By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on December 15, 2023.
Adult and junior roller derby teams convened at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre to compete in the inaugural Feets of Strength tournament that was hosted last weekend by the Lethbridge Roller Derby Guild.
“It’s just welcoming roller derby skaters from Saskatchewan and Alberta and getting a whole bunch of games in,” said Martina Emard, Lethbridge Roller Derby Guild league chair and event organizer.
“We’re hosting seven games today and of all levels. So from juniors all the way up to adults. For our league, many of their skaters are playing in their very first game today.”
The local roller derby guild wanted to organize the event to get skaters out as much as possible.
“The sport is still in kind of recovery mode from COVID,” said Emard.
“Teams are a little smaller. So we customized the event depending on what teams people could bring.”
Caroline Reimer is the head coach for the Lethbridge Roller Derby Guild and thought an event like this has importance for her teams.
“We need a place to show our community how we play and where we play,” said Reimer.
“This is our first time in this space and it’s kind of nice to be able to showcase it in the new Exhibition Park.”
The goal was to get everyone to play.
“Everyone learns from playing, whether they’re with their teammates or other teams and it’s an opportunity just for everyone to get together,” said Reimer.
Lesley Paskevich was in her first roller derby competition with the Guild’s Deathridge City Rollers.
“It was a good feeling coming in,” said Paskevich.
“I was a little scared. you don’t want to take a big hit and get killed. But no one died and it was a good time.”
MVP awards were given out at the end of each game.
There were nine teams total with 15 skaters on each team.
“We hope to make this an annual event,” said Emard.
“It’s a great opportunity with the Agri-Food Trade Hub that can fit two tracks. If this test goes well, we hope to host more two-track events in the future.”