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Kamloops roller derby squad searching for new practice venue

The team is on the move following the announcement that Westsyde Elementary will reopen this fall
Tournament City Derby Diversified's first game of the season is April 12 in Enderby. (via Tournament City Derby Diversified)

As Westsyde Elementary prepares to reopen its doors this fall, groups who have been using the space are searching for new homes.

One such group is Tournament City Derby Diversified, a roller derby organization based in Kamloops. They've been using the venue for practices during the winter, according to president Tracie Gordon. They'll find out this Wednesday (Feb. 13) how much longer they'll be allowed to do so.

"We could be losing it around the beginning of March," she tells KamloopsMatters. "We don't know exactly."

The Kamloops-Thompson school board voted to reopen the elementary school last December. Gordon says the roller derby organization was aware of the situation and doesn't hold any ill will toward the city or school district, but it does throw a wrench into things.

"It totally makes sense; it's actually great that the school is reopening," she says. 

The loss of practice space puts some pressure on the team. They typically move practices to the McArthur Island curling rink once the ice is out in April. However, the team's first game is April 13, which means they could lose a month's worth of track practice right before their first match, Gordon says.

"The Wreckers (the adult women's team) are going to be playing April 13," she says. "That's why we're in a little bit of a fluster to get a place. It doesn't give us a lot of time."

So the quest is on to find a venue that can hold a couple of dozen roller derby participants two or three times a week, Gordon says. Currently, there are three practices a week. As new players are trained up, practices will drop to two nights.

"We're kind of open to whatever we can get; long-term would be ideal," she says. "We can pretty much practice on anything from concrete to wood floors to sport court."

Precise space isn't necessary, she adds. In fact, the space in Westsyde they were using was smaller than a normal track but it fit their purposes and budget. While a solution for this spring is the urgent part, they already know they'll need to find a new winter practice venue next season.

Anyone who knows of a space is asked to contact Gordon via Facebook (click HERE).

The first game this season is April 13 in Enderby. The first home game won't be until late June; the Wreckers and the Rumbleweeds (the junior team) have a pair of games at McArthur Island.


Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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