Up until September of this year, Salt Spring youth didn’t have any options for co-ed, full contact sports. But coaches Tammy Miller and Kate Richer changed that.
Tammy and Kate put out a call for roller skaters, aged 10 to 17, to form a junior roller derby team called The Tempest. Seventeen skaters showed up―ready to roll!
Tammy skates for The Committed, Salt Spring’s adult team, and is a parent of two roller derby skaters. She and Kate, a retired skater for The Committed, recognized the interest in an island team. Twice a week, Tammy and other parents were driving their kids to Duncan to practice with the Brass Knuckle Derby Dames.
Part of roller derby’s draw is that it’s a grassroots sports, but even grassroots sports have associated costs. The Tempest travels to compete against other junior roller derby teams in Duncan, Comox, Powell River, Victoria, and the lower mainland. Travel, ferries, and overnight stays for seventeen players and two coaches add up.
The team would also like to raise funds for practice equipment, especially for people who want to try it out before committing to join the team; for tape, as the coaches tape out the track on the floor of Fulford Hall every week; for pinnies and cones; and for a hitting bag, so Tammy can take a break from taking hits!
And that’s why The Tempest is hosting Sunday’s Polar―er, “Roller”―Bear Swim. The theme is “fishnets and booty shorts” if you want to dip in style.
You can help the team raise money by pledging funds to a skater for jumping in the frigid waters at Vesuvius Beach at noon on New Year’s Day. Brrr! The skaters are tough, but are they that tough?
Show your support by pledging before or at the event or by jumping in with them! This is a public event. In fact, this is the perfect New Year’s Day to expose your goose bumps and take the plunge.
The Tempest will create near-luxurious conditions for the jittery jumper. You can savour some steamy chilli and buy a minute of warming up in the “VIP lounge.” With the help of Country Grocer, The Tempest will have tents and deck heaters and will be serving hot chocolate, oranges, bananas, cookies, and energy bars.
You can even come as a spectator and still support the team. Merchandise with The Tempest’s logo, created by Claire Robertson, will be for sale.
Another way to support the team is to come watch the home game in the gym at Gulf Islands Secondary School this spring. It will be a double header with The Tempest and hopefully a high-level game with a team such as The Eves of Destruction.
The Committed and The Tempest are always looking for new skaters. The Tempest practices at the Fulford Hall on Mondays and Tuesdays at 4:45pm to 6:15pm.
Colour photo: Tammy Miller; B&W photo: Jen MacLellan