Duncan’s Lexi Corby — a.k.a. Goldie — will suit up for Team Canada later this month at the Junior Roller Derby World Cup in Pennsylvania. (Lloyd Peterson photo)

Goldie goes for gold in roller derby world cup

Lexi Corby is getting ready to represent Canada once again.

The roller derby star from Duncan will make her third appearance in national team colours later this month when she competes at the 2018 Junior Roller Derby World Cup in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.

Corby, who goes by the derby name “Goldie,” competed for Canada at the 2015 Junior World Cup in Kent, Washington, and again at the 2016 Roller Derby Junior Olympic Games in Nebraska.

To say Corby has committed herself to the sport of roller derby is an understatement. Following the 2016 Junior Olympics, national team head coach Vince Sopczak jokingly said he wished he could take her back to his club team, the Pile O’ Bones Miss Demeanors in Regina.

That “joke” grew legs, and she’s spent the last couple of years flying back and forth from Vancouver Island to Saskatchewan to compete with the Miss Demeanors.

“It’s been worth all the travel,” said Corby, who has had to travel to Regina as often as twice a month at the peak of the roller derby season, staying for as long as two weeks at a time.

Her family agrees.

“She was progressing and she needed to go where the games were,” said Corby’s mom, Kelly, who inspired her daughter to take up the sport in the first place.

The Miss Demeanors have done everything to make the situation easier for Corby and her family.

“They’ve been very accommodating,” Corby said. “They’re like my second family.”

Corby tried out again for the national team about a year ago, and made the cut, along with 19 other players from across Canada. While they have come together to practice a few times, they’ve also bonded through group messages and online strategy meetings. Corby can’t wait to get into action with her teammates.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

Team Canada will be joined at the World Cup by two entries from the U.S. — representing east and west — and one each from the U.K., Europe and Australia. The “hard-hitting” Americans should be fun to watch, Corby expects.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to the most,” she said. “And making new friends, hopefully.”

The Canadians really bonded with Team Australia at the last World Cup in 2015, and Corby is hoping to encounter some of the same players again.

While Corby’s club team is all-female, the national team is co-ed, but that doesn’t intimidate her at all.

“It’s honestly my favourite, playing with men,” she said. “It’s definitely a challenge.”

Corby has been involved in roller derby for seven years. Her mom started playing in Nanaimo, and she was inspired to join the nearest junior team, which was located in the Comox Valley. That led to the founding of the Candy Crushers junior team closer to home, which she played with until she was recruited by the Miss Demeanors.

This is Corby’s last year of U19 eligibility, so she’ll have to make some changes next year. She’s been playing with the Harbour City Rollers in Nanaimo since she was 14, so she will keep playing with them as her home team, but she will also try out for a new adult travel team.

Corby admits she likes the aggressiveness of roller derby, but that’s not all she enjoys.

“I don’t think you can find better people,” she said. “They’re so welcoming. Being on skates is so much fun.”

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