The Carnevil is coming to town.
That’s how the Candy Crushers junior roller derby team is billing this Saturday’s big showdown against Chilliwack’s NWO Honey Badgers at the Island Savings Centre arena.
In the main event, the Candy Crushers rep team will square off against the NWO A team, while the undercard will feature the Sugar Bombs house team battling the NWO B team. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the show starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
It’s the first big home bout of the season for the Candy Crushers, a co-ed squad made up of players from throughout the Cowichan Valley, as well as Nanaimo and Saltspring Island.
Leading the Candy Crushers into action is Lexi Corby, known in derby circles as Goldie Lex. At the age of 11, she was the first member of the team when it started up. Now 15, she is the captain of the squad, plays on four other teams, and is bound for the Junior World Cup in Kent, Washington this July.
Goldie Lex had to go through an intense round of tryouts to make Team Canada, and was stunned to learn she made the final cut.
"I cried when I found out," she said. Canada will take on teams from the U.S., Argentina, Australia and Belgium at the World Cup. Right now, Goldie Lex is trying to focus on the bouts she has coming up sooner.
"I’m a little nervous," she admitted. "I don’t like to think about it."
In roller derby, Goldie Lex has found a place she feels she belongs, and the practices she has six times a week are worth it.
"I always feel comfortable out here," she said. "I feel I fit in. I have a blast here."
The reasons for fans to come out to the Carnevil this weekend are obvious to Goldie Lex.
"It will be fun," she said. "They’ll get to see people fall; it’s fun to watch people hit each other."
Goldie Lex’s mom, Pain KillHer (a.k.a. Kelly Corby), who started the team along with fellow coach Miss B Haven (Amanda Gould), notes that the sport, while tough, isn’t vicious, but the players take pride in the marks it leaves. "There are lots of falls, lots of bruises," she said. "Bruises are a badge of honour. If they fall and hurt themselves and they don’t have a bruise, they’re ticked."
In roller derby, the players get to be themselves and someone else at the same time, and the results can be surprising.
"You find your inner toughness," Pain KillHer said. "A lot of kids come out here and think they can’t do it, but they find out they can."