Gay Pride week is one of Toronto’s most highly anticipated events on an annual basis, as queer friendly people from all over the world take part in the festivities, celebrating and supporting gay rights. The week features events such as the Trans March, Dyke March and the largest celebration of them all with the Pride Parade, the closing ceremony to the fun-filled week.
Toronto Roller Derby (ToRD) is a big part of Pride Week and showcases the queer-friendly side of their league with an event titled Clam Slam. The event is similar to other derby bouts spread across the ToRD season with the exception being that the event is reserved for queer-friendly skaters from around the world to attend. Skaters from numerous different leagues attend the event and put on a derby spectacle for the fans of Toronto, while doing their part in support of Pride Week.
The annual event pits two teams against one another, featuring rosters of skaters who have and have not skated with one another before. This year, similar to years past, featured the Vagine Regime Canada squaring off against the Clam Diggers.
In last year’s event the Vagine Regime Canada were victorious with a 108-65 win, so it was time for the Clam Diggers to extract revenge in the 2011 edition and revenge is exactly what the Diggers achieved on the day. The ladies in light blue took the bout over the orange-shirted skaters of Vagine Regime Canada 141-94.
The hard-fought bout featured impressive all-around games from both teams with incredible jamming accompanied by excellent pack work. At times the game got sloppy, with numerous penalties being issued throughout the contest. This looked to be a combination of the unfamiliarity between skaters as well as an officiating team that was really cracking down on penalties throughout the bout. Nonetheless, the bout was spectacular for fans to witness as it was a change from what some may be accustomed to in Toronto. New strategies were used, new skaters played and in the end fans walked away happy.
On the losing end of things Vagine Regime Canada played well. ToRD’s Bruiseberry Pie and Rose City’s Mercy were physical presences in the pack and from the jammer line, so physical that both earned ejections for an accumulation of majors in the second half of the bout. ToRD’s Snatch Bandit aka Rug Burn and Tri-City’s Pandemic Pearl played an abundance of minutes for their squad and were impressive. The two of them have very bright futures for their respective leagues if they continue to play like they did in this bout. Lady Cuntessa from the Yukon Rollergirls was a workhorse from the jammer line and despite taking several huge knocks from the Diggers played an excellent bout. The biggest ovation of the night for Vagine Regime Canada had to go to ToRD’s Mega Mouth aka Mega Bouche. The fan favourite in Toronto stepped to the jammer line and impressed with the star in her lone jam as fans bellowed the cheer of “Boooooouche.”
The victorious Clam Diggers received a superb performance from ToRD’s Dyna Squirtcha aka Dyna Hurtcha in a jamming role. Dyna had one of the best seasons in ToRD in 2011 playing for the newly-crowned champion Chicks Ahoy! while also earning herself a potential spot with Team Canada in the upcoming World Cup of roller derby scheduled for this December. Slam-Her aka SlamWow of ToRD’s Death Track Dolls played one of her best bouts in her two-year derby career for the Diggers. Former Doll Sista Fista made her return to the league she once called home and was a force to be reckoned with from the jammer line all night long. ToRD’s Nasher the Smasher landed some of the heaviest hits on the evening. One of the hits was so loud that it seemed to echo throughout the arena as fans watched in astonishment. On more then one occasion Montreal’s Nameless Whorror, an intimidating presence due to her size and all-around athletic ability, showed brilliant strategy in the pack, the type of play that has made Montreal the top team in Canada while ToRD’s Tara Part and U-Haul aka Hoff used their familiarity as home league team-mates to consistently and successfully work together in the pack.
Thanks to the Clam Slam skaters unified in support of Pride Week and while doing this put on an excellent display of roller derby for an appreciative audience in Toronto. The event was a success once again and hopefully the now annual tradition continues, as the event is only a good thing for the sport of roller derby in the city.
Published by Gear Up for Sports
Published article link: http://5×5.gearupforsports.com/blog/2011/07/3rd-annual-pride-clam-slam-event-a-hit