The Hudson Babes BV are bringing roller derby to the rinks of Smithers this summer.
The fishnet stockings and wild make-up allows housewives, school teachers, pharmacists and really any woman over 19 the opportunity to express their inner derby girl said Denise Dilny, the head coach and founder of the Bulkley Valley Hudson Babes.
“It’s definitely a good way to get some frustrations out,” Dilny said, “but, it’s the whole persona that a girl gets to create on the track and as her roller derby persona you get to express the side of yourself that you don’t get to at your normal job.”
Dilny explained that it is difficult to bring a new sport to the spotlight, especially when it is so uncommon, like roller derby.
“Our first night in the rink last Tuesday, oh my God it was amazing,” Dilny said. “It was all of the girls first time on a big full-size track.”
Dilny said that the first-time skaters had a, “derby love explosion and turned into amazing skaters in one practice.”
The girls of the Hudson Babes have been practicing a lot outdoors and the cement can be damaging to the skates, and their bodies.
Attempts to rent out a school gymnasium for practice went belly up, Dilny said, “they were like, ‘Oh no! You’re not doing that on my floor!’ Our skates have rubber wheels, we’re fully padded, we have full insurance for your building and for us personally for injuries. We’re fully covered,” she said. “Our asses falling on your floor won’t hurt it,” she added, but still no bites.
The team is made up of 11 girls and in order to play a bout teams are required to have 14 members.
“We’re still just really trying to get the word out. There are still a lot of people who don’t know much about roller derby, or that kind of shy away from it,” Dilny said.
Roller derby is a full-contact game that is played on quad-skates. Two teams race around a track in groups called a pack, while one player of each team attempts to pass the pack to earn points. These girls are called jammers and are easily recognized by the star on their helmet. The girls in the pack act to block the opposing jammer from passing through physical contact. Although, there are no elbows, hands or knees allowed.
Each girl is clad head to toe in safety gear including mouth guards, wrist guards, knee pads and helmets. Dilny said that her main priority in practice is to teach the girls how to fall and stop in a controlled fashion to reduce chances of injury.
Dilny said that July 12 will be the first bout that Smithereens have ever seen. Tickets will be available for purchase for $10 while suicide seating will be around $15. “You’re front and centre and in the middle of the action,” Dilny said. “Having girls flung at your feet pretty well.”
The Hudson Babes BV roller derby team will be represented at the Main Street Festival on June 15. They will be there to answer any questions, and of course, to skate around and look fierce.
“The doors are always open for any skill level, we don’t want to restrict anyone from showing up,” Dilny said.
Practices are open for any one to drop in and check it out. Dilny and her team always has extra gear and for $5 you can skate around with some tough derby chicks and learn the basics.
Dilny explained that a girl can get a decent set-up for around $200, including skates, helmets, mouthguards and all of the other gear.