There’s a song called, “For Christmas, I want to be Lead Jammer.”
That’s a hope shared by a group of local women who hope to wrangle up Lillooet’s first women’s flat track roller derby team before the end of the year.
“I want it so bad I can taste it,” says Patti Williams of her dreams of competing in the popular sport.
Williams is recruiting local women 18-and-up to form the team. To date, six women have signed up for the still-unnamed squad.
“We need at least 15 people, and spares too, because it’s a rough sport.”
She’s right – roller derby is a fast-paced, full contact sport played on “old school” quad style roller skates. The game combines the athleticism of speed skating and racing with the added challenge of hitting human obstacles.
A roller derby game is called a bout and is comprised of two 30-minute periods, which are divided into an unlimited number of scoring sessions called jams. Each team has one jammer on the track whose goal is to race against the other team’s jammer. But they must also face a pack of blockers, comprised of four skaters from each team. Running this gauntlet, a jammer must avoid being knocked down by the opposing blockers and will receive one point for every opposing blocker she passes.
To learn more about the sport, Williams told the News she’s hoping to put together a group to travel to Kamloops for an upcoming bout between teams from Kamloops and Whistler.
“It just seems kind of natural to have a team in Lillooet when there are already teams in the Sea-to-Sky League in Squamish, Whistler and in Kamloops,” she said. “It’s a two-hour drive from here each way.”
She added that her employer, Kathy Grosser of Lightfoot Gas, has offered to help sponsor the team.
Anyone interested in becoming a Lillooet Roller Girl is asked to please leave a message on Patti Williams’ cell phone at 250-256-3753. For information on the sport, please see the www.rollergirl.ca website.