Orangeville Roller Girls launch 6th season Saturday

February 11, 2016   ·   0 Comments

It’s no secret that over the last decade roller derbies have gone from an obscure new idea to one of the exciting new sports for both participants and observers.

Orangeville’s first flat track roller derby league, the Orangeville Roller Girls, came into being in 2011.

Inspired by the Toronto Roller Derby girls who attended the 2011 SLUTWALK, an annual protest against victim-blaming in sexual assault and harassment situations, local resident Ashley Button began to pursue the possibility of starting a league here.

Now, the league has grown to include multiple teams with a number of participants. The league is not-for-profit, supported by the participants through monthly dues.

On Saturday night, the Orangeville Roller Girls (ORG) will be kicking off their 2016 season with a double-header at the OAS Event Centre in the fairgrounds, with Pulp Affliction taking the first game of the night against the Hamilton Harlots.

The second game will be a co-ed match between the ORG’s newest team, the ORG All Stars: Misfit Militia, and the Toronto Men’s Roller Derby team, the Outrage.

Roller derby is one of the few sports these days that is full contact, and is described as requiring both guts and brains to participate. It is identified as one of the fastest-growing sports in North America, with 1250 teams — several hundred of which are in Canada.

The local Misfit Militia started out in Alliston, but disbanded to join the ORG and create a new all-star team, making Orangeville the third-highest-ranked league in the nation, outranking Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Calgary, and Edmonton, to name a few.

The All-Star team’s captain, Renata ‘Renny Rumble’ Loranca, explained that the sport is unique, and has required participants to stay on top of training, fitness and dedication to get the team where it is today.

“It’s a team sport in every way, so we decided that we were going to commit to the team, to each other, and to the sport as it grows,” she said. “We work extremely hard and our training is intense. Every game, every scrimmage, and every practice is an opportunity to improve.”

Unofficially, the ORG all-star team is ranked 30th in the world, and one of its  goals this year is to become fully certified with the international governing body of the sport, The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Once they have achieved that designation, the team’s goal will be to obtain one of the coveted spots in the top 40 ranking of teams around the world. If they make it to the top 40, the team will have a chance at competing in the international championships.

Julia Young, the ORG’s league president, believes that this year will be a great one for the league and the community, as it sees the ORG become a contender at the national level.

“I’m exited that the opportunity to tap into everyone’s full potential right now is at our fingertips,” she said. “We all have the amazing ability to be knockout athletes. It’s great to be able to keep the hometown feel, and hone the all-star skill.”

This year promises to be a great one, with lots of news surrounding the league, both with their all-star team and regular members. The B-team, Pulp Affliction, will be taking their fight to teams around the GTA and beyond, acting as the heralds to let them know Orangeville and its surrounding areas have a tough population of women, combined with a proud sports tradition.

Their home-team, Fox Force Five, will be working with the ‘fresh meat’ of the group, helping skaters find their legs and learn the game.

“The small-town roots of ORG make it a very close-knit and supportive environment, whether you are joining for fun or to pursue something more competitive,” said Steph ‘Spoonsie Q’ McDonald, league membership director. “We welcome all levels and strive to create an environment of camaraderie and positive attitude. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends and learn a challenging, fun sport.”

Registration night for the 2016 season will be Monday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, check out the Orangeville Roller Girls on Facebook, or send them an email at

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