Imagine the relief.
In front of around 600 screaming hometown fans, after two years of tireless work managing, organizing, recruiting, practicing and promoting, the Lake City Derby Girls won their first match.
“It was our first win as a team so we were all just tickled,” said Lake City Derby Girl Toni Healy, who goes by the derby name Tuesday.
The Lake City Derby Girls downed the Misfits of Mayhem from Sylvan Lake, Alta., 144-136 in an extremely competitive derby bout Saturday night at the Cariboo Memorial Complex in Williams Lake.
Healy said the atmosphere in the building was electric, and exhibited an adrenaline rush none who participated will soon forget.
“You were at the edge of your seats,” Healy said. “Everybody was just crazy. It was hard hitting. It was, wow. It was awesome. The girls played well on both teams, very well.”
Two years ago the Lake City Derby Girls held their first home match in rink two at the Cariboo Memorial Complex. Healy said shifting into the bigger rink one was a welcome move for the team’s second bout.
“It was much better,” she said. “I was talking to some other people who were there and they were saying the stands were much easier to sit in and move around in, too.”
The bout itself took its toll on the team, Healy said, and noted several of the players are “still a little bit tender.”
The Lake City Derby Girls also borrowed a few players from Prince George, Edmonton and Kamloops to help make up the 14-player roster.
“We have amazing camaraderie,” Healy said. “All the derby teams do. We’re bashing each other on the track and then after the game we’re best buds. It’s awesome. That’s one of the reasons we like this sport is the sportsmanship. It’s like no other sport I’ve every seen and it’s very cool.”
With the team’s first win now in the books Healy said she hopes more girls will come out and give the sport a try. She said the Lake City Derby Girls welcome anyone, any age over 18, to join the team — regardless of skill or experience.
“For anyone who wants a change of pace, it’s awesome,” she said. “I’m turning 47 in a few days so there’s no excuses. Don’t let age and ‘Oh, I can’t skate’ stop you.”
The team tries to hold regular practices twice a week, on top of dry land and training on their own personal time. Starting in September the team rents both the Nesika elementary and Marie Sharpe elementary gymnasiums to practice in.
“You’ve got to be in good shape for this type of sport,” Healy said. “It’s like hockey. You’re non-stop bashing.
“Quesnel’s team is a year and a bit old, and they’ve got a full roster. Kamloops is a about a year and a half old, too, and they’ve got three teams now so we’re hoping to get some more.”
Coming up for the Lake City Derby Girls, hopefully, Healy said, is a trip to Billy Barker Days in Quesnel to help out the Quesnel Gold Pain City Derby Girls for their upcoming bout. Incidentally, Quesnel is Healy’s hometown.
“I wasn’t able to play in this match [in Williams Lake] because of an injury but I’m hoping I get to play in my hometown and kick some butt.”