Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Camosun student gets hardcore with Eves of Destruction

September 5, 2017 by Jennifer Wyatt, contributing writer

When Camosun first-year Biology student Anna Jessop isn’t hard at work studying at the Lansdowne campus, she goes by the name of Chip n’ Flail and races around a track trying to avoid injuries as a roller derby player.

Jessop joined the local roller derby league Eves of Destruction (EOD)—who are playing their season finale bout on September 16—in April 2017 and by June had already been rostered on team The Hard Cores.

“The spring was a lot of watching the teams and trying to get to know everyone,” she says about her early days with EOD. “In June, 11 of us were rostered to play on The Hard Cores, and we started scrimmaging with the rest of them and got to know everyone.”

Jessop was hurt in a scrimmage before a game in August and says that there have been a lot of injuries this summer.

“It’s hard to see people get hurt,” she says. “Although we’ve been reassured this is not a very regular thing, the amount of injuries there has been, it’s been a little scary to watch.”

Camosun student Anna Jessop plays roller derby when she’s not hitting the books (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

Jessop says that the derby community has become a necessary part of her life, adding that players in the league are very supportive and kind to one another.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to school this year having this community now; I think it will really change how I actually focus on school,” she says. “This summer I’ve been super addicted to derby. I’m afraid whether or not I can handle both, so I’ve looked for classes not in the evening, just so I can attend derby.”

Jessop says that there has been a growth in the sport this year, and that The Hard Cores didn’t even exist a little while ago, since EOD just didn’t need that many teams. She says that there’s also no shortage of new girls joining the league, who are known as Raw Meat.

“We just had one of the biggest groups of people join The Hard Cores,” she says, “but right behind us is also the biggest Raw Meat group that they’ve ever had.”

Jessop says that EOD also recently joined the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association—the international governing association for women’s flat track roller derby—and that she’s really excited to play official derby on a travelling team.

“Now that we are one of the official teams, it’s not just a community thing—we actually get to get some cred,” she says, adding that in July they played their first official game, against Vancouver’s Anarchy Angels (the Angels won, 150 to 130).

Jessop says that the EOD teams have been practicing a lot for the upcoming season finale. She says that the Belles of the Brawl and the Margarita Villains, the two house teams who are playing the season finale bout, have been practicing in different ways.

“They’ve got different strategies and they do keep things from each other,” she says. “They’ll do lots of things to prepare; it’s more than just strategy and working out.”

But Jessop won’t give any specific details, just saying, “Yeah, there are things that they are working on. We’re doing some crazy things.”

Jessop says that some girls went to the July RollerCon conference in Las Vegas for workshops on strategies, skating, and putting together derby outfits. “It’s a whole different thing, putting on that derby persona,” she says. “Student by day, derby girl by night is a fun thing to do and be.”

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