A roller derby event held in Grande Prairie in 2011 attracted 1,400 people and a local group wants to get the sport going again. Dawson Creek, Fort St John and High Prairie have all launched teams in recent years.
Christina MacNeil with the Grande Prairie Roller Derby Association thinks they could make Grande Prairie a regional derby hub but they need a big enough space to call home.
“A hockey arena would be awesome, The Leisure Centre might be ideal also. We just need a space that there’s no ice in it. It’s a flat clean area that we can tape that’s safe on both sides so we can have our penalty boxes.”
City Councillor Dylan Bressey recently brought up The Leisure Centre at a committee meeting. The facility has been closed since 2011 but Bressey he would like to see it revitalized.
MacNeil, also known as T&Tina cuz she’s dynamite, says having somewhere to call their own will help them grow again.
“We just need a home in Grande Prairie that we can call home. We lost most of our people because they don’t want to drive to Clairmont, they don’t want to drive to Wembley, they don’t want to drive to Sexsmith. It’s just too hard after a long day of work.”
The group says the sport can be an affordable option for families and attracts all kinds of personalities. Currently the group has about 20 active members down from 80 at their peak.