A night with the Red Deer Belladonnas

My sister and I grab a brew and a dog and snag seats in the riser behind the plexiglass. The very brave have set their lawn chairs in the primo spots down by the track, but Mish and I (being newbies) are not so fearless.

The whistle blows one, two, three times and girls in fishnets, short shorts and elbow pads speed off around the track. The Belladonnas jammer (the one who scores points by making it through the pack) deeks and dodges through the opposing blockers, who are bent on on stopping her from passing.

Mish leans over to me and says, “If I were a derby girl my name would be Peaches and Mean.”

“That’s a good one.” I say. “I would be Badberry Meancake.”

“That’s not as good,” she says.

She’s right – I can do better. As the jams continue some of the girls rack up minor penalties for blocking from behind or using a little too much elbow – nothing serious or they’d be in the box, but just enough to rough up their opponents and rev up the crowd. At the intermission, skaters with the most minor penalties spin the penalty wheel for their punishment. As we watch two hot chicks pillow fight in the middle of the ring, I try again:

“Orange Jerksicle? Spank’s Red Hot?”

“Maybe get off food,” she says.

Just then the crowd erupts as the wheel lands on Pink Cheek Alley and the emcee invites us all into the middle of the track. We go with the flow – being the good sports we are – and stand in a circle waiting to see what will happen.

“Chastity Bonesaw. Joyce DeWhip.”

“Please stop,” she says as a penalized skater drifts by, hands on knees, getting ‘pink cheeked’ by the enthusiastic crowd.

We find our seats and more tattooed skaters in knee socks deliver more hard slamming blocks in front of refs in corsets and us hooting fans. It’s a fun crowd – a nice mix of girls on the town, like us, diehard fans and even a few families, who look like they’re having a terrific time together. Then again, the high energy of the skaters and the delight of the audience make it impossible not to have a good time.

“I’ve got it,” I say as we file out of the arena to our cars at the end of the match. “Professor Rumbledore.”

Mish sighs. “Has to be a girl, plus… you’re a nerd. See you at brunch on Sunday.”

“Yeah – see you Sunday. Thanks for a fun night, sis.” I smile. I love her when she’s exasperated – must be a big sister thing.

Take some time to think of your derby name and then head down to “Fresh Meet” rookie camp. Visit rdrda.ca for details and upcoming bouts.

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