Peterborough Area Roller Derby prepares for first double-header bout of the season

Eleven members of PARD pose for a team photograph in their roller derby protective gear during a practice.
PARD skaters pose for a team photograph at a practice before their double-header bout. Photograph by Will Pearson.
Edward Sweeney - CFFF - PeterboroughON | 20-07-2023
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The Peterborough Area Roller Derby team (PARD) is preparing for their first double-header bout of the season this weekend.

PARD practices and plays Flat Track Roller Derby, a sport played on the flat floor of an arena on a track outlined with rope and tape, which involves two teams of five people, four blockers and one jammer, on roller skates competing to score the most points. Points are scored when a team’s jammer passes a player on the opposing team. The blockers are there to, as the name suggests, block the opposing jammer from passing while making room for their own team’s jammer to score.

Stephanie Lyons, who skates under the name Stevie Stitches, is both a coach and a player for PARD. Stevie Stitches has been skating with PARD for seven years and is also competing for Ontario’s provincial team. She will be playing in the first of two games on Saturday, the sanctioned game against Royal City Roller Derby. PARD is playing in one "sanctioned" game and one "regulation" game: the difference between these classifications comes down to the “level of competitiveness,” says Stevie Stitches.

“The sanctioned game would be going towards our flat track rankings,” says Stevie Stitches.

Having a ranking is a relatively new thing for PARD: as of this current season, they are part of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The WFTDA is a non-profit organization responsible for governing women’s flat track roller derby internationally, and, according to their website, they represent more than 400 member leagues on six continents. The latest WFTDA ranking placed the Peterborough Area Roller Derby team 23rd in North America, out of over 150 teams, said Coach Stevie Stitches.

If you are interested in seeing PARD play and supporting the team, consider joining them for their double-header bout at the Douro Community Center on Saturday, July 22. The first game, against Royal City Roller Derby, begins at 4 p.m., followed by the second game, against Kingston Roller Derby, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available in advance or at the door, and more information about PARD or the event can be found on their website.

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