Renegade Derby Dames look back on successful season in
by T.J. Pelletier
One of the world's fastest growing sports has made a significant impact
in the community of Alliston.
The Renegade Derby Dames Roller Derby League first appeared in Alliston
in the spring of 2011 with less than a dozen members as a registered
Not-For-Profit, skater run league. Those few initial members had
extreme passion and have seen the fruits of their labour grow beyond
their wildest expectations.
After starting their first half season in 2011 with road victories over
teams from Kingston and Peterborough, the Dames’ first team, the Misfit
Militia, played in their inaugural home bout in November of 2011. Much
to the delight of the chilly and crowded arena, the Militia had their
first ever home victory over the all star team out of Durham Region
Roller Derby, the Derby Devils.
Following the success of the first home bout, RDD’s numbers began to
swell. New members were joining the Fresh Meat training program and
more home bouts were being scheduled. In March of 2012, RDD hosted
their second home bout, with the Misfit Militia demolishing the Derby
Debutantes of GTA Rollergirls and cementing themselves as a force to
May of 2012 will forever be etched in the memories of each Militia
skater, as they suffered their first loss, falling to the Dolly Rogers
of Capital City Derby Dolls out of Ottawa. May of 2012 also marked
another event for RDD, the creation of their second travel team, the
Bombshell Battalion, who made their debut against the Motor City
Madames of Durham Region Roller Derby, falling just shy of a victory in
their first ever bout on June 9th.
After the Battalion made their debut, it was now time to concentrate on
the very important month of July. RDD was scheduled for two tournaments
and a home bout. First up, was the annual "Freshie Tournament," where
leagues from Montreal to Buffalo to Timmins sent teams comprised of
their newest, or freshest, skaters to compete.
The event, called "The Fresh and the Furious: GTA Drift," was a
learning experience for the group of new skaters. They were able to
beat the Top Herloins of Royal City (Guelph), and the South Simcoe
Rebel Rollers (Barrie), before being eliminated by the Border City
Brawlers (Windsor) in the quarter-final, leading to a fifth place
The experience proved invaluable to the new skaters as a select few
also joined the Misfit Militia the following week at the Roller Derby
Association of Canada's East Regional Tournament. The Militia were
called the "Dark Horse" for the event, dubbed “Dames of Thrones” by
host Royal City Rollergirls (Guelph), and proved to be just that. With
an absolute thrashing of the GsTARS of the GTA Rollergirls, the Militia
put the rest of the teams on notice. Much to the disappointment of the
skaters, that would be the high of the tournament as they suffered a
close, hard fought loss to the Bay Street Bruisers out of Toronto
Roller Derby for a spot in the finals, which would have qualified the
Militia for the national title tournament. The Militia then came up
short in the the 3rd place game against the host Royal City Roller
After two tournaments, RDD was back home with the Bombshell Battalion
hosting Lyndsay Roller Derby. RDD saw a measure of revenge as the
Battalion, made up almost entirely of the same skaters who just
finished the freshie tournament, trampled Lyndsay, much to the delight
of the home crowd.
In August, representatives of RDD would take part in Kempenfest in
Barrie to help spread the derby word and try to raise awareness. RDD
also took part in the Alliston Potato Festival, participating in the
parade and volunteering with the Lion's Club helping to serve libations
for the party goers. RDD then went on the road for and visited Sudbury
for the Militia to take on Nickel City Roller Derby. The Militia got
themselves back into the win column, which would serve as a lift
heading into their biggest game of the year, a re-match with the
Brute-Leggers, who still hold the record of largest margin of victory
over the Militia at 61 points.
The Brute-Leggers visited the Alliston Memorial Arena on September 1. A
great crowd greeted the Brute-Leggers, who brought many of their own
fans with them. The Militia got their revenge, not only beating the
Brute-Leggers, but beating them by over 150 points, proving that the
RDAC tournament was simply a blip on the radar, and that RDD and the
Militia are here to stay. The Brute-Legger bout also marked two very
special accomplishments, one being RDD's first television broadcast by
Rogers TV, with the second being the Misfit Militia cracking the top
ten in Canadian rankings after defeating the Brute-Leggers.
The ranking was recognized by Dr. Kellie Leitch, MP for Simcoe-Grey,
who was kind enough to send a Certificate of Achievement.
October saw RDD send the Militia on the road again, this time to London
to take on another tough opponent, the Luscious Lunchladies of Forest
City Derby Girls. The Lunchladies lived up to their billing as an
experienced and hard-nosed house team, forcing the Militia to earn
every point, and eventually earn the victory.
For Halloween, RDD members took part in the annual Trick or Eat
campaign and were able to collect over 500lbs of non-perishable food
items in support of the Good Shepherd Food Bank. As October wound down,
preparation would then began for the largest event in RDD history,
their very first double header.
The doubleheader event, named Movember Madness, provided several
challenges for the skaters of RDD. With every available skater
participating in one or both bouts, volunteers were needed. The fresh
meat class was there, as well as the Lion’s Club, community volunteers
and high school students collecting their community service hours. The
group of volunteers was overwhelming, and Movember Madness went off
without a hitch.
The first bout saw the Bombshell Battalion taking on the Rollergettes
out of Toronto. Even though the Battalion lost, the experience gained
will serve them well in the future. The Militia avenged their
league-mates, and trounced the visiting Total Knock-Outs of Tri-City
Roller Girls (Kitchener-Waterloo). The event proved several key points
for RDD. The first being that they could indeed successfully host a
double header and the fans would be there in support.
Now that the 2012 season is finished, it is time to take a brief look
back at what RDD has meant to the community. By breaking onto the
Canadian Roller Derby scene, RDD has helped put Alliston on a new map,
with stretches of fans reaching far.
RDD has been at the forefront of the Save the Memorial Arena fight and
have promoted the movement by giving away tickets to Arena supporters
as well as representing themselves at the local town Council meetings.
RDD has donated over 700lbs of food to the Good Shepherd Food Bank and
helped raise money for My Sister's Place and Movember Canada. RDD has
also been quite successful in supporting local establishments after
each home event, where on several occasions, support for the league has
overrun one business, forcing the party to move multiple locations at
the same time.
RDD is now looking forward to 2013 with lofty goals in mind. Continuing
to be competitive and develop new skaters are at the top of their list,
followed by growing the fan base in the area and continuing to support
the local community. Their first home bout will be Saturday, March 2nd
at the Alliston Memorial Arena.
RDD is incredibly humbled by the support shown by Alliston and all of
their sponsors and would like to thank everyone who has been a part of
the development of the Renegade Derby Dames.
For more information on your favourite Roller Derby League, or to
sponsor or join, please visit www.renegadederbydames.com.