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Roller derby is a fantastic way to channel your inner superhero.
What began as a quest to make friends after moving to a new city has blossomed into one of Melodie Lapina’s greatest passions. For her, roller derby is more than a hobby — it’s an empowering sport that’s taken her all the way to the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup as a member of Team Philippines. “Roller derby is a fantastic way to channel your inner superhero,” says Lapina, who joined the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association in 2009 and now skates under the name Blair Block. “And skating at the World Cup was a dream come true. I constantly have to fight back the biggest smile on my face when I think about how far I’ve come.” Unlike the theatrical spectacle of roller derby in the 1970s, today’s sport uses a flat surface and demands athleticism and agility of its athletes. In preparation for the competition that ran Feb. 1 – 4 in Manchester, England, Lapina doubled her training schedule by adding five to six hours of weightlifting, cardio and high intensity intervals exercises to her usual six and a half hours a week of derby practice. Lapina’s efforts were worth it, though, as Team Philippines placed at 17 out of 38 teams which, she says, was a surreal experience. “Knowing I had the trust of my team, I felt a sense of calm as I stepped on the rink.”