Penny Whistler and Samiracle – photos by Neil Gunner
This month’s MVP shout out goes to this dynamic duo in stripes, without whom we literally could not do this: Penny Whistler and Samiracle!
Their tireless efforts ensure that ToRD has full ref crews for each of our games and this is no small feat! Did you know that roller derby games rely on crews of 7 skating officials (plus an alernate) watching pack play for penalties and points with double that number of non-skating officials managing the penalty box, tracking lines, and keeping score? Together, Penny and Samir have not only been refereeing derby games for many many years, but also work to recruit, train, and organize Toronto’s on and off skate officials.
This reffing dream team not only coordinates officiating efforts at home but represent our league at tournaments abroad. These two are often called on to work ref crews at the highest levels. Last year alone, Samir refereed the WFTDA Division 2 tournament in Wichita, plus the Division 1 Playoffs in Vancouver and Montreal, where he was joined by Penny. Penny was additionally invited to Beijing (!!!) for the International HeForShe Roller Derby Invitational sponsored by UN Women China, where she officiated the very first public roller derby game in China. Both Penny and Samir are recognized internationally in the community for their incredible commitment to the sport and it is our turn to recognize them for all that they do to keep us safe on the track.
Please join us in recognizing these incredible volunteers, Penny Whistler and Samiracle!
Interested in joining Penny, Samir and the rest of our officiating crew, either on skates or off? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
She may be small but she’s MIGHTY – on and off the track! Affectionately nicknamed Babs, she stepped into a co-lead role on our Sponsorship Committee during our off season and, along with her co-lead Mina Von Tease, is working up some amazing new partnerships and sponsorships deals. Together they also lead an awesome team of sponsorship reps who are integral in helping us fund our league!
Babs should be renamed Babushkillin’ it!!! because she has seriously been a rock star over the past few months! She took the initiative to secure Toronto Roller Derby’s first TTC ads (check em out!), while simultaneously stepping up as our interim Vendor Manager to ensure that we have some great businesses and fun stuff to fill our vendor alley come our home opener (January 21st!!). Leave it to a teacher, mother, crafter, DERBY PLAYER, to really get stuff done! We <3 you!
Photo by Ashlea Wessel
This months MVP is Juggernaut J! Not only is she a staple on our SCB home team, but she has also been a HUGE support in this year’s off season. Juggs, as she’s affectionately known, worked tirelessly to plan and run our fresh meat program, giving our newest members an amazing start to their derby careers!
This job meant scheduling the trainers, organizing the Meat n Greet event for first timers, making practice goes smoothly, handling any and all feedback or questions from our Freshies, and she could even been seen on the Fresh Meat track offering some training herself! It is a GIANT job and our Juggernaut was more then successful. Also, let’s not forget that infectious smile!
Photo by Neil Gunner
Wencer is a tour de force. You can find him, before every bout, tearing around the Bunker making sure that the sound system is set up, the announcers have what they need, the 50/50 draw is underway, and the tv broadcast is ready to go. When he isn’t adding colourful commentary to the Rogers broadcast, Wencer is rocking mics for tournaments big and small — from WFTDA sanctioned events like ECDX to the Fresh and Furious. Not only is he a great ambassador for our league, he helps foster new announcing talent that helps improves fan experience and build understanding of our sport.
But Wencer’s commitment to derby goes well beyond announcing and event duties. He is one of the co-heads of TORD’s PR committee and the driving force behind much of our social media. Wencer’s attention to detail and strategic thinking have helped our league as we continue to build an online presence and develop our audiences.
Wencer, you are the comma that completes our sentence. We cloud not do this without you.
August 2016 MVPs of the Month – The Gs!
G-Force!! and Mr Force at D1 Omaha in 2015, by Marko Niemelä Photography
GOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo Forces!!! This dynamic duo is a no brainer for our August MVP(s) of the Month! G and Mr. Force are an integral part of our derby community and have been for years. They are part of the heart of league and do so much to help us keep going and growing!
G-Force has her hand in so many areas of the league we can’t even list all the things she does… but we’ll try! G has been a mainstay for Front of House for the last few seasons. You will also see her at every bout helping out or rocking her booth in our vendor alley selling her amazing chain maille jewelry. G even sold our merch at the Men’s World Cup in Calgary this year! She is the voice of reason during league conversations and she will also be the one to join you for a beer afterwards. Lastly, and this does not get as much attention as it should, is the incredible support G gives to the D-VAS, our newest ToRD members, year after year. She welcomes, she teaches, she makes friends. In short, we ♥ her.
Mr. Force is awesome in his own right. We’re pretty sure the entire league knows of his magical technical and video powers. He is there for every ToRD game, whether it be our bouts, tournaments, away games and tournaments hosted by other leagues, Roll Out or even some of our scrimmages. Mr. Force is a big reason why we as a league and as skaters are able to be better. The footage he shoots helps us in soooo many ways. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience saved in his archives which helps us devise strategies, learn what we need to improve on and see the progress we have made. What is even more amazing is that he makes this all accessible to us and our family, friends, and fans of the derby community. We also love watching his videos to hear Mr. Force just off-camera yelling encouragements “GOOOOOOOOOOOO D-VAS!!”.
Together these two make an amazing pair and one the league would truly be remiss without – WE LOVE YOU FORCES!!
MVP of the Month
Toronto Roller Derby is 100% volunteer-run. That means that everything from training to outreach to event planning is made possible by the efforts of our league members.
Every month, we recognize one member of the ToRD community for their extraordinary contributions to the league. Because there are many aspects to building and promoting a derby league, MVPs are recognized for lots of different reasons. But they all share one key attribute: they are the ones that take on the big, messy, and tough jobs. And we could not play the sport that we love without their help. Help us celebrate and thank Toronto Roller Derby’s MVPs!
July 2016 MVP of the Month – MORTON!
When something needs to get done, Morton makes it happen! Not only did she co-lead our WFTDA-Recognized Tournament Quad City Chaos in March 2016, but even before the start of this year’s season, Morton ensured that we had not one, but two!, successful home team drafts (and draft parties)! The home team draft is a core activity so that we can continue to successfully grow our teams and talent… and now she is gearing up to make it happen all over again this year!
That’s not all folks. Morton is an active member of our league’s Board of Directors and her love of the sport and league really shines through when she offers and completes updates to important league policies. She is a person of a thousand ideas! In addition to all of this, Morton not only skates with our home team SCB but she is also rocking things on the All-Stars team this year! An injury may have her recovering off-skates right now, but we are all looking forward to her being back on track and delivering the pounding hits she does so well! Thanks Em!