WINDSOR, N.S. — With a year of skating under their belts, the Avon River Rollers' Rebel Belles are ready to prove they can crush the competition.
The Rebel Belles will be taking on the Kickin' Vixens, of Pictou County's Highland Derby Dolls league in their first-ever roller derby bout.
The April 27 event is promising to be an evening of high energy and entertainment, says Angela Jennex, a.k.a. StrawBury Jam.
“It's the craziest piece of madness that you'll ever be able to witness,” said Jennex, laughing as she described roller derby.
“The sport itself is really cool — it's all full contact and it's all women,” she added. “There's not enough contact sports for women, really. It's on roller skates, so it's extra fantastic.”
The women also wear “boutfits” — wild getups on the track — when they compete. They also have carefully selected derby names. StrawBury Jam, for example, was selected because Jennex has red hair and the two-minute sessions on the track are called jams.
The Rebel Belles have such characters as Tainted Shove, Bitta Badness, Miss ArtBreakHer, and Diva Slayer on the team.
“It's the interesting tongue-in-cheek names and the makeup and all the other fun stuff that goes with roller derby that people might remember from back in the day, back in the '70s,” said Jennex, as to why residents might want to check out the local derby scene.
For her, and many others, competing is a little slice of 'me' time.
“It's really hard to concentrate on all the little annoying bits of your life when there's somebody flying at you at 50 kilometres per hour trying to knock you down on roller skates,” she said, laughing. “It's a really great distraction from life and it's a way to make friends with other like-minded people. It's so hard to do that as an adult and in a rural community as well.”
Jennex, who is the president of the Avon River Rollers derby league, joined the squad when they formed in Windsor in April 2017.
“To commemorate our birthday, we thought we would host a birthday bash. It's going to be our first ever bout, which is what we call a game.”
The event will be held at Avon View High School at 8 p.m. Admission is a freewill offering, and the women hope a good crowd will check out the event.
“We're really excited to have it right in the middle of the community and hopefully have lots of spectators,” she said.
If you go
Who: Avon River Rollers' Rebel Belles versus Highland Derby Dolls' Kickin' Vixens
What: Live action roller derby
Where: Avon View High School (225 Payzant Dr., Windsor)
When: Friday, April 27; doors open at 7 p.m., play begins at 8 p.m.
Cost: Freewill offering
“We've come a long way. In the beginning, we didn't even have a team name. Everything from choosing a name and coming up with a cheer to finding enough players in the community to play, ref, (and) space to play — we've really grown a great deal,” she said.
The team is currently comprised of all Hants County women. Jennex said she was surprised to learn how many roller derby teams there are in the Maritimes and hopes the sport continues to grow in popularity.
“We've really done a great deal of work to get this far and we're looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and... presenting what we've made to the community and hope that they'll support us and we'll be around for a long time,” she said.
The Avon River Rollers hold practice on a regular basis and are always welcoming new members. For more information, Jennex advised people to check out the Avon River Rollers Facebook page.