CORNER BROOK Terri Maxwell is a sweetheart by nature as she goes about her business managing a candy store in St. John’s.
However, all that goes out the window when she gets her bearings on eight wheels.
The 30-year-old Corner Brook native is the co-founder of 709 Derby Girls — Newfoundland and Labrador’s first and only roller derby league. Corner Brook native Michaela Penney, who also lives in St. John’s, is the co-founder of the league that’s now in its third season. The league features two teams of all-female rollers — The Neversweets and Red Venom Vixens — and a travel team featuring the ‘cream of the crop’ from the two home teams and affectionately known as the Jamjams.
Better known as Cemeterri Jane in roller derby circles, Maxwell never envisioned being so captivated by roller derby when she got started. What was supposed to be a recreational activity she could enjoy every now and then has blossomed into something she truly enjoys and a lot of her contentment in the sport comes from meeting a bunch of a new people who have become part of her family really.
But, don’t kid yourself, friendships go out the window pretty quick when Cemeterri Jane hits the track.
“I’m out for blood,” Maxwell said earlier this week while working at the candy store. “I’m going to win, I’m going to score my points. I don’t care if the girl on the other team is my best friend outside of this I will knock her down if she gets in my way.”
709 Derby Girls is based out the Glacier in Mount Pearl where the roller derby events have taken place over the last three years, including a successful season opener at the Mount Pearl facility back in February. The only league of its kind in the province, obviously team members hail from the capital city area, but after a couple of years of bumps and bruises the girls are taking the show to the west coast with their second game of the season — Bloodshed on Broadway — scheduled for June 9 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena.
“We wanted to come out and show our friends and family what it is we’ve been doing who don’t get the opportunity to come out to St. John’s,” she said of the decision to introduce 709 Derby Girls to the city.
Team members from all walks of life have embraced the once popular televised sport that experienced a hiatus in the 1970s, but is now in the midst of a resurgence. Maxwell is hoping people in Corner Brook come out to support Bloodshed on Broadway, but she has no idea how to guage the response.
“I think we’re taking a bit of a gamble we’re not sure,” she said. “I know Corner Brook likes to buy tickets at the last minute; I know I always did when I lived there. We’re hoping to have a good turnout.”
The only guarantee she has for the people is that the show will be full of action and the girls will be putting it all on the line for bragging rights.
“It’s a real sport and we’re good at it. I’d like to show everybody out there what we can do,” she said. “It’s a lot of action and a lot of fun. We’ve got some great announcers coming with us that keep the crowd really lively and entertained.”
Maxwell would really like to see the sport become a passion for other females in the province, especially the west coast where she has had a number of people express an interest in the sport. With that in mind, the 709 Derby Girls will hold a general information session on the day of Bloodshed on Broadway (June 9) at 2 p.m. in the Sobey’s community room in the Valley Mall in Corner Brook.
“We’re trying to expand the league so we’re trying to show people on the west coast what roller derby is all about and see if possibly people are interested in getting something going out that way,” she said.
Tickets are available at Brewed Awakening on West Street or The Whitehorse Lounge on Herald Ave. Tickets are also available at the door and online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
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