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Local roller derby team looking for new players


Sharlene Richardson, Joy Woodley, Sarah Smith, Rachel Bond, Michelle Acher, Brian Hanoski and Kaleena Hanoski stand in the Yardman Arena during the “Fresh Meat” information event

The Belleville Bombshells are looking for new players.

The local Roller Derby team held a information meeting at the Yardman Arena on Tuesday night to promote their “fresh meat” training session. The session is intended to help new members to the sport learn how to skate and eventually learn the ins-and-outs of the game.

The team has been in Belleville for four years now, and  according to team president Kaleena Hanoski getting exposure for the team has been difficult.

“It’s the public image of what roller derby is,” said Hanoski. “I think a lot of people envision as being the television roller derby of the 60s and 70s. At this point roller derby has taken on a far more athletic role, and we have far more rules for safety.”

The Bombshells have used Facebook and word-of-mouth to try and promote the team around the area.

“We are hoping that having people out to our games and having information nights that we can get more people to know.”

The “fresh meat” information meeting had been put off two weeks in a row due to poor weather conditions.

The training camp is intended to teach aspiring roller derby players how to skate, and eventually play the sport.

After the camp the trainees must pass a test in order to be on the team. After that players must pay for insurance, and from then on take yearly evaluations to see if their skills are still up to par.

“Fresh meat is what we call new skaters. The program runs 10 to 12 weeks, and it teaches you to skate and learn the ropes, and at the end of the 12 weeks we intend on you being able to pass and play a game,” said Hanoski.

“There is a skills testing component and a knowledge based component based on how well you know the rules. In order to pass you need an 80% on both tests. Most leagues you pass once and you are done forever but in our league we want to make sure everyone remembers the rules and stays safe.”

The team currently averages one game a month and practices twice a week. The team set up games independently with team’s from around the province due to the fact that roller derby does not have an all encompassing league.

The Belleville Bombshells season is set to begin in late February.