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New roller derby league seeking skate space in Yarmouth area


Rec roller derby team - East Coast Beaches – welcomes new members

YARMOUTH -  The first thing they teach you is how to fall. Pavement is unforgiving when it comes to landing hard, so new members of the Tri-County Roller Derby rec team – East Coast Beaches – are taught the derby stance.

League founder Roberta Lyons says the posture is knees bent and gravity centered.

“You always fall forward so you have more control,” she said.

Lyons had a hand in starting a league in Lloydminster, Alberta. The 16 women who signed up here since she started the rec team – East Coast Beaches - two months ago have learned a lot so far from coach/trainer “Annie Autopsy.”

Some of the girls have never been on skates before.

“They love it when they’re done practice,” said Lyons.

“They feel good. They’ve noticed the muscles in their legs are working, because they’re hurting.”

She adds that usually derby appeals to men and women who don’t fit into any other sport.

“Derby is non-discriminative. It doesn’t matter what age you are, what size you are, how tall or short you are – there is a place for you,” she said.

More members who can skate are also encouraged to join to help assist in teaching others.

There’s typically always intake because of losses in the league… not necessarily injuries. (Each skater has their own liability insurance for injury and the team has a $5-million insurance policy for rented practice space and while attending any events if required.)

“Because the age demographic that roller derby appeals to is usually young women who are at the age where they are having children, you lose them to that and almost always end up having intake in roller derby, because life happens,” said Lyons.

Eventually, she hopes to have enough members from the rec team to compete with other teams.

She conducted some research on roller derbies in the province and found that there are teams in Halifax, Annapolis, Cape Breton and Kentville.

Although only women have signed up to date, men are welcome as well.  Lyons says they are more apt to be an official at this time as she doesn't have enough men to make up a team.

An official must be able to complete the minimum skating skills as a regular skater to be able to officiate, so they must attend practices as well. 

The minimum skills requirement set by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association include skating 27 laps of the track in five minutes and gaining enough speed to go one circuit around the track on one skate.

The biggest challenge facing the league now is finding a permanent skate space. Since forming, they’ve been using either the outside rink at the Mariners Centre or the bus loop around the Yarmouth high school for their training.

Lyons says there’s a possibility South Centennial School or the Yarmouth armouries might be able to offer the league a home.

“The armouries has the perfect floor; polished cement is the ideal surface,” said Lyons.

The roller derby team is interested in helping local charities and joint fundraising with other organizations.

“That’s what roller derbies do,” said Lyons.

“I think everyone wants instant roller derby but it’s not going to happen without the support that we need from our community.  If they don’t have proper skate space, they can’t properly learn,” she said.

The East Coast Beaches will be assisting Skate Cape Breton at the Yarmouth Ex Aug. 1-4. The Cape Breton team will have protective gear and roller skates for anyone who wants to try skating on site. 

More about roller derby

For more information about the Tri-County Roller Derby League, visit the Facebook Page or email

The Tri-County Roller Derby rec team – East Coast Beaches - meet on Thursdays (6:45 p.m.) and Sundays (2 p.m.) at either the outdoor Mariners rink or high school bus loop.

For more information:

The Coffin Skate Shop in Halifax and the Facebook page East Coast Roller Derby Buy and Sell are good sources for used equipment.

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