A member of the Gold Miners’ Daughters says their sport – roller derby – is a far cry from what you saw on TV as a kid, watching Skinny Minnie Miller and Paul the Bear Rupert.
“It was more of an entertainment factor, now it’s more of an organized sport,” says Sophie Nedeau. She is a skater with the Timmins-based Gold Miners’ Daughters, and vice-president of the club. It has open practice every Tuesday at 7:00pm at the YMCA, where you can try it. Everything is supplied including the roller skates – not roller blades.
The Daughters play on a flat track, so no banked curves. Four skaters help the fifth player – the jammer –get by the other team to score points.
That’s where the body contact comes in. Nedeau says the game is a lot more controlled than what it was on TV back in the 1970s. And in competition with teams from Sudbury and North Bay, women and men play together. “As long as both (teams) are comfortable with men on the team, there’s no issue,” notes Nedeau, “and I’ve never had an issue where someone didn’t want a man on the team, so it’s really cool.”
”I think people are intimidated by roller derby,” she concedes. “I understand, but it’s so much more than I think people think it is.”