The Northcoast Nightmares flat track roller derby team is gaining momentum, and players look ready to cause some serious damage.
The two-year-old league took a brief hiatus early this fall due to low membership, but has come back strong with current membership now topping 20 and the recent addition of team coach and choreographer Bayani Generoso.
While at first glance this full-contact, ladies-only sport may appear not for the faint of heart, members of Terrace’s Northcoast Nightmares are a friendly, welcoming group of women who say they love the sport and want to take their league to the next level.
Sonja Foss (also known as Saucy Fossie) is a two-year team veteran who says players need to be fast, flexible, furious and empowered in this growing sport that has attracted women from all walks of life.
And with player names like Catastrophe, Booty Blume and Malicious Mayhem on the team, she isn’t kidding.
“The objective of it is a sport, but the result is female empowerment,” Foss said, explaining it all boils down to the camaraderie and culture of roller derby.
“Your doing it for the fun, and for the sport and because every person on your team depends on you and that means something,” she explained.
A bout (match) requires teams of five-on-five, and with current league numbers the Nightmares are now getting ready to start hosting their own.
To do this they need to pass the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s minimum skills requirements.
The Nightmares plan to bring in a coach at the end of June from Prince George to test their abilities on skills such as blocking, stopping, sliding and speed.
“There is a requirement to go around the rink 25 times in five minutes,” Generoso said, explaining all of the players are currently at a wide range of skill levels.
Eventually Foss said the Nightmares would like their own roller-dome in Terrace where they could play bouts against each other and host out-of-town teams, in a sport she said is gaining world-wide following.
“This sport is not going to just fade away into the background,” she said.
The team will be spreading the word this spring and summer by hosting a booth at the Terrace Farmers Market at George Little Park where they will be selling team merchandise and looking for new recruits.
They also plan to host their first public bout over Riverboat Days, and participate in the parade, which Generoso is preparing choreography for.
And the Northcoast Nightmares say they are always looking for new members. They practice Wednesday and Sunday evenings, and offer extra equipment for those who want to bring their own helmet and take a test run at the sport.
“We’ll put you on some skates and see if you like it,” Foss said. “Guaranteed you’ll fall in love.”