What’s your league name? West Kootenay Roller Derby (WKRD)
When was your league founded? 2009
What is your team name? Kootenay Kannibelles
What are the closest leagues to you? East Kootenay Roller Derby, OSRDA, Revelstoke Roller Derby
How many skaters does your league have? Approx 100
How is your league structured? 5 house teams (Babes of Brutality – Salmo, Killjoys – Nelson, Valley Vendettas – Slocan Valley, Dam City Rollers – Castlegar, Rossland Trail Rollergirls) and our travel team, the Kootenay Kannibelles
What is the story behind your league’s name? We started as West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby (WKWRDL) but shortened to WKRD at the start of 2013.
Who is your league’s biggest rival? Have you had any outstanding memorable moments against them when you bouted? TCRG are the Kannibelles big sister team and we have a best of frenemies relationship with them. The bout against them in the final of the 2012 RDAC Westerns was the most fun a lot of us had had on a derby track. The Kannibelles also have a healthy rivalry developing with the Spokannibals from Spokane, WA. The score currently stands at 2-1 for the Kannibelles.
Congrats on becoming a participating league in the RDAC Nationals, how did your league decide to become a member of RDAC? We wanted to support Canadian roller derby as much as possible!
What advice can you offer to leagues currently working towards becoming established? Don’t grow too big too quickly, spread the workload between your league members, keep your board meetings short!
How does your league keep up with what’s happening in Roller Derby around the world? DNN, WFTDA.tv, derbydeeds.com, canuckderbytv
What are the challenges of your city? Our members are spread through 7 or 8 communities up to 100km apart, so there’s a lot of driving involved which takes a lot of time and money and often involves challenging driving conditions.
What are your biggest training challenges? (See last question.) Plus trying to stop the Kannibelles from doing everything at 150% and beating the crap out of each other!
What kind of training/bouting facilities do you have? Through the winter the Kannibelles have use of a community gym in Salmo and the new 24/7 derby venue building in Nelson. As the ice comes out of the arenas we have practice and bout spaces in Rossland, Trail, Castlegar and Nelson.
How many days a week do you practice? How are your practices divided/organized among the league teams? Each house team has 2 practices a week in their hometown, open to all league skaters. The Kannibelles practice twice a week and change their venues throughout the year to share the driving amongst the skaters.
Who are some of your on-track star skaters and why?
Teamo – a superfit, superstrong jammer who has improved her game ten-fold over the last 15 months. Oh, and she’s a pretty handy blocker too.
Pantsoff – the Kannibelles’ captain who leads on the track with her heart and passion for derby as much as with her skills as a blocker. She made the BC All-Star top 20 for 2012.
Terror Australis – our own little bit of thunder from Down Under, a blocker who gets the job done with the minimum amount of fuss. Terror has a fantastic derby brain as well as the brawn to back it up.
What do you think are the benefits and challenges of being in your Region?
Benefits – The West Kootenays is full of fit, motivated women who already spend their time skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, xc skiing, canoeing. Roller derby is very natural to many of them. Small communities means lots of local support and exposure.
Challenges – Geogaphical distribution of our members. Small communities means it can be hard to secure large sponsorship deals. Snow! A small population to draw crowds from.
Your league is one of the first leagues to participate in Nationals, congratulations! Please tell us how you prepared for this tournament? Lots of fundraising. Lots of practice. Lots of reading the new ruleset. And mentally preparing for the 900km+ drive to get to Edmonton.
Do you have a special message for your fans? The Kannibelles are hungry for nationals. Want to join us for dinner?