The first time I heard about roller derby was when I was eleven years old. I was reading the Edmonton Journal over my mom’s shoulder when an article about the new Greater Edmonton Junior Roller Derby Association caught my eye.
Dave McQueen was kind enough to send us this sneak peak of yesterdays Team Canada try-outs. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I am curious to know if the pictures can begin to tell the amazing stories that unfolded at yesterday’s try-outs…
You can view the rest of the photos HERE
As women we have the difficult task of being responsible for our own empowerment. For centuries we have strived for power in our personal and professional lives and the one thing we have struggled with the most is power over ourselves. So often we allow others to tell us the best way to act, to think, to feel and we unfairly compare ourselves to others instead of embracing our own unique qualities. What I have always loved about Junior Roller Derby is how empowering it is to young women. It allows them to explore sides of themselves that are not often encouraged in other areas of their lives. Instead of being told what is “ladylike” they are able to explore what makes them unique and powerful. They don’t have to be like everyone else, they can just be the best version of themselves. The freedom to explore their own prowess, their mental and physical capabilities as well as their own dynamic skills is in itself a confidence builder. So often in competitive sports elements of our missions become lost in the desire to produce results. Our aims and objectives become blurred. When mentoring talented youth athletes it is easy to lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with young ladies that are already facing a great deal of judgments and strife in their adolescent lives and that for most of them sports is an outlet, a place for them to be themselves. Instead of comparing them to their teammates and spotlighting their weaknesses we have a unique opportunity to build them up and encourage all of the things that make them special. I have always been a firm believer that critique works best when spun positively. Realistically, it sounds easier in print then it actually is. As adults we have experienced our own share of life’s hard knocks and putting a positive spin on things doesn’t always come naturally. Yesterday at Edmonton’s Team Canada try-outs a group of teenagers taught me incredible things about the power of positive encouragement. A group of young women competing against each other for a spot representing their country; playing a sport they love, were the number one cheerleaders for the opposition. Their bright lights shone not only on themselves but also on the accomplishments of their fellow skaters. Their joys and their triumphs were shared. I was astounded that a group of young women displayed a level of maturity beyond their years and an energy and character that I am envious of. To feel not only a sense of pride in their own accomplishments but delight in the achievements of their teammates was a very compelling thing to observe. They are the future, and the future of this great sport. I applaud their incredible talent but first and foremost their leadership. These young ladies empower me to be better, more supportive and encouraging to the people in my life. Canada would be lucky to have them as it’s Junior Roller Derby representatives. xo
We have group of excited Juniors that are heading to beautiful Fernie B.C. this weekend to take on Avalanche City’s Bombsquad!
Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter @gejrda for updates on Saturday June 7 and wish them well.
Roster for GEJRDA
Sunny Syd Up
Play hard and have fun young ladies!
“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”
– Mary Lou Retton
REGISTER NOW TO PLAY JUNIOR ROLLER DERBY,
JANUARY-MAY SESSION STARTS IMMEDIATELY.
FIRST BEGINNER PRACTICE WILL BE JANUARY 14, 6-7 PM @ THE GRINDHOUSE
14420 112 ST. NW EDMONTON AB.
Hey there kids,
Meet Jerry Selter
His father Leo had was one of America’s great promoters and Jerry has followed in his footsteps since 1958, going from Roller Derby promoter (SF Bay Bombers) to television syndicator, to BASS tickets and Ticketmaster and on and on. He has many many many stories to tell…this is just one!
In the late 30’s and early 40’s Roller Derby grew in popularity and would play successfully in cities throughout the US with one major exception: The Big Apple.
In fact, at one point there were four “units” (eight teams) on the road at the same time. The track would be set up, and the two teams in each city would play each other 4 times per week for 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the size of the city and the popularity of the Derby in that town. Generally, one team would represent that city (the “white shirts”), the other (the “red shirts”) another city. It seemed as though nothing could stop the growth. Then came Pearl Harbor.
The Derby, like so many other activities, was decimated. The majority of the men volunteered for service or were drafted. Many of the women took essential war jobs or joined the service…
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REGISTER NOW FOR A NEW SEASON OF ROLLER JUNIOR ROLLER DERBY
The physical benefits of Roller Skating are apparent for youth and body image. Youth in sport, especially Roller Derby have an uncharacteristic relationship with their bodies where they put a great deal of significance in what their body can do for them and how it can convey their own personal goals of physical excellence. The nature of the Roller Derby community provides less blatant benefits as everyone who plays a role from skater, coach, admins and officials are unpaid volunteers who work for the sheer joy of promoting the growth of the sport they are passionate about. If you have heard that Roller Derby is a little different from other youth sports you are correct. The involvement with a group that shares the same love, passion and dedication changes the way you feel about and interact with others as well as yourself. Our mission is to empower youth, building their confidence so they can embrace their individualism in a fun, safe and respectful environment where skaters of all abilities can learn the sport of flat track roller derby.
NOW IS THE TIME to be a part of the fastest (and coolest) sport on 8 wheels. You have been asking and we delivered….TRY DERBY with GEJRDA. If you are all set to join and/or cannot join us this day you can register below. First practice for new skaters will be Tuesday January 14 6-7 pm at The Grindhouse 14420 112 St. Please direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org