Get ready for another exciting and bumpy roller derby season. The Renegade Derby Dames (RDD) are back at it again, ready to deliver more big hits and bruise up their opponents.
The Striking Vikings, Alliston’s Women’s Flat Track Derby Association member team, will be playing their second game of the season on June 3. The women fell short against the RCRG Rum Rollers in their first game of the season back on April 1, giving up a first-half lead.
Last year’s success allowed the Dames number one team to push its ranking to new heights. This means uncharted territory for the Vikings who are looking to bring a higher level of fearlessness and intensity to the track this season.
“This year is a big year for us as we have just moved up a level, as it were,” said Astra Hemming, the captain of the Striking Vikings. “We are coming from our last season that had numerous games where we beat teams we had never beaten before. So, this year we are heading into games with the unknown; unknown teams, unknown outcomes. “
Unlike last year, winning is something the Dames “A” team must prepare and work harder to achieve. The Vikings will be looking for a bounce-back win on June 3 when they will return to the Alliston Memorial Arena.
“We are working a lot on our mental game to help with this seasons upped level of play where most games are close, because everyone is a good player,” said Hemming. “We are working on keeping the same level of intensity throughout the entire game and getting better at adapting to changing play; trying to have different responses to their actions in the second half of the game.”
All skill levels are welcomed by the Dames, giving all women interested in roller derby a chance to be apart of a team and compete.
The RDD ‘B’ team, the Bombshell Battalion will be bringing their talents to the Alliston Memorial Arena. Highlighting back-to-back home games on June 2, the Battalion will take the track following the end of the Vikings game.
The Battalions will enter June following an eventful month of May. They were asked to defend the Dames Winter Wipeout Championship that the Vikings won in 2016. They were unable to come out with a victory, losing both of their games by a big margin.
“Tournaments take a lot of endurance and mental upkeep,” explains the Vikings captain. “It is easy to get fatigued, and skaters have to work to keep their focus on the game that is going on, not thinking of errors made into past game, or overcommitting to strategies that worked in a previous game but are not working in the current one.”
The Vikings are taking on their own tournament competition in June, when they take part in the Nickel Smash Up Tournament on June 17 in Sudbury.
“We are really looking forward to meeting some northern teams that we have never met on the track before,” said Hemming about next month’s tournament. “ We always play to win, and will certainly go in with that goal.”