The South East Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association (SESRDA) is looking to start at least one junior roller derby team in Estevan this year.
If there is sufficient interest, they would have one team for skaters in Grades 9 to 12, and another squad for those in Grades 4 to 8, said coach Lorelei Lachambre. Ideally, each team would need at least 14 players.
A junior team would allow girls to enter the sport at an earlier age, Lachambre said, and they might one day play for the SESRDA's adult team, the Hillbilly Hurt. It would also add another dimension for the association.
“There are six other junior clubs in the province, and now when we're booking games, the question always is 'Do we have a junior team that can play before our games?'” said Lachambre. “It's another exciting bonus for when you're booking games … that you can have two games.”
The Hurt would be able to call up girls who are 16 to 18 years old for games and tournaments, too.
Two recruiting sessions are planned in early February at Trinity Lutheran Church in Estevan. The first will happen on Sunday, February 2, with Grades 4 to 8 starting at 3 p.m., and Grades 9 to 12 at 4:30 p.m.
The other will be on February 6, with Grades 4 to 8 at 6 p.m. and Grades 9 to 12 at 7:30 p.m.
“In addition to focusing on learning the sport, we will be teaching our junior skaters the importance of active and healthy living,” Lachambre said. “We stress the importance of being a team on and off the track and finding ways to give back to the community.”
Practices for the junior skaters will happen at the same times on Sundays and Thursdays.
Skaters build strength, endurance and power; develop balance, speed and agility; and improve their skating skills. They also enhance their teamwork, self-esteem, perseverance and communication skills, while making new friends and learning about fair play.
Lachambre has been promoting the team by visiting schools in the region. She said the reception has been excellent, and girls are eager to try the sport.
If they have enough prospective players, she hopes that the juniors will be able to play games this year.