Saskatchewan Roller Derby Alliance Voting Begins; Nominee Speeches Made

Voting for the Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association Alliance is officially underway! The polls will remain open until Sunday, January 5th 2014 at 11:59pm. The votes will then be tallied with positions announced shortly afterward. Don’t be idle! Vote now for who you feel would best help Saskatchewan in 2014! To vote, head here:

Each nominee was asked to post a bit of information about themselves in the Derby is alive in Saskatchewan Facebook Group. Below is what each of them had to say about themselves and their nominations!

Vote Kevlar 2

Presidential Nominees

Kevin Dennison, Kevlar (Unaffiliated):

Good afternoon Saskatchewan (and other guests of this group)!

Though many of you have likely read my blog enough to know who I am and know about my strong support for the Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association, I wanted to say a few more things before voting begins!

I found roller derby while I was freelance writing for the Moose Jaw Value Express in 2011. They sent me out to cover fresh meat intake nights hosted by Lil Chicago Roller Derby. While I was initially there to simply write a short piece on their league I quickly found myself trying on skates, signing up for fresh meat and getting one-on-one mentorship from Carmen Decelles, aka Toxic, from the Pile O’ Bones Derby Club. Over the past two years I have served as a skating and non-skating official for 79 bouts at a variety of events including major tournaments such as the 2012 RDAC Nationals and Flat Track Fever 2013.

I have also developed extremely strong connections, affording me access to numerous resources, with the greater derby community of Western and Northern Canada through Derby Frontier and my travels as an official. I am regularly in contact with many derby organizations, businesses, leagues and individuals throughout our neighboring provinces, maintaining an open dialogue with them about the direction this sport is taking on the national AND international stage. I feel it is through these connections, and through my awareness of the impact that national/international growth will have on derby in Saskatchewan, that I would serve well in this position.

Furthermore, I feel that while it is important to foster the success of our budding leagues we must also not forget to support the smaller derby communities of the province either. I believe the SRDA will help develop the most inclusive support network our province has ever seen by providing access to certification, accreditation, education and sponsorship, in some capacity, for every one of us!

Writing about the sport has allowed me to learn a tremendous amount about the history, community and future of roller derby everywhere. I’ve seen behind the scenes of countless events and learned of the inner workings of numerous leagues and organizations; as well as had intimate conversations about the sport with more skaters, coaches, fans, announcers and officials than I can count. Writing has also allowed me an outlet to reflect upon my personal accomplishments and mistakes and provide perspective, guidance and advice to others through my blog postings. I feel all of this will allow me to be a strong voice for the SRDA and as an unaffiliated member of the greater derby community I would do my best to keep things focused on provincial growth that benefits everyone.

Regardless of being voted in as President of the SRDA or not, I fully intend on working with the board in any capacity that I can to provide coverage on Derby Frontier and to lend resources/connections I have toward their future endeavors.

For more details on why I feel the SRDA is important and the potential I feel it has to bring immense opportunities to ALL Saskatchewan based leagues, big and small:

For more details about my involvement in the sport and my professional experience as a freelance writer:

If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to message me through Facebook or send me an email at

Thank you all for the tremendous, unforgettable experiences you have each generously given me so far in my derby career! I look forward to seeing what the SRDA can accomplish for the province in 2014!

Happy holidays to you all!

Cody Kurz, Kurz So Good (Saskatoon Roller Derby League):


I have been nominated for president. I have been involved in roller day for 2 and a half years now, as a Skating official. It has taken over my life, as I’m sure it’s taken over many of yours. I have been the head ref for the Saskatoon ref crew for about 2 years now. I am currently serving as Saskatoon roller derby’s Vice President. I travel a lot for derby, and have seen many different organizations and approaches to problems. I think that will help me solve issues that come up in our committees first year. During the day I am a computer programmer, which often allows me time to make prompt replies to email. It also has flexible hours, if needed. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help derby grow in Saskatchewan.

