Meet Gapland’s newly wedded belle, Alyssa Reid (nee Minty). This 23 year-old is Rocanville born and raised. She is currently employed by the Regina Qu’Appelle health region as a continuing care assistant. Through this position she helps people maintain their independence and dignity, while continuing to live in their own home. This career choice fits her perfectly, as she is one of the most caring individuals in our league.
We aren’t certain if joining the Gapland Rollers was a choice for Heartlyss, due to the fact that she married into the family of our league president, hELLbilly Deluxe. Her version of the story is that she had actually been contemplating joining for a year. hELLbilly finally got her out to a practice in 2011 and she has been coming back every since. Heartlyss found that it was a perfect mix of physical activity and competition for her liking.
Our veteran skater, Crystal Brawl, had a lot to do with finding Alyssa a derby name. She had been toying with names using her nickname, ‘Lyssa’, but hadn’t decided on one yet. Crystal Brawl mentioned ‘Heartlyss’ at practice one night and the whole thing came together. Her derby number, 12, has great meaning to her. It is deeply rooted in her family and represents living life to its fullest, while never letting its instances bring you down.
Her absolute favorite position is jamming, but Heartlyss really enjoys every position the coaches ask her to fill. She loves the satisfaction and thrill she gets when she fights through the pack of skaters and scores points for her team. Her goal for the 2013 season is to continue to gain experience, build her skills, and play in her first bout. One of these has already been accomplished, when she participated in our game against the Killa Bees on June 15. Off the track, she wants to dedicate some time to build interest in our league and get some new skaters playing. “Derby is for everyone,” she says. “It doesn’t matter your shape, size, age, gender or skill level, there is a place for you in our league.” The highlight of her career to date has been simply taking a look in the rear view mirror. The first time she put on skates she could barely go 30 seconds without falling. Now, if Heartlyss is not flying around the track, she is taking/delivering hits with confidence.
In the 2012 season, Heartlyss received the ‘Relentlyss’ award. This refers to her attitude towards life. For instance, she switched over 20 work shifts last season in order to make derby possible. hELLbilly Deluxe explains this a bit more: “she always gets back up and keeps going, whether she is physically knocked down or takes a blow to her confidence. She always gets back up and carries on, letting nothing hold her back.” We are very lucky to have such a resilient woman as a part of our league.
Heartlyss shares that her derby idols are, “all the girls that have helped me learn to skate and give me the confidence to continue playing.” Don’t let her fiery red hair or derby name trick you; she is an incredibly compassionate person (she is also a surprisingly good dancer for a ginger!). Her next derby action will take place tomorrow, against the Halifax Harbour Grudges. The coaches are counting on her to continue improving her physical and mental game; they have seen incredible growth in her Gapland presence this season. Hopefully there will be some country on the playlist at the after party for her to groove to! Be sure to wish her congrats on her recent marriage (and good luck). We all know a place she can blow off some newlywed steam (hint: it ends in ‘apland’ and starts with a ‘g’)!