Tuesday, October 28, 2008


No self respecting Ottawa blogger can post today without making mention of the weather. I don't mind the snow. I really don't. It's the cold I don't like. In fact, I greatly preferred my walk home from the bus stop after work in a blizzard to my walk to the bus stop this morning in the freezing rain. No contest. That's all I'm going to say about it.

I have sadder news to report than a snow storm.

This blog has seen many entries about the Ottawa Roller Derby league, and what an impact the ORD has had on my life. Emerging from the end of a long-term relationship and stuck in a nasty rut of a thesis, roller derby was exactly what I needed to regain my confidence and self-esteem while meeting some very interesting and inspiring women in Ottawa.

When I was told of the existence of roller derby in Ottawa, I discovered that the league consisted of one team; the loud and proud Bytown Blackhearts. For a team to come together and prosper is noteworthy in itself, but these women learned roller derby the hard way; through trial and error. Without an existing team in the city, the Blackhearts learned the game as they went along. By the time I started attending "fresh meat" practices for the Ottawa Roller Derby league, the Blackhearts were a year old; fully registered and ready to roll.

The "fresh meat" practices were recruiting for a second team in Ottawa; one that could benefit from the Blackhearts' experience and could eventually provide them with another team to practice with and scrimmage against. For myself as well as the other women who now comprise the Capital Carnage, the Blackhearts were the ultimate big sister team; older, tougher, more than a little intimidating, but ultimately there to help the Carnage grow and develop for the love of the game.

This relationship explains the pain I feel at learning that the Bytown Blackhearts and the Ottawa Roller Derby league have split into two autonomous groups. I do not care to comment upon the nature of the split as I understand it; it's a complicated issue to which I am only privy to certain parts. Whatever the cause, I can only speak for the effect which I believe will be felt by every member of the Bytown Blackhearts and the Capital Carnage alike. I think my friend and teammate Kristina (Fembot Fury) said it best when she likened our position to being the children of divorced parents.

It saddens me that the split will undoubtedly change my experience of being a rollergirl in Ottawa, although it's difficult to say for certain exactly how it will change. I have a feeling that as with most breakups, there will be positive and negative effects both in the short and long term. Whatever the fallout, I hope time shows the decision to be beneficial to both groups.


A. & J. said...

I'm so sorry to hear that they've broken up. :( I hope one day they'll get together again.

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