For those who have been following Derby Frontier for a while, you may recall us reporting on Prince Albert Roller Derby’s first ever home game exactly 1 day shy of 11 months ago (“PARD Looks to Draw First Blood“), well we’re extremely excited to now report that this upcoming Saturday, August 24th they will be hosting their second major home event ever!
Unfortunately, due to a last minute cancellation Moose Jaw Roller Derby and Regina’s Rockin’ Roller Derby, who have partnered together as of late, will no longer be participating in the main event game but this VERY personal event will continue with two invitational bouts instead! Dedicated in loving memory to their league mate Amber Jones, who passed away earlier this year on June 17th, the “Red Daun: In Memory of Amber Jones” invitationals will now feature skaters from the Oil City Derby Girls (Edmonton, AB), Battlefords Roller Derby League (North Battleford, SK), Hillbilly Hurt (Estevan/Weyburn, SK), South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby (Swift Current, SK), Lil Chicago Roller Derby (Moose Jaw, SK), Pile O’ Bones Derby Club (Regina, SK), and NorSask Roller Derby (Prince Albert, SK)!
Jones joined Prince Albert Roller Derby’s freshmeat program in November of 2012 and started skating regularly with the league during the 2013 New Year. She was very close to benchmarking before she broke her leg outside of roller derby and had to take some time to heal but this game would have been her home debut along with a handful of other brand new skaters. According to her teammate Sandy Braun-Elsaesser, aka Vexatious Valkyrie, Amber loved derby because it suited her personality perfectly. “Amber was an athlete,” said Valkyrie. “She wrestled in High School and went far with that. She knew how to work hard and what it took to succeed… she was keen to learn and push herself. She put her all into learning the skills. Hitting her was like hitting a brick shithouse. We made an amazing blocking team.”
Amber was quite excited when she created her derby name, Red Daun, because it incorporated her middle name “Daun” and also reflected her personality: strong, stubborn, and persistent. “She was stubborn as a mule,” chuckled Valkyrie. “She didn’t feel like wearing her mouth guard in her mouth and got busted regularly in the beginning. She would always say: ‘I don’t care! I don’t need it! I can handle it!'” Though she eventually had to put her foot down and give Amber an ultimatum in regards to her mouthguard, Valkyrie had nothing but profound respect for the driven new skater and was impressed with how much she in. “For one so young she had a good head on her shoulders. She knew what she liked, what she wanted, and she went after it. She spoke her mind and if you didn’t like what she had to say, too bad! She was who she was and I have immense respect for that because many girls her age are not as confident. She was a fierce competitor yet she also knew how to have fun in the moment. She never backed down from a challenge and tried even harder if she didn’t get something the first time around because she simply would not be beat! I would give anything to have a team of players exactly like her to train up as freshies. Her drive and determination as contagious and made us all want to do better and try harder.”
Valkyrie will be saying a few words before the games begin while acknowledging Amber’s family, who were invited as VIP guests to join PARD in honoring her memory. Amber’s jersey will also sit on the bench in a place of honor during the scrims.
Doors open at 5:30 at the Dave G. Steuart Arena in the Prince Albert Exhibition Grounds (Exhibition Drive and 6th Avenue East). Tickets are $12.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door. 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Get your tickets at Stellar Gear in the Gateway Mall, or from one of your friendly derby girls!
PARD will next be hosting a Men’s Invitational Scrimmage followed by a main event bout between the Outlaws and Battleford Roller Derby League on September 21st! They are still looking for signups with this event so if you would like to play some men’s derby check out the event/registration page!
UPDATE 22/08/2013: We were contacted by a spokesperson from Moose Jaw Roller Derby who requested we clarify that: “There were simply irreconcilable differences between us and the host league PA and both teams agreed this event could not go on so it is simply not right to publish, as if it’s fact, that we canceled.” We would like to apologize for this misunderstanding as it was not our intention to infer that either league was specifically responsible for the cancellation, just that a cancellation had occurred in general. We will strive to be a little more careful with our wording in the future!