Two local roller derby leagues have put their pasts behind them and have joined forces as one.
Chilliwack’s Voodoo Derby Dollz (VDD), and Abbotsford’s Reign Valley Vixens (RVV), amalgamated earlier this year to create Fraser Valley Roller Derby Association (FVRDA) — an all-women, flat-track roller derby league.
It was a mutual thing, says Alanna Morley, formerly of RVV (who goes by the derby moniker Billy Klubbin’). The idea came from her and one of the VDD coaches.
“We thought, ‘hey there’s a lot of skaters, let’s all get together and just play,’” says Morley.
The two talked within their own leagues, and no one had a problem with the merge.
“We wanted to be more like (Vancouver’s Terminal City Rollergirls). We wanted to grow and have a large league with more than one team,” says former VDD skater Sophia Wright (aka Sofa-King Wright).
The two leagues have not always been best pals. They’ve had their disagreements in the past, but the few bad apples that caused the rivalry are no longer around.
“We’re not products of the old drama. We are all fresh skaters,” says Morley.
RVV had a lot of fresh meat skaters, and VDD had more veterans, so it was a good mix.
“I feel really good about it,” Morley says about the two leagues joining. “It feels nice to start with a clean slate. Now we can focus on team building.”
The two leagues officially merged in January. That month, they had a co-ed scrimmage in Abbotsford to raise money for one of VDD’s former skaters, Julie Barr (aka Sheila Hurt U). Barr lost part of her left leg, toes and fingers due to an aggressive bacterial infection called group A streptococcal around Christmas.
The fundraiser scrimmage brought in more than $30,000 for Barr and her family. In addition, Belfor Property Restoration is currently paying for the rental of a at-home stair lift for as long as Barr needs.
Last week, after spending three months in the hospital, Barr is back home.
FVRDA is now gearing up for its next big event, an open house and recruitment on March 10.
The new league currently has about 45 skaters from Hope to Surrey. They practise at four different facilities — two in Chilliwack (Heritage Park and Landing Sports Centre), and two in Abbotsford (Cadet Hall and Ag Rec Centre).
The open house and recruitment will be a opportunity for people to ask questions about derby, try on gear and sign up to join the league. They will also have demos and scrimmaging.
The free event takes place on Sunday, March 10 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Landing Sports Centre in Chilliwack. People are welcome to drop-in at any time.
For more info about the event or about FVRDA, email email@example.com.