Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby packs in the crowds

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThe Castlegar Community Complex was rocking Friday night. But it wasn’t the Rebels on a run to the KIJHL title playing Canada’s game that people were flocking to see.No, the attraction sparking the attention of spectators from Nelson to Nakusp was the West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby.“No, I’m not overwhelmed,” Rossland’s Gnarlies Angels coach Kevin said when asked about the recent success of the league.“I’m not even surprised because this is such an amazing game,” he added. “I don’t know how (Flat Track Roller Derby) stayed underground for so long but now its taking Canada like a wildfire.”The West Kootenay League has five teams entered — the Salmo Babes of Brutality, Gnarlies Angels, Dam City Rollers of Castlegar and two teams from Nelson,Friday’s doubleheader had the Dam City Rollers up against the Babes of Brutality in the curtain raiser. The second game of the night had Nelson’s Killjoys up against the Gnarlies Angels.
“In Salmo, our team has been skating for year and a half but the Castlegar girls are doing a way better than we were at this stage last year and have been only skating for half a year so they’re doing awesome,” said Babes’ skater Trixie Beltem, looking ever so intimidating with her Cinco de Mayo painted face.It’s clear from the scores of the night there are two really good teams in the league that will continue to dominate until the other squads catch up.Salmo’s Babes of Brutality won the opening tilt 204-61. The nightcap had Gnarlies Angels of Rossland scoring 70-plus points with only 15 minutes gone in the 30-minute first half.That Grand Canyon-like discrepancy in the caliber has not slowed the enthusiasm by the lesser teams or interest in the league.“We have way too many (skaters) on teams right now and people keep calling wanting to join teams that are already full,” said the Rossland coach.Flat Track Roller Derby uses many of the same rules of the older banked track sport seen on television during the 60’s and 70’s.Each heat begins with a pack of blockers lead by two pivots. The two jammers from each team, who score the points, start a 10 meters behind the pack and begin skating when the last blocker crosses the pivot line.The jammers work their way through the pack of blockers to score points. Jammers begin to score points upon their second pass through the pack.  The only difference between the lead jammer and the opposing jammer is the lead jammer has the ability to call off the jam.  Calling off the Jam can prevent the opposing jammer from earning points when used strategically. The season opened last month in Rossland.The next league action is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at the NDCC Arena.There is league action in July and August before the season finale goes September 11 in Rossland.If interest keeps building in the league organizers may want to kick the walls out of the Rossland Arena to guarantee there’s not a Vancouver-Canuck-like riot for those people not able to get in the door to watch the action.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

1,900 Beach Workers Frustrated

first_imgAt least, the nearly 1,900 workers of the Beach and Waterways Project saw their expectation shattered after President Sirleaf’s one-week’s appeal to settle some of their four-month arrears failed to materialize.And the only word fit to describe the workers’ disappointment is: frustration.“I cannot believe that four months will go by and we are yet to receive any pay,” a 45-year-old mother told the Daily Observer during a follow-up visit to West Point Beach last Saturday.The woman, who had worked on the project for the last five years, added, “The letter from the President made us to feel that at long last all would be fine,” which did not happen.During a tour of the beaches that are included in the Waterways Project, the Daily Observer encountered workers who were so worried about their future.At the New Kru Town Beach, the workers told the this paper that since President Sirleaf’s letter assuring them of paying some of their arrears has not materialized, “We don’t know what to do.”The minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Edward B. McClain, Jr., in a letter dated April 23, 2014, appealed to the workers to “be a little bit more patient and give us a week…to make settlement of a portion of the arrears.”“It is a little over a week, and we have not heard any information from the president’s office. This is very troubling,” the workers’ spokesman said.  A presidential source told the Daily Observer Monday that President Sirleaf is concerned about the arrears’ payment. As such, she was reportedly making “frantic efforts” to settle “some” of the arrears.However, what is disturbing is, “the silence from authorities concerned,” particularly those who initiated the Beaches & Waterways Project to reclaim Liberian beaches from neglect.The project is part of government’s effort to boost tourism, gravely affected during the years of war.The Beaches & Waterways Project, according to interviews conducted in New Kru Town and West Point, has helped the communities to avoid many diseases that could have claimed lives, particularly of children.“Today our beaches are more beautiful and we now go there with our families,” said a resident of New Kru Town.Many inhabitants told this reporter that the project has ensured that residents in the various communities recognize their contributions to keep the beaches healthy as they are now.“In any case,” said a disgruntled worker, “paying us is one way to encourage those of us who work at the beaches.”The Beaches & Waterways project includes those in New Kru Town, West Point, Mamba Point and ELWA, with a total of nearly 1,900 workers, including students.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more