The West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby league was in Nelson last spring as teams battled it out in front of a large crowd at the Nelson and District Community Complex.

Klash slated for the Nelson Complex

Canada’s fastest growing sport is back in full swing after West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby held its season opener in Rossland.

Canada’s fastest growing sport is back in full swing after West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby held its season opener in Rossland.

This is the second season for roller derby in the West Kootenay and president and Bad News Betty, Michelle Sylvest, said the response to the sport has been “explosive.”

“I started playing roller derby in Abbotsford,” she said. “I saw a sign up poster at my university and said ‘hey, that sounds interesting.’ It was a little bit intimidating because I’d never skated before, but it was a really good experience and so it evolved.”

Roller derby started with a public game in September 2009 and now its second season there are seven house teams and one travel team, the Kootenay Kannibelles.

Sylvest said even though the turnout this season has been slower than last year the fans and businesses in communities from Salmo, Ymir, Fruitvale, Nelson, Trail, the Slocan Valley, Kaslo and everywhere in between have been supportive.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever played any other sports before so to speak,” said Sylvest. “But I like that there is a place for everyone and it is run for the skaters by the skaters.”

The next bout for the West Kootenay Roller Derby League will be in Castlegar during SunFest on June 2.

“The first whistle is at 4 p.m. so that we can be finished before the fireworks,” said Sylvest.

Nelson will also be hosting Klash in the Kootenays from June 15 to 17.

“It is basically a tournament of the top eight teams in the western region,” said Sylvest.

Some of Western Canada’s finest teams will be at the Nelson and District Community Complex over the three days.

“If you are a roller derby fan you can’t miss this,” said Sylvest. “Our travel team the Kootenay Kannibelles will be among the teams playing.”

For more information about the Klash in the Kootenays and other upcoming games visit


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