On Saturday August 6, Toronto Roller Derby closed out our historic 10th Season with our annual End of Season Awards bash, which celebrates the best of Toronto Roller Derby, both on and off the track. Here are the 2016 winners:
Best Jammer – Beaver Mansbridge (Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Best Pivot – LowBlow Palooza (Smoke City)
Best Blocker – Biggley Smallz (Chicks Ahoy!)
Rookie of the Year – Banshee (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Outstanding Newcomer – Boxcar (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Feared Skater – Biggley Smallz (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Improved Skater – Annguard (Chicks Ahoy!)
Holy Grail – Pretty (Chicks Ahoy!)
ToRD Culture Awards
Most Help off the Track – Morton
Encore Award – Murdercat!
Draw First Blood – Scrappy
Downright Awesome Award – Morton
Heart of Gold – Casey McNally
Tordie of the Year – Dawson
Most awards are voted upon by ToRD members, recognizing their peers for their performances both on and off the track, and are geared mostly towards recognizing members for their contributions to our home team season. Best Jammer is based on statistics from the 2016 Season. Best Blocker and Best Pivot are fairly self-explanatory. Rookie of the Year recognizes the best new skater who developed first and foremost as a ToRD member, and had not previously played for another full contact derby organization, while Best Newcomer recognizes a new skater who has transferred from another full contact league (Boxcar has a long derby lineage, including with Montreal, Rose City and Thunder Bay). Most Feared recognizes a skater who is your worst nightmare to face on the track, and Most Improved Skater recognizes a skater who has shown a noticeable growth and improvement in their play, leadership and skating. While not a skater award per se, the Holy Grail award returned this year, honouring the bench manager who has the greatest impact on their team’s success.
Most Help Off the Track goes to a skater who contributes strongly to the league behind the scenes. The Encore Award (“winning the afterparty”) represents the fun side of Toronto Roller Derby.
The D-VAS introduced a new award this season, the Draw First Blood award. This award goes to a team member that always brings 100% to every practice, consistently shows the most enthusiasm, and pushes the team. A brief collection of accolades from Scrappy’s teammates:
“There’s a lot of personalities, varying skill levels, and personal and team goals to navigate. Scrappy finds the balance with such confidence and positivity. She keeps us focused, makes us work, and brings the fun! … She wanted the team to really work at this sport we all love, but she never made those who needed a lower intensity feel excluded … She motivates the D-VAS into getting the best out of practice and scrimmages. She is gracious and effective when it comes to skater feedback and giving tips to get you to your best level. … she makes the team committed and perform with all their heart, as she always does. All heart, that’s Scrappy.”
The Downright Awesome Award, named for its first recipient in 2009 (“Downright Dirty” Dawson) recognizes someone who makes a positive change in ToRD culture. This is also a pay-it-forward award, with each year’s recipient picking the winner the following year. Last year’s winner, Honey Boom Boom, honored Morton, for all of her hard work behind the scenes throughout the season, including organizing the annual league draft. Previous winners of this award are:
- 2009: Dawson
- 2010: Speedin Hawking
- 2011: Chronic
- 2012: Babushkill
- 2013: Betty Bomber
- 2014: Mr Force
- 2015: Honey Boom Boom
The ToRD Heart of Gold Award, also known as the Crankypants Award (named in honour of our former announcer Cranky), recognizes a non-skater for their contributions to the growth and development of ToRD. This year’s winner is volunteer extraordinaire Casey McNally, who contributes to every single event during the ToRD season, whether that is selling tickets, working the beer table, helping with setup or teardown or even donating raffle prizes. Thank you, Casey, for everything you do for ToRD!
Previous winners of this award are:
- 2012: Mr Force
- 2013: The Reverend Ramirez
- 2014: Wencer / Mr Whistler
- 2015: Derby Nerd
the 2016 ToRDie of the Year is Dawson. ToRDies of the Year goes to a skater who “has experienced on-track success and who has best exemplified the values and spirit of ToRD on and off the track this past season. Our league values include: Community, Inclusivity, Empowerment, Development, and Respect.” A veteran skater, Dawson is the epitome of the heart and soul of Toronto Roller Derby, a magical combination of skill, attitude, fun and passion for the game that is infectious.
5 and 10-years!
At every End of Season event, we recognize our veteran members who have reached their 5-year mark with Toronto Roller Derby. The people to hit that milestone this year were:
- Biggley Smallz
- Free Range Clam
- Joss Wheelin’
- Lexi Con
- LowBlow Palooza
- Mazel Tough
- Moose Knuckles
- R2 Smack U
- Viktory Lapp
As this was Toronto Roller Derby’s 10th Season, we were thrilled to be able to honour members who go back to the very beginning! 10 years is a long time, and it is an age in roller derby terms. Congratulations to the following folks for sticking with it:
- Betty Bomber – D-VAS (original), Death Track Dolls, CN Power / ToRD All-Stars
- Classic Joker – ToRD Officials
- G-Force!! – Chicks Ahoy!, CN Power, D-VAS
- Mia Culprit – D-VAS (original), Gore-Gore Rollergirls, Smoke City Betties, CN Power / ToRD All-Stars
- Penny Whistler – ToRD Officials
Two other one-time awards were handed out:
In honour of their continued service to and work for Toronto Roller Derby, G-Force!! and her husband Mr Force were recognized as The Big Gs, with a trophy that featured a dinosaur on it. As one of the rare 10-year skaters in ToRD, and a long time trainer, advisor and committee member G-Force!! has put in countless hours over the years. If you lined up those hours end to end they would certainly break a metaphor halfway around the world. Mr Force of course is the brains and brawn behind layer9.ca, the most extensive archive of ToRD video footage going back to the first season. ToRD would not be where we are without their efforts.
Former league president, and retiring skater Mazel Tough was honoured with the Tough as Nails award. In her years with the league Tough served multiple years on the executive and basically made everything work. Her leadership, perseverance, commitment and friendship will all be missed greatly.
Thank you to everyone on the EoS Committee for putting together a wonderful, fun event to mark Season 10, thank you also to Bill Murray for being our host, and congratulations to all of this season’s winners!