The Heartland Roller Derby Association had a great turnout with 22 ladies taking part ( eight brand new to the sport) at their first ever practice Monday night, April 11, at the Bruderheim Arena.
 
"From early 50's right down to 20-years-old, they're all awesome, being enthusiastic and I've been listening to them saying I can do this," association president Nancy Roberts said.
 
The Heartland Roller Derby Association does not put expectations on those taking part.
 
"If they want to benchmark quickly we'll support them or if they want to come out just for the cardio and the fun, we'll support them," Roberts noted,  "we had a lot of girls say they have zero experience and have never even been on rollerskates before. Those are the people you see gliding and doing perfectly fine with confidence." 
 
Roberts is originally from Fort McMurray and took part in roller derby until moving to Fort Saskatchewan a year ago.
 
"The closest place to play Derby was about 40 minutes away," Roberts added, "I'm a mom, I have two kids and work full-time.  I needed something a little closer to home so I put it out on the moms network and now a whole bunch of new people playing here tonight.  I've been missing Derby so much, so the great turnout tonight is the icing on the cake, it's a dream come true."
 
Mandi Jewett from Thorhild came to try roller derby for the very first time.
 
"I'm really looking forward to coming out every Monday and Wednesday with these ladies, there was lots of really good energy here tonight which is really uplifting to be apart of," Jewett said. "We are learning at this very awesome pace including how to fall safely like avoiding falling on your butt but if you have to fall on your butt, pick a cheek!"
 
"Overall roller derby is the best gosh darn sport to ever exist on this darn planet!"
 
The association is looking for volunteer opportunities as they are a non-profit.
 
The Heartland Roller Derby Association is holding open practices at the Bruderheim Arena every Monday and Thursday. Practice times are from 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at the Bruderheim Arena and are open to everyone, just bring is a mouthguard.
 
They will provide equipment if you don't have your own.
 
"Anyone is welcome to come in and try it out," organizer Dawn Price concluded.
 
Check out more on the Heartland Roller Derby Association, here.