Sections

Camaraderie a big part of roller derby

Local team members discuss sport’s growing popularity


Published on August 11, 2017

Kendra MacLellan of the Summerside Twisted Sisters breaks through the pack at the recent Muddy River derby tournament in Moncton, N.B.

©Richard Lafortune Photo

SUMMERSIDE – It didn’t take long for three members of the Summerside Twisted Sisters’ roller derby team to get hooked on the sport.

“Initially, it was the idea of doing something a little different, out of the ordinary,” said Maureen Gay, who was introduced to roller derby at an open house shortly after moving to Summerside from Montreal. “Once I was involved with it, it’s the community that has really got me – the camaraderie that exists between everybody.
“It’s not just the skaters. We have coaches and refs who attend our practices on a regular basis. There is no separation between skater and ref; it’s you are a part of us and we are a part of you type of thing. It’s not something you get in a lot of other sports.”
Sally Bernard, a farmer from Freetown in her fifth season, recalled her introduction to roller derby.
“I had three babies when I started, and I was looking for something to do to get me away from the house and farm for a bit,” explained Bernard, 35. “I didn’t really play a lot of sports before roller derby, but I heard there was an open house, I went to check it out and something about it drew me in.”

I love it. It’s where my natural ability is. I’ve always been a defensive player in any sports that I’ve played, and the defensive part of a blocker really suits me.

Summerside Twisted Sister Shelley Schurman

Bernard said she “immediately fell in love” with roller derby.
“It was exactly what I needed at that time, and it still is,” continued Bernard. “It’s a great outlet. It’s a contact sport and I played rugby before, but really nothing as aggressive as this. You can come out of your regular persona, and leave it on the track.”
Twisted Sister Shelley Schurman of Summerside admitted she was looking for something new when she tried roller derby.
“I had been playing a little bit of basketball,” added Schurman, 44. “I was looking for a new challenge. I’ve always kind of been involved in sports.
“I had heard about it around town, and thought it was something new to try.”

Schurman hasn’t looked back since.
“I love it,” she continued. “It’s where my natural ability is. I’ve always been a defensive player in any sports that I’ve played, and the defensive part of a blocker really suits me.”

jpsports@journalpioneer.com
Twitter.com/JpsportsJason
https://www.facebook.com/jason.simmonds.180