It was love at first skate.
The thrill of the game, the instant bond to teammates, even the injuries couldn’t keep Amanda Nitchie away. Since stepping onto the track eight years ago she’s been hooked.
“I showed up to a practice and it was instant love…,” said Nitchie, #111 who goes by the derby name ‘Manda Moon.’
“I bought skates and gear that week and I never looked back. I’ve even sat out from games for a year and a half due to a knee injury but couldn’t leave my derby family and in that time I learned to be a referee and trainer for my league.”
A house-cleaner by day, Nitchie couldn’t imagine her life without derby.
“To belong to a group of women who build and lift you up no matter your shape or walk of life was life changing,” said Nitchie, who started in 2009 after reading an article in The Morning Star.
As a member of the newly minted team Farmers’ Slaughters, Nitchie will be hitting the track April 29 at Kal Tire Place for the Okanagan Shuswap Roller Derby Association’s April Pain event.
Taking home-track advantage, the Farmers’ Slaughters are up against the rival Cherry Bombs (of the Okanagan Roller Derby of Kelowna).
“April Pain OSRDA vs OKRD will be a fast paced hard hitting game,” said Nitchie, who plays PBJ (pivot, blocker, jammer). “We just recently lost to them March 18 in Kelowna so we’re training hard to prepare for our rivals.”
While these local ladies are sure to put on a riveting game, the event is also bringing some high level roller derby to town – the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The Rated PG Rollergirls are sending their WFTDA apprentice team the Rated PG Northstars to take on the Mainland Misfits’ team the Anarchy Angels.
Doors open to the derby at 5 p.m. with the first whistle being blown at 5:30, with a beverage garden and concession by Kal Tire Place. Tickets to the action-packed evening are $10 and available from local derby athletes or in Vernon at Extreme Pita, in Enderby at Hungry Jacks and in Salmon Arm at Connects Wireless.
Those who are further interested in the sport are also invited to get in touch to try it out.
“We’re always accepting and willing to train new skaters even if you’ve never worn eight wheels before,” said Nitchie. “We supply gear and a two-week free trail.”
While Nitchie is a veteran on the team, the Farmers’ Slaughters is comprised of a number of new players who are only in their second year of the sport
“We’ve recently had an exciting wave of new (fresh meat) skaters, about seven ladies, who are brand new to the sport and learning their skills with huge promise, very exciting for us.”
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or search Facebook for Okanagan Shuswap Roller Derby Association or Farmers’ Slaughters to send a message.