Local junior roller derby player earns spot on Team Canada

LEFT: Smacklemore (Marissa Stocker) and her older sister, Mad-Dawg (Madison) after an MVP win.

LEFT: Smacklemore (Marissa Stocker) and her older sister, Mad-Dawg (Madison) after an MVP win. Photo submitted.

When Marissa Stocker started roller derby in 2013, she had no idea it could take her to the national stage. Now, at 17-years-old, she has earned a spot with Team Canada on the junior roller derby team.

“My sister, ‘Mad-Dawg,’ is the reason I joined roller derby in the first place,” says Stocker, referring to her older sister, Madison, by her roller derby name. “I owe a lot of my success to her.”

Team tryouts took place over summer of 2017 and the top 25 were announced by coaches this week. Stocker, also known as “Smacklemore” in the roller derby community, attended tryouts in Chilliwack, BC, with the support of her family.

“I got a massive surprise when I showed up at tryouts to find my sister getting out of the car. My nerves immediately went away as soon as I saw her. It meant so much to me to have her there, supporting me,” said Stocker.

Stocker skates with the Lethbridge Roller Derby Guild, who have junior and adult roller derby programs. Her dedication to the sport had her move up quickly and she now practices and plays with the adult team. Last year, she also skated with a Western Canadian all-star team at a tournament in the U.S. According to LRDG coach Caroline Reimer, her success comes as no surprise.

“Watching one of our skaters like ‘Smacklemore’ (Stocker) grow over the past four years and develop into a nationally-ranked skater, has us over the moon. We couldn’t be more proud of her. Smack will represent our league, city, province and nation very well,” said Reimer.

Photo courtesy Lizz Mock, elleMENTAL Photography.

Photo courtesy Lizz Mock, elleMENTAL Photography.

Next steps for Stocker and Team Canada include getting to know each other through video chat, followed by their first practice in October. In April of 2018, the roster of 25 will be cut down to 15-20 skaters, who will attend the 2018 World Cup in July.

“I am so fortunate to have the chance to work with some of the best derby players and coaches in the country,” said Stocker. I’m so excited to be given the opportunity to play a sport that I love on such a competitive level.”