Derby girls encourage public to vote, help them win award

The nominations are out for the first-ever Best of Saskatchewan Roller Derby Awards, and two Weyburn women have made the list. Public voting is now open to determine the winners.

Krista Sandney, who goes by the derby name "Venus N D'Skyes", is one of 12 to be nominated for the best coach or trainer of the year award. Carissa Richard, also known as "Rocket Richard", is nominated for Blocker of the Year and is competing with 16 others for the title.

"It's exciting. It's neat to be on the list with all the other blockers. They're amazing skaters," said Richard, who has met many of the other nominees for the Blocker of the Year award. She even played with some of them on Roller Derby TeamSask.

Richard said the recognition is great and that she isn't sure of her chances of winning, but that she hopes Weyburn and area residents will vote for her.

Sandney discovered she was nominated on Jan. 21 and admits she was surprised but that it is "pretty cool". Sandney said she is not well-known in the province yet and that she can use all the votes she can get. Winners are determined by a public, online vote and she encourages people to vote for her and Richard.

Voting opened on Monday and will remain open until Tuesday, February 4. Polls were originally scheduled to remain open until Monday, Feb. 10 but the date was pushed up to encourage a voting blitz and week of roller derby awareness and discussion. Those interested in participating can visit to cast their vote. Winners get a congratulatory certificate, bragging rights and an announcement on the web page.

"Last year was one of tremendous growth and amazing accomplishments for the sport on a provincial level," said Kevin "Kevlar" Dennison, owner and operator of Derby Frontier. He created and organized the competition to promote the sport within the province.
"We all have a lot to be proud of and I really wanted to celebrate everyone's contributions to the evolution of this sport."

"Despite all the amazing things Saskatchewan derby folk have done, we are more at a grassroots level than other regions and don't generally get as much recognition, but that does not make any of our provincial, local or personal achievements any less noteworthy than those of the bigger Canadian centres," said Dennison. He added that roller derby athletes in Saskatchewan built a strong foundation for the sport in the province.

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