Black Pearls pushing for Tofino practice space

The Black Pearls roller derby team wants to move its practices from Ucluelet to Tofino to cut down on travel time and burnout.

Tofino’s municipal council directed staff to determine whether the Tofino community hall would be feasible for the Pearls’ practices, after hearing a presentation from team spokesperson Christine Lowther during last week’s regular council meeting.

“Can you help your West Coast roller derby team the Black Pearls find an indoor practice space in Tofino,” Lowther asked.

She said most members of the team live in Tofino but must travel to Ucluelet twice a week for practices as concerns over floor damage have prohibited the team from using Tofino’s recreation facilities.

“Your team is struggling, derby girls are burning out from having that drive on top of their busy Tofino lives and we are losing people,” Lowther said. “With local yearround practice space, lots

more women would join than do now and the West Coast roller derby movement would grow and stay healthy.”

She urged council to consider allowing the Pearls to practice in Tofino.

“The morale boost that would come from a Tofino practice venue would be huge…id be so gratified to feel that local support,” she said. “Roller derby is great for West Coast women and new freshies have been joining overtime to enjoy physical fitness, team spirit, camaraderie, personal empowerment, community thrills like parades and volunteer opportunities.”

Mayor Josie Osborne spoke in support of the Black Pearls practicing at the Tofino community hall but Coun. Dorothy Baert expressed concern over council leapfrogging Tofino’s recreation commission.

“I’d have a lot more comfort if it goes through the rec. commission myself,” Baert said.

Osborne objected to putting up more hoops for the Pearls to skate through “Respectfully to council, I don’t want to add a lot of bureaucracy and extra layers that the Black Pearls might need to go through to prove their case,” she said. “I think

the only way we’re going to know what kind of damage can be done to a floor is to try it out.”

Coun. Al Anderson suggested wear-and-tear on facility floors is a good thing and Coun. Garth Cameron agreed.

“It would be nice to have the floor worn out because they use it and then, you know what, maybe we can replace it with a floor that’s more user friendly,” Cameron said. “It’s on its way out anyway, we might as well push it over the edge.”

Baert said council did not have enough information to make a decision.

“We do have a community hall which is a district asset, it’s there to be used but at the same time we have to weigh use versus cost; if damage to the floor is huge than it equals so much cost and we need to know that,” she said.

She reiterated her desire to bring Tofino’s recreation commission into the discussion.

“I’m much more comfortable doing it that way and it just means you’ve dotted all your i’s and we’re not sitting there making decisions that might go completely against a considered opinion of the rec. commission,” she said.

Coun. Cathy Thicke expressed support for the team.

“What I like about having this kind of group in Tofino is we’ve got to encourage the younger kids and I think, by having you guys here, people are going to see it and they’re going to want to come along and join,” she said. “There’s a lot of need for more things in the 15-18 age group.”

Council directed staff to report back on the feasibility of the Pearls using Tofino’s community hall for practices.

reporter@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Ucluelet says goodbye to town’s only sports bar

“It started off big and we’re on the backside of the mountain now.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Four Tofino businesses up for Vancouver Island Excellence Awards

Tofino’s business community is shining with four Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Most Read