Victoria’s roller derby community thrust into international spotlight with writing award nomination
April 24th 2016, Victoria B.C.: Victoria’s Eves of Destruction Roller Derby League is gaining international attention, thanks to a magazine article written by one of its best players Quinn MacDonald, or as she is known in the derby world, The Wife of Wrath. MacDonald’s article, “Track Attack: From a roller derby champ, notes on the transformative potential of backwards hip checks,” has been nominated for the Best Cultural Feature award by the International Network of Street Papers.
The article was originally published in Megaphone Magazine, a Vancouver and Vancouver-Island based publication whose profits benefit the local street community. MacDonald’s article was the only Canadian article selected amongst finalists from Italy, Norway, Switzerland, U.S.A, United Kingdom, and Australia.
The article gives a nod to the overt physical and mental toughness the full-contact sport requires, but what it really highlights is the inclusive and accepting space the Greater Victoria roller derby community offers to those involved, and how the sport challenges traditional gender norms. As MacDonald says in her article, it “has a lot to do with the roller derby mentality of not only accepting others, but celebrating differences.” The Eves of Destruction league, like most roller derby leagues, accepts people from all backgrounds, be it class, race, gender, or sexuality.
For MacDonald, who grew up playing ice hockey, including girls hockey where hitting is not allowed, the sport of roller derby enables her to cross those traditional gender role-placed boundaries. As she states: “we throw our bodies into each other at full speed. We congratulate our teammates and our opponents on particularly deadly hits even as we peel those bodies off the floor and eagerly anticipate the bruises we will proudly display.”
MacDonald says as much as she loves the competitive nature of the sport, it is the transformative and open culture that she is really drawn to. She says she is excited for the nomination and grateful for the opportunity for more people to learn about the sport of roller derby. The winner will be announced in June at the Global Street Paper Summit in Athens, Greece.
MacDonald will be playing for the Eves’ Margarita Villains in their bout against Campbell River’s Rink Minx on Saturday, April 30th at Archie Browning Arena. The game is the second of a double header, marking the beginning of the league’s 10th, it will follow the Belles of the Brawl versus Nanaimo’s Harbour City Rollers. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and can be purchased from Esquimalt Rec Centre, Logan’s Pub, Hive Hair, and ONLINE! Doors open at 5pm.