Dean Toles, Coach Vic Vega (South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association):

Hey all it’s Vic Vega here. I have been nominated for President. I currently coach the Redneck Bettie’s in Swift Current. I have been around derby for 3 years as a coach, NSO, and a fan.

My first question at my first bout was “What do you mean there is no provincial body for the sport?” I still believe that there is a need for this association and I want to make sure that it gets off to a good start. I watched what the national association tried to do and wanted to ensure that we don’t repeat their mistakes. My background is in sport as I am a Golf Professional in Swift Current and spent 6 years as the General Manager at the curling club in town.

I deal with provincial bodies daily and if would want to steal whatever we can from those successful bodies. I recognize that derby is not a “mainstream” sport but I don’t feel that we need to reinvent the wheel for a provincial body. I have served as Vice President for the executive at Camp Shagabec and also as Referee in Chief on the Board for Swift Current Minor Hockey so I know what it takes to run a successful board.

Ultimately every nominee is very committed to the development of our sport and I look forward to working with everyone whether I am on the board or not.


Anastassia, Commie (Pile O’Bones Derby Club):

Hey everyone. My name is Commie. I am addicted to the sport of roller derby. I have been skating for 6 years, coaching for 4, and reffing for 3, all simultaneously. I started skating in Ontario, then Alberta, and now I reside and skate out of Saskatchewan. I have participated and traveled to many different training camps, tournaments, and other derby related events all over the country.

In my years of involvement, I have gathered much information and understanding on the sport and its functions. I am constantly working on broadening my network circles and through those, learning more and more about the sport. In my home league, I currently hold the position of the inter league, which also helps with meeting people on different leagues and learning how their leagues function and deal with successes and hardships. Since early this year, I have also been acting as a representative for Team Sask Women and have learned so much about what it takes to keep a provincial organization running.

My derby career thus far has taught me so very much about communicating, problem solving, and constructive thinking. I have been able to use these skills in and out side of derby. In my real life I have held position of supervisor and manager, to which I had to work my way, learning in the process of what it means to delegate, assist, and multi task. The combination of the skill sets I have acquired from both sides, have already helped me come far as a skater and a person, and I am planning on continuing to better in both areas. I stand 100% behind the derby scene in this great province and will keep on doing whatever it takes to further its growth, development, and well deserved recognition from the rest of the wonderful community of roller derby.

Secretary/Treasurer Nominee

Susanne Babcock, Prone T’ Violence (Saskatoon Junior Roller Derby League):

I am associated with Saskatoon Junior Roller Derby League. I am the president / head coach of the league.

Derby Experience – I helped start SRDL with the original group of ladies, and I wrote most of the policies / bylaws in that league, and held the position for 2 years. I have been a player, ref, coach, NSO, volunteer, bench wench and anything else someone has asked of me. I have started one of the first junior leagues in Canada (I think we were the second or third) and have taken on that challenge (happily) for the last 3 1/2 years with no intentions of stopping anytime soon.

Professional experiences – I am very organized, I write safety policy for a living, I care about it and I want to do a good job. I am a leader and I have experience with organizing, setting up and being transparent in the process.

Why should you pick me? – Cause I’m good at what I do, I have organized the voting and aside from taking time for my family over Christmas, the voting process is rolling pretty well I would think. I plan on utilizing this position to find other to help for instance:
– someone for communication
– someone to help me with website stuff
– someone helping me find other places we can borrow policies and procedures from so we can make it as easy and quick as possible to get set up and rolling with a bit of infrastructure.

I know how to make it work, I am very connected, very available and will put the time and effort into making this work, because I have imagined just this type of association for 3 – 4 years.

Accreditation Nominees

Michael Squire (Pile O’Bones Derby Club):

Years with the sport – Less than 1

Derby Qualifications – Fan / Photographer

Professional / Life Experience Qualifications – I have worked in the Parks and Recreation field for over ten years and am currently the recreation director for the Town of White City. Previous to my position in White City I worked as a consultant for the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA). Through my position with SPRA I worked closely with SaskSport and understand their delivery system very well. I am acutely aware of Kidsport and many other grant opportunities available to groups within Saskatchewan.

