Grande Prairie Roller Derby looking for home in the city

By Justine Kelsie
February 14, 2018 - 3:25pm

A local team would like to have a place in Grande Prairie to call home. 

The Grande Prairie Roller Derby Association approached city council this week to inquire about an affordable venue for them to host sanctioned bouts, practices, and boot camps. Kristina MacNeil, also known as T-N-Tina, explained that they are eyeing up different buildings. 

"We got the Bowes (Family) Garden at Revolution Place for (Derby Demo day). We love it, we want it, we would do anything for it."

On February 3, they invited people to try the sport and in the process, found that the area would be the perfect fit. Right now, the team travels out of town for games and practices which is having an impact on their numbers. 

"We lost most of our people because they don't want to drive to Clairmont, they don't want to drive to Wembley, and they don't want to drive to Sexsmith. It is just too hard after a long day of work." 

If they don't get the space at Revolution Place, they have some other ideas. 

"A hockey arena would be awesome. The Leisure Centre might be ideal also. We just need a space that there is no ice in it. It is like a flat, clean area that we can tape that is safe on both sides."

She explains that they need at least ten feet of space on either side of the taped off track for a "crash zone" as the sport is full-contact. 

There is an upcoming game at Fort St John on February 28. MacNeil says that the common courtesy is to host that team back, but there is no location to do that. 

"That's the deal with Roller Derby is that if you go to a game, you have to host them back. We haven't been able to do that besides a few times in Sexsmith. Being out in Sexsmith isn't like being in Grande Prairie. You don't get the crowds."

City council has sent the information to administration. They will then look at space requirements and potentional options. The information will be presented at a future committee. 


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