(PETERBOROUGH) Rain and roller derby are two ingredients that just don’t mix.
Since the first week of September, the Peterborough Roller Derby League has been taking their training to the great outdoors. The team had been calling the Duoro and Kinsmen arenas home, but now that hockey season is beginning the ladies are left out in the cold (and rain) without a suitable facility to train and compete.
The league came into existence in February of this year when Cindy Moffitt was convinced to set up a league in Peterborough. Moffitt, known by her Roller Derby competition name Lucid Lou, plays for the Toronto Roller Derby League. She is originally from the area and returns often.
Now that the ice is out in the arenas, the league is not only without a place to train, but a facility to call their home rink.
“It’s getting really serious,” states Moffitt.
For the last month the league has been outside every Monday and Friday for training and sharing space in Oshawa with the Durham League. Unfortunately, nearly every outdoor practice has been rained out and although other teams are willing to share their practice time and facility, it doesn’t give them what they desperately need.
Moffitt has been scouring the area looking for possible sites but due to the organizations non-profit status and small size, renting a large enough facility is a financial impossibility.
The league had been using space at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre, but as the athlete’s skills developed, so did their speed and the rubberized floor became more of a liability than an asset.
“Our skaters are so far advanced that someone will get hurt,” explains Moffitt.
Opportunities for a space to practice had arisen with the school boards, but upon learning of the gyms’ usage, the schools that would have played host to the league squashed the agreement. The possibility of damage to their floors by the roller skates was their primary reason. An understandable concern, but none the less, disappointing to Lucid and her teammates.
Moffitt is now looking at the possibility of opening her own roller rink in the Peterborough area to house the Peterborough Roller Derby and provide programs for local youth.
“It’s a great sport,” boasts Moffitt. “There are so many kids that don’t fit into the regular demographic of other sports, that this is a great option to stay fit and active.”
The team has developed an enormous local following in the short time they have been in existence. In their first two home games the league averaged 400 spectators. An impressive feat considering all promotion was done through word of mouth.
This promotion of the sport is becoming more and more common as new leagues are popping up not only in Ontario, but also across the world.
Toronto is set to play host to the first Roller Derby World Cup, involving 13 teams from around the globe. The championship is scheduled for the first week of December.
Moffitt was scheduled to tryout for the Canadian team, but an injury has kept her off skates until recently.
In the meantime, the Peterborough League continues to have discussions with other associations in town. Conversations with related sports like speed skating, ball hockey and skateboarding have been the most recent focus, but Moffitt and her group are keeping an open mind to find a partnership that will get them in a suitable facility.
More information on the Peterborough Roller Derby League can be found at http://www.peterboroughrollerderby.ca