Black Diamond Betties roar back into roller derby action 

Silence of the Slams bout set for Saturday

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SEAN ST. DENIS/COURTESY OF THE BLACK DIAMOND BETTIES - rollicking rematch The Black Diamond Betties will take on the Sea to Sky Sirens at the Whistler Conference Centre this Saturday (April 11).
  • Photo by Sean St. Denis/Courtesy of the Black Diamond Betties
  • rollicking rematch The Black Diamond Betties will take on the Sea to Sky Sirens at the Whistler Conference Centre this Saturday (April 11).

Silence of the Slams could be construed as a smidge misleading.

It's a fine horror movie riff for an edgy sport, but the Whistler Conference Centre will be anything but silent when Whistler's Black Diamond Betties strap on their skates to take on Squamish's Sea to Sky Sirens this Saturday (April 11). The event is being held as part of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF).

Lori O'Hare (Princess Slayah) and Alison Kemp (Gold E. Blocks) explained the Betties have been getting amped up for a big bout with their rivals down the 99, practicing five hours a week in preparations.

"We know that the Sirens will give us a very good game," O'Hare said. "We have been working hard at strengthening our walls and dialing in our strategy."

Kemp explained with Squamish being a larger centre, the Sirens have a larger player pool from which to draw, and can access coaching from nearby Vancouver to improve their skills. Still, the local side won't back down.

"They have a good, solid skill level on that team, especially this year after two years of strong recruiting," Kemp said.

"As a whole, they have more players of a more equivalent level of play. We are still quite divided," O'Hare explained. "We have some that are very strong and some that are very new."

A few Betties will have a little extra itch in their skates as time ticks down to the first whistle, as five "fresh meat" rookies will be making their debuts. However, with bouts being rare and a geographic challenger coming to town, it's not hard for all participants to get the blood flowing.

"They're our sister league. We have a great friendly rivalry," Kemp said of the Sirens.

"Both teams will be hungry to win. We're undefeated at WSSF at this point and bringing the Sirens to play us really does ramp up the Betties to want to win even more," O'Hare added.

"Knowing we only get to do it once or twice (a year) in our hometown, that makes it really special," Kemp finished.

The atmosphere will be killer for the bout, Kemp explained, noting WSSF organizer Watermark Communications has access to a top-of-the-line sound production system to help fans clearly understand what is happening and for the announcers to properly pump them up.

"There is nothing that compares with the World Ski and Snowboard Festival," Kemp said. "There is no venue that any team we know gets to play in as amazing as the Whistler Conference Centre. The acoustics are incredible. The building is beautiful. It's a big venue."

Kemp added there would be six big screens in the venue as well to ensure fans won't miss a moment of the action.

"This is unlike any other bout or event that we have been to on any level, international or local," she said. "(We have) the opportunity here to have a really great fan experience and a really great player experience."

Each bout is a huge undertaking, with six months of planning and "hundreds of man hours of work" behind it.

The bout will begin at 6 p.m. and doors will open at 5 p.m. All-ages general admission tickets are $15 while ringside tickets for those 19 and over are $25. Tickets are available at


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