New Brunswick

Roller derby starts in Saint John

Saint John is getting a new women's roller derby league this spring.

Saint John is getting a new women's roller derby league this spring.

About 50 women have already signed up to participate in the full contact sport, which has recently enjoyed a resurgence thanks in part to the recent Hollywood film Whip It.

"It's rare that you can push someone down and cause them a bit of injury and then buy them a beer a few hours later," said Bry McIntyre, co-founder of the Port City Roller Derby League.

"It doesn't always happen that way."

Three blockers, a pivot and a jammer make up each team.

The jammer is the fastest player - she must get past the opposing blockers and the pivot at the front of the pack to score points.

Sarah Boyer, the league's other co-founder, plans to be a jammer.

Once she assumes the role of Darla Deringer, her roller derby persona, she'll feel like a super hero, she said. 

"It is empowering to be able to do something just as tough if not tougher than a lot of guys do and there's a lot of guys, when they find out they're like 'You're going to do roller derby? Are you sure?' They're terrified of the idea. It's kind of cool in that sense."

The league is scheduled to hold its first practice at the Saint John Skate Park on April 11.

Roller derby is based on formation roller skating around an oval track, with points scored as certain players lap members of an opposing team.

Two teams send five players each onto the track.