Teen launches roller derby team
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 7:25PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:58AM EST
MONTREAL - Gabrielle Gignac-Ladouceur's love for her unusual hobby started rolling after she saw a movie called Whip It.
That film, in case you missed it, is about a teenaged girl joining a roller derby league and becoming rookie of the year.
She asked her mom to sign her up for a squad but there was a problem: there were no teams for kids in her age group.
So mom helped her start her own roller derby team and the crashing and banging soon began.
“The first week it was only one player but one year later we have almost 20 players and we are recruiting all the time,” said Gabrielle’s mother Nancy Gignac.
Mom is now a fan, not only of the sport, but of her daughter’s determined style.
“She has really good skills on skates and she wants to perform and I think she's a little bit grrrrr,” said mom, doing her best bear growl.
But Gabrielle said she gets more kicks from the camaraderie than killer blocks.
“It's fun because you can play and you can compete and we work together and have friendship which is important for us,” said Gabrielle.
The junior team, which is open to youth between 11 and 18, has erased some preconceptions.
“It's far more intense and strategic then I expected,” said participant Ilana Nyveen. “There's a lot more thinking involved and it's not just hurling yourself into people.”
And Gabriel has the sport figured out to the point where her opponents dread going up against her.
“I prefer to have her on our team then against her,” said Jamie Lee Lauzon.
And that’s possibly because her commitment goes well beyond the oval.
“She talks about derby all the time and everybody who knows Gabrielle knows about derby,” said her coach Marc-Antoine Vachon.