CORNER BROOK The Humber Valley Derby Dolls are ready to rock, but have nowhere to roll.
The group’s goal is to create a women’s roller derby league in Corner Brook, similar to the 709 Derby Girls setup in Mount Pearl. The 709 girls visited Corner Brook in June and have been supportive and informative as the west coast girls attempt to get their feet moving.
They had access to the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake over the summer, but now that winter sports have taken over the surface, they have been relegated to the Deer Lake Legion, which does the trick, but isn’t big enough to be an ideal location.
“We couldn’t ever tape out a track there or anything,” said Shyama McWhirter, one of the driving forces behind the Derby Dolls. “A school gym would be ideal, I think.”
Their wish list is modest — a concrete or industrial tile surface that’s not in “really bad shape.”
“The wheels (on their skates) are non-marking, so we just need a nice, smooth surface,” McWhirter said. “Any type of gym or open hall ... really anything that’s like a big, open room, really.”
About 15 girls are currently registered with the group, with room for more, as McWhirter said they’d like to have two teams of 10, plus coaches and referees. Most are newcomers to the unique sport, so practice time over the winter is a necessity. Most of the women live in Corner Brook, so they’re hoping to avoid the snowy highway and be able to practice in the city instead of making frequent trips to Deer Lake.
“But finding a space has been a little bit rocky,” McWhirter said.
They’ve looked into various schools, church basements, the Pepsi Studio and even the Gallipoli Armoury, but nothing has panned out so far.
“I’m thinking once people get over the initial, ‘We don’t know what this is’ type of thing, the more people will realize it’s not going to tear up the floor or anything,” she said. “We should be able to find a spot, but it’s going to take someone taking a chance on us.”
The Derby Dolls can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.