Portage la Prairie’s first roller derby league, the PLAP City Rollers, completed their debut competing season in 2013 and have made quite the impression around town, as evident by their fast-growing fan base. The Headstone Honeys, PCR’s premiere team, competed in five games last summer, and managed to secure a win in their first home game, defeating Minot, North Dakota’s ‘Nodak Knockouts’ 251-120. In addition to their early success, The PLAP City Rollers’ founder, Tina Jansen, was honoured with the “2013 Sportsperson of the Year” award for her contribution to Portage la Prairie and her incredible dedication to the league. Last fall, the Honeys recruited several new members – or “fresh meat” – and are looking forward to playing with them this season. Their training for 2014 included hosting a “derby boot camp” which offered the experience and insight of a 7-year veteran player (and member of Team Canada) to the Honeys.
The league is made up of a number of female skaters as well as several male referees and a bench coach. The skaters come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and experience levels, and each were put through extensive training prior to participating in their first bout. Each league member chooses his/her own derby name, which is unique and meaningful to the individual. It serves as a sort of alter-ego during game play, and pays homage to the old roller derby tradition of using pseudonyms.
The PLAP City Rollers have come a long way in the short time they have been skating together, since the league’s conception in spring of 2012. Many other leagues have commented on how fast the Honeys are progressing as a team, as well as on individual players’ impressive skills. The players have come together both on and off the track, hosting a variety of events and fundraisers for the league and for charity. The PLAP City Rollers hope to make themselves an exciting and enduring feature of Portage la Prairie.
Our Mission Statement
PLAP City Rollers Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to promote roller derby and physical fitness for women within the community of Portage la Prairie. We wish to establish a democratic sports league where all members have a valued say and opinion, and work as a team. We strive to be role models, and we embrace women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and skill levels. We will work to increase our skills through dedication, discipline, and mutual support. PLAP City Rollers are proud to bring roller derby to Portage la Prairie, and hope to inspire girls and women to embrace their strength and power, while bringing entertainment to our fans and community.
For those unfamiliar with roller derby (or perhaps only familiar with the very different version from the 1980’s), the game is played on a flat oval track, with five skaters from each team on the track at a time; one jammer and four blockers. The jammers are the point scorers; they try to lap opposing players to earn points for their team. The blockers move around the track in a “pack”, and their job is to facilitate their jammer’s journey through the pack, while attempting to stop the opposing jammer from earning points. This is done by pushing and “whipping” one’s own jammer, and hitting the opposing players. Yes, hitting. There are hitting guidelines, of course, and punching, biting, tripping, or elbowing will earn you a trip to the penalty box. The game is divided into two 30-minute halves, and each turn, or “jam”, lasts up to two minutes before players reset and start again. All in all, roller derby is fast-paced, full-contact, and currently the fastest-growing sport worldwide!