Experience in the sector and my love of the sport.

Ron Gall, Coach Rotten (Lil Chicago Roller Derby):

Ron Gall here, AKA Ronnie B. Rotten or simply Coach Rotten.

The position I seek is Accreditation.

Going into my 4th year of Derby. I’m a sucker for punishment as I just love the game. I wasn’t married into it nor do I have a significant other that plays.

Despite living in Regina, Lil Chicago in Moose Jaw is my derby home where I will start my second year as Head Coach there. I have been through the National Coaching Certification Program, and am a registered member of the Coaches Association Of Saskatchewan. I pride myself on being available to any team who wants my services. I have been a part of many teams, including RRRD, MJRD, Redneck Betties, and the PA Outlaws. My 2013 derby resume has 20 Derby weekends on it.

My professional background over the last 20 years is Market Research, Sponsorship, and public speaking for the Federal Govt, and one of the big five chartered banks. I have had some dealings with KidSport, but nothing like the background Michael Squier has. After reading his bio I was tempted to withdraw my nomination as he is probably a better fit than I. But, I am a fierce defender we need this sort of structure if the sport is to grow healthily in our province.

With that said, if I am elected or not, I am outspoken, thrive in leadership roles, and will happily support anyone or take on any role if there is a good fit. I wish Michael Squire all the best and I will support him if he is elected, and if I am I will definitely seek his input.

Thank you for your consideration. Rotten Out

Sponsorship Nominee

Sandy Braun-Elsaesser, Vexatious Valkyrie (Prince Albert Roller Derby):

My name is Sandy Elsaesser, aka Vexatious Valkyrie from the PARDL OUTLAWS.

I’m not sure who nominated me into the position of sponsorship, but I am very honoured. I’ve been playing derby for three years as of last week! I have learned a lot but feel I have so much more to learn, and look forward to all the opportunities that await me to help fulfill that goal. Outside of my derby life (is there life outside of derby?!

I am an EA at the school here in Birch Hills where I live on a farm with my 4 amazing kids and extremely supportive husband. Within my league I am the secretary/treasurer/Interleague rep/insurance and sponsorship person. I have been doing these rolls since I joined our very young league in December of 2010.

I am a very passionate person about everything I get involved with. I believe if it’s worth doing it worth doing the best it can be done. I am not always the best but I have an amazing support system and group of friends and contacts that I am never afraid to ask for help from. As far as being the sponsorship person in the SRDA, I feel strongly that this is a huge and important step for derby in SK and want to be involved. I am a very strong personality, I won’t let myself get pushed around and I am very confident in dealing with other people. I have very good communication skills both written and oral and I am a good listener. I am a problem solver and that coupled with my OCD forces me to figure things out even if it takes longer than I’d like. I am also open minded and like to try and look at all sides.

I believe very strongly in an organization like this where everyone has a voice and even if I don’t like the outcome of a decision, majority rules and I will throw myself behind the decision 100%. Please feel free to contact myself or any of my league mates if you have any questions about me or my qualifications for this position. I am nervous about what this will entail, not because I don’t think I can do it but because it is a huge monumental step for derby in SK and I want to see it be the best it can be now and in the future.

Thanks! Derby ️[love] to you all!


Events Planning Nominee

Juston Sowa, J$ (Independent):

My name is Juston Sowa, better known in the derby community as J$ or That Guy.

I have 3 years in the sport officiating across Saskatchewan and Alberta. I’ve assisted with creation and planning of an annual scrimmage called First Snow, Last Chance in Springside, SK for 2 years. I currently manage an agricultural shop of 9 people and help on the farm whenever possible. My days are filled with planning jobs, organizing individuals based on skills, as well as completing jobs myself.

I feel I’m a good choice for the role I’ve been nominated for as I am not only an official and huge advocate for the sport, but also a fan who wants to see a growth in popularity in our province. We have come in leaps and bounds since I first got involved and we have the chance with this group to make Saskatchewan shine on the derby map.