TRIPLE THREAT – SLAG GIRLS IN THE SUDBURY STAR
Sisters Elle Hoar, Red Hot and Legzy Maegzy were interviewed in a great article in the Sudbury Star.
Read the original article HERE
by Keith Dempsey from the Sudbury Star.
What’s old is new again in the Nickel City.
Which is the case with, “the newest old school sport,” roller derby.
The Nickel City Roller Derby, Sudbury’s original roller derby league, is currently in its second season and is quickly gaining stride and attention. The progress can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of its members, including a trio of local sisters.
Elle Hoar, Maegan Virtanen and Miranda Virtanen are all members of Sister Slag, NCRD’s travelling team. Other teams making up NCRD are Sudbetties and Smelter Skelter.
The sisters, like their teammates and other roller derby players, are no pushovers and enjoy a sport that allows for a bit of release.
“It’s full contact and that’s what I like the most,” said Hoar, 29, president of the league and the oldest of the sisters.
But it’s not just the physicality of roller derby that attracted Hoar to the sport.
“(We) can express being a woman and being feminine,” she added.
The sport does have an element of spectacle. The girls wear booty shorts or skimpy skirts and T-shirts. Some players have fish-n et stockings and coloured socks. Some of the players even take on the role of a character. For instance, Miranda is also known as Red Hot, while Maegan is, Legzy Maegzy.
But while their look and characters are for fun, the games and scores are real.
“We’re trying to reiterate that it is an actual sport,” said Hoar, the pivot and blocker for Sister Slag. “There is an entertainment value to it, but like any type of sport you get entertained by. We really want to confirm that this is a really real sport. There are real scores, real tournaments, real teams and real heart and training that go into this.”
The bumps and bruises are evidence of such. The players’ equipment consists of a helmet, a mouth guard, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards — all needed during their games, commonly called bouts.
“We’ve had multiple fractured ankles,” Hoar said. “Legs and arms and ribs that were popped out of place. There’s a real element of danger, but after playing against other teams and your teammates and sisters, it builds a bond.”
Hoar, however, is not allowing injuries and possible future injuries push her away from the game she loves.
“(We) say screw the consequences,” she said. “(Anyone) can get hit by a car tomorrow or by a bus. Anything can happen at any time.”
Her sisters have the same mindset.
Miranda, 24, started off playing derby in Ottawa, but has since moved back to Sudbury and enjoys the sport for its workout.
“It’s definitely great for staying fit,” she said. “You feel good afterwards. Getting hit is great and the bond with the girls is incredible. It’s like you’re all family.”
The girls practise twice a week for two hours. They have drills to improve their skills and also work on their conditioning.
Miranda is the jammer.
“That’s a role I love, because you have to be quick, ” she said. “You have to be jumping around, squeezing in between people and you get hit but you have to get right back up again.”
When Maegan, who is a jammer and blocker for the team, learned about roller derby, she started going to watch bouts with her sisters and she wanted to participate, but she couldn’t because of school responsibilities. Once she was a little more settled in Durham, she got in touch with the Durham Region Roller Derby League.
Her team soon became like a second family.
“It’s hard going somewhere where you don’t know people, ” Maegan, 26, said. “Joining derby down there, I’ve created friends through that. They’re my family now. We have the same drive, the same wants and it’s somewhere where we push each other.”
As a member of the Sister Slag, she takes pride in growing the sport in Sudbury.
“Every time I’m out and about I’ll always talk to people and ask them if they want to join and it’s a big promotion for myself because it’s my league and my city,” she said.
She believes it helps build character.
“Roller derby has helped me find myself,” Maegan said. “It lets (me) release. It helps me work towards something I’m proud of because I’m training and I feel in shape. I also make bonds and can speak (my) mind and just go out and skate. When (someone) has a bad day at work or something, (they) don’t feel like going out anywhere but I always feel like going out to derby.”
Nickel City Roller Derby holds its regular season bouts at Dr. Edgar Leclair Arena in Azilda and practices at Markstay Arena.
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
* Aug 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., NCRD is holding a Markstay appreciation night at Markstay arena. A barbecue will be held along with a small scrimmage.
* Aug 18, Renegade Derby Dames. NCRD Sister Slag takes on RDD Misfit Militia. Bout takes place in Azilda at Dr. Edgar Leclair Arena. Doors open at 6, action starts at 7.
* Sept. 15, NCRD Home team bout of NCRD Smelter Skelter versus NCRD Sudbetties. Bout will be held in Warren. Doors open at 6, action starts at 7.Share
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