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Get a roller derby adrenaline rush with The Rollergirls
The Windsor Rollergirls team
The Windsor Rollergirls have 40 active members

As Whip It, a film about roller derby, opens in the UK, we talk to the High Wycombe based Windsor Rollergirls.

Roller derby only reached the UK in 2006, but new teams are starting up on a weekly basis according to roller derby skater Mary Sweeney.

"With the film coming out, hopefully there'll be even more teams starting up," she said.

The fast contact team sport involves players wearing distinctive fashions and the use of skate name aliases.

Roller Derby
Roller derby is a fast-paced, full-contact sport for the over 18's played on the more 'traditional' quad roller-skates
Two teams of five skate together, anti-clockwise around an oval track. A point scorer from each team attempts to continually lap the pack, scoring a point for each opposing girl she passes.
Originally played in the US in the 1920s, the sport has seen a huge revival in the past decade, arriving here in the UK in 2006.
Roller derby is a predominantly female sport, although men's leagues are emerging and men can also get involved by becoming referees and officials.
Roller derby is the fastest growing sport for females right now, with 40+ teams in the UK.

Mary Sweeney, whose skate name is "Red Arrow" said that players enjoyed dressing up in fishnets, stripy knee high socks and vests.

"I'm called Red Arrow, because I'm a red head," she said.

"Girls get dressed up and wear fishnets and vests. Some people will do the minimum and wear the team colours, some people like to dress up. You can either doll yourself up as much as you want."

'Rink rash' is a common phenomenon amongst players, an injury caused by the fishnets they wear.

Players often find out about teams in their area online, using social networking sites, and enjoy an active social life.

Mary has been skating since August 2009, but the Windsor Rollergirls group has been running since 2007.

"With the film coming out hopefully there'll be even more teams starting up," said Mary, a former martial arts enthusiast.

"There's nothing really like it at the minute. I like the combo of skating fast, girls hitting you, working on the defence and the offence.

"The adrenaline rush is absolutely exhilarating.

"It's not just you're playing a sport. I'm not a gym bunny - it's got to be exercise by distraction. It's getting fit and sociable at the same time."

Roller Derby
Roller Derby started in the UK in 2006

Roller derby teams are 90 per cent female in the UK.

There is only one men's roller derby in the UK composed of referees affiliated with women teams.

To find out more, visit the Royal Windsor Rollergirls website.

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