By Sydney Clay
Jan. 14, 2015
Karla Murphy, a Grade 1 teacher at Westwood Primary School, went to a game and noticed how fun it looked. She also noticed the danger.
“I will never play that sport as long as I live,” she told herself.
But now she is returning for her second year as a derby girl going by the name of Green Eggs & SLAM.
“Derby is a way to let go,” she said.
An increasing number of Island women agree.
Roller derby has started growing on P.E.I. with more people joining every year. The roller derby league has around 64 players and had three teams, with the possibility of only two this year.
The sport started on P.E.I. in 2010.
Whitney Knott was invited to a roller derby game by one of her friends in 2011. She has a cousin who plays and figured she would check it out.
Her husband said she would break herself if she ever joined. When he saw one of the refs, who’s older, he changed his mind.
Today she’s part of the “fresh meat” program, which teaches you to skate and the dos and don’ts of roller derby. Her name is Whitty Hitty Bang Bang, and she’s obsessed with the sport.
Her day job is business startups, but her mind is always on derby.
“It’s a life style change, your life starts to become everything derby,” she said.
Nicole Boutilier has been part of the derby scene since 2011. She was online one day and came across P.E.I.’s team.
She decided to go to an open house and try on skates to see if she liked it. She loved it.
Now the Canada Post delivery driver is part of the Moonshine Maidens, the Charlottetown team, and the Red Rock n Rollers, the travel team. She goes by the name Billie the Shiv.
“It consumes you in a fun way,” she said.
She recently went to Toronto to do a weekend clinic with the Moncton Lumbersmacks. There she was a part of the coed clinic. They also got to watch games between teams from Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
They also do many things through the community. They skate in the Pride Parade almost ever year. They sell 50/50 at different events, like Atlanticade and the Big Red Music Fest.
Coach Matt Cormier, derby name spRAWkit, has been coaching since 2013, but he got involved with the sport in 2011 while watching Boutilier.
The fitness coordinator at Holland College enjoys watching all of the people of different backgrounds and different ages join the team.
“Everybody involved comes from different walks of life,” he said.
People range from the age of 20 to being in there 40s play in the league. They also come from different jobs. One is a lawyer.
The teams are now in off-season but this is one of thier best times. They start recruiting people and doing workshops to prepare for the season to start.
“I’m excited for the season to start,” Boutilier said.
The season is expected to start in May after the ice comes out of the rinks.
“I think the season will go fantastically,” Knott said.