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Derby girl talks life coaching, sport
Enthusiast delivers seminars in Las Vegas

Evan Kiyoshi French
Northern News Services
Friday, August 14, 2015

Michelle Chappell spent the last week in July racing around roller rinks and talking about overcoming "personal puzzles" in Las Vegas, Nev.

NNSL photo/graphic

Michelle Chappell, a life coach and member of the Diamond City Roller Derby team, delivered seminars to attendees to RollerCon 2015 - held in Las Vegas, Nevada - an event attended by as many as 7,000 people each year. - Evan Kiyoshi French/NNSL photo

The Diamond City Roller Derby Team member who runs a business "life coaching" in Yellowknife said she still has bruises on her legs from the week-long RollerCon conference that brought together between 5,000 and 7,000 roller derby enthusiasts from across the world.

"I probably got between 40 and 50 attendees in each of my seminars," she said. "It's pretty good, since I'm not that well known in the roller derby community yet."

Chappell said the conference invites people to deliver seminars on a variety of topics not necessarily related to the sport itself. She said she uses a metaphoric life-coaching tool, and helps people solve problems in their personal lives by "talking about roller skates."

"There are life skills that apply in roller derby," she said. "Part of the reason some people don't pick up skills is the comfort zone. If you want to get somewhere you've never been before, you have to get outside that comfort zone."

In roller derby, it's tough to get ahead and stay in the comfort zone.

The teams have five skaters a side. One on each team is the jammer. The jammers have to get through the pack of skaters before they can begin scoring, by lapping skaters on the opposite team.

She said she was attracted to it because it offered her an opportunity to work on her personal fitness, without having to step onto an ice rink.

"There aren't many sports targeted for women in Canada that don't involve ice in some way," she said. "All levels of fitness and ability are welcomed."

She said the Yellowknife team is officially a co-ed team but they haven't had any male members.

"Men do it too," she said. "There's the Men's Roller Derby Association. There are teams all over."

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