Halifax roller derby team ready to go 'full throttle' on international stage
Heidi Loos, a.k.a. Raging Radish, anticipates 'intimidating' matches this weekend in Maine
The Harbour Grudges of Halifax have elbowed their way onto the roster of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), the international governing body for the sport of roller derby and an association of 468 leagues from around the world.
"It's really, really exciting," said Rebecca Stuckey, who's been with the Harbour Grudges since 2016.
"It gives us so many more opportunities, so many more teams that we can play and also a better understanding of where we fit in the roller derby community," she told CBC's Information Morning.
The Harbour Grudges are a member of the Anchor City Rollers, a Halifax-based roller derby league founded in August 2010 that is comprised of four teams. Theirs is a full-contact, fast-paced sport that looks straight out of a video from the 1980s, the height of the roller skating craze.
This weekend, the Harbour Grudges play their first ever WFTDA game at a tournament called Coastal Chaos in Rockport, Maine — an event described on the Anchor City Rollers' website as a weekend of "non-stop, full throttle, on the edge of your seat roller derby."
Some of the teams they'll be playing against include the Hellions of Troy from New York, the Bay State Brawlers from Massachusetts and from closer to home, the Fog City Rollers of Saint John.
The Fog City Rollers was formed the same year as the Harbour Grudges, but the American teams have more years of experience on the flat track under their skates.
"I think it's going to be some of the hardest games that we've played yet," said Heidi Loos, whose roller derby name is Raging Radish. "So that's kind of intimidating, but also kind of exciting."
The Harbour Grudges are no strangers to challenge. The volunteer-run organization has faced a number of obstacles including finding practice space — they've been using a makeshift track at a small gym in Spryfield — and getting a coach, which they lacked for a few years.
Now that they're a member of the WFTDA, they'll also have the costs of playing teams around the world to worry about.
The team has been fundraising and their games with the Anchor City Rollers, which will be played at the Mayflower Curling Club this summer, will bring in money as well.
With files from Robyn Simon & CBC Information Morning