes things can get a little rough, but the skaters say that burning away a little stress after a hard week is great therapy.

“You could have the worst day, but then come to derby and feel great,” said Amanda York, a derby girl for four years.

Their Mission

The Riptide Rollers’ mission is to play competitive roller derby and to serve the community by encouraging athleticism, by demonstrating positive role models for women, providing entertainment, and supporting charitable causes in the Annapolis Valley.  

It’s not unusual to see more than 100 people come out to a match.

Judy van Bommel says that roller derby isn’t just for skaters, the whole family can play a part. It takes as many volunteers behind the scenes to help organize each event, from scorekeepers, timers and referees, to the skaters themselves.

“It brings families together,” she said. “It’s a diverse, inclusive sport that has a place for everyone.”

She added that while the play can get a little rough, the goal is for each member to realize their personal bests. The members support and encourage each other, while putting their best skates forward and celebrate the successes together.

For more information on the Riptide Rollers Association, visit them on Facebook, or see their webpage, http://www.riptiderollers.ca

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