Featured Members: Li’l Betty Brawler and Sugar & Slice: April 2016

Li’l Betty Brawler

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Derby Name: Li’l Betty Brawler
Number: 52
AKA: Kelly Gillis
League: Bootleg City Roller Derby
Team: Bootleg Betties
Position: Blocker/Jammer

Q: When did you first hear about roller derby on PEI?

A: From a coworker Jaime (also known as Lady G). She invited me to watch a match and I immediately wanted to try it!

Q: What attracted you to roller derby?

A: My sports background includes figure skating and rugby so I thought it’d be a perfect fit since I was looking to get into a new sport.

Q: When did you join?

A: I joined fresh meat in fall 2013 with the Royal City Roller Girls when I was studying at the University of Guelph and have been rolling ever since!

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Q: What is your favorite part of the sport?

A: I love that it’s a team sport but it’s also about pushing yourself personally and working with where you’re at. I’ve skated with people of all ages, sizes and skill level which I’ve never seen as possible in any other sport. If you want to be part of derby, there is a place for you.

Q: What is your day job?

A: I’m currently changing careers. My background is in community development work and I’m looking to get into evaluation and program consulting.

Q: How has roller derby changed your life?

A: I’ve made so many friends through derby and know that no matter where I live I can come to skate and be welcomed. Derby has also helped me appreciate everything my body can do (when I treat it right). I feel I can express myself more authentically in derby than other sports I’ve done.

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Q: Do you have any derby goals for 2016?

A: Strengthen my endurance! Get more comfortable jamming. Use my small height to my advantage. I’m excited to skate with the Betties this season!

Q: Any advice for people who may be interested in joining?

A: Come out to a bout and see what it’s all about! Talk to people involved and ask all the questions! Derby people LOVE to talk about derby. Check out Red Rock’s site for information on Learn to Skate programs. And if you’re not interested in playing, you can always be a ref, a non-skating official, a coach, an announcer, a graphics designer, etc. There are so many people involved in making the sport happen – see where you’d like to be.

 

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Sugar & Slice

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Derby Name: Sugar & Slice
Number: #33
AKA: Holly Osborne
League: The Wharf City Rollers
Team: Twisted Sisters
Position: Jammer/Blocker

Q: When did you first hear about roller derby on PEI?

A: It was the end of the summer 2014 when I read about the Fresh Meat / Learn to Skate training program advertised by the Twisted Sisters (Summerside’s team). I inquired further, went to some practices, and volunteered a little. I held off until 2015 because of my “busy schedule;” which I regret – I should have signed up on the spot!

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Q: What attracted you to roller derby?

A: The sport in itself. I mean, come on, executing strategic plays while on wheels…. Is there any sport more challenging? It’s like football on skates. When I went to my first practice to observe, I was on the edge of my seat watching a scrimmage. I wanted to be out there with them. I knew I was hooked right then and there.

Q: When did you join?

A: I completed the Fresh Meat program, passed my skill levels test, and was cleared for contact in late 2015. I joined the Twisted Sisters team right away and haven’t looked back.

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Q: What is your favorite part of the sport?

A: First, I love continuously learning and challenging myself – derby absolutely does this for me. There’s a lot I still have to learn; but I know I’ll get it. There’s days when my body is sore from training during a tough practice; but I’m stronger each time. Second, my team members of Twisted Sisters; they’re unreal and so awesome. The entire community of derby – from all PEI’s teams in the Red Rock ‘n Roller Derby Association to the many people I’ve met from around the Maritimes so far – demonstrate such an atmosphere of camaraderie, the love of the game and simply having fun with it all

Q: What is your day job?

A: I work at Veterans Affairs Canada as a Senior Information Advisor. I primarily facilitate departmental training as part of my job.

Q: How has roller derby changed your life?

A: I really wish I could have started playing so many years ago (as in my teens or early 20s) because it would have been such a great way for me to channel my many qualities and skills in a positive way. Heheheh. I’ve said a few times times now, “Derby! Where have you been all my life?!” Now, I’ve developed a whole new group of friends with this whole new aspect of my life.

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Q: Do you have any derby goals for 2016?

A: I have several: Playing and practicing every chance I get and continuing with off-skate training to build on my strength and endurance.

Q: Any advice for people who may be interested in joining?

A: Don’t let fear and common sense stop you. Just kidding! Honestly, try it. The training program is awesome. The players are very supportive and happy to help you learn and develop skills if you want. I’m sure glad I did.

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