A PACK of feisty girls are drumming up support for their furious 'British Bulldog-style' roller skating bouts at Wycombe Sports Centre.

Shoulder-barges, body checks and speed are all part of the appeal of Roller Derby – an all-female American sport, which is beginning to catch on in the UK.

Royal Windsor Roller Girls are holding weekly practice sessions and had a crowd of more than 350 people watch their first competitive match at the sports centre last year.

Teams of five skate round an oval rink, careering into each other as 'blockers' on both sides try to clear a path for a 'jammer' to swerve through the crowd and score points.

Mary Sweeney, a roller girl who takes the skate name Red Arrow, said: “It's proving to be quite addictive and women are flocking to it.

“It's a great opportunity for girls to let off steam - we pour our blood and guts into it. When some girls see it for the first time they just get this look in their eyes and think 'I want to do that'.”

Whip It, a new American film directed by Drew Barrymore, features the sport and is about to be released in the UK, which Miss Sweeney hopes will further boost the sport's appeal.

She said: “It's already massive in America and new teams are starting up here every month. We want more girls to come and try it and more people to come and watch the bouts.”

The Royal Windsor Roller Girls next match at Wycombe Sports Centre is on Saturday, April 24, at 5pm. Their practice sessions are on Tuesday evenings.

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