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Bomber Roller Girls whip it just like filmstar Drew

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: April 17, 2010

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IF THE recently released movie Whip It is anything to go by the sound track to their lives is rock and they do their own stunts.

The Lincolnshire Bomber Roller Girls are the only roller derby team in the county and since the cut-throat world of the sport has been brought to the big screen by director Drew Barrymore, it's not just the Bomber Girls' opponents who want a piece of them. Everybody wants to find out what roller derby is really about.

Released in cinemas last week, Whip It is an adaptation of the book Derby Girl by Shauna Cross.

Starring Ellen Page, Julliette Lewis and Drew Barrymore, the film is an unabashedly entertaining tale of female empowerment and sisterly solidarity within a low ranked roller derby team in America.

Established two years ago by team member Emma Tremlett (She'za Pain), The Lincolnshire Bombers were formed the year after Cross's book was published and more than a century after the sport was invented in 1920s America. Training at Yarborough Leisure Centre every weekend, the Lincolnshire Bombers play regular matches against teams from around the country. Last weekend they played the Edinburgh team Auld Reekie's Twisted Thistles. And on May 15 they will be playing the Royal Windsor Roller Girls at the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground.

Lisa Kennedy (Lil' Cherry Kick'her) joined the Lincolnshire Bomber roller girls a year ago. So what made her swap her heels for wheels?

"I met Emma through work and we became friends on facebook," says Lisa. "She bombarded me with messages about the roller girls and they intrigued me. It was something new so I went to a session."

When Lisa attended her first session her only skating experience had been garnered during childhood.

"I had a pair of those skates that you clip onto your shoes when I was little," says Lisa. "But I couldn't skate when I first went to a session. Most girls can't. I borrowed some spare kit to take part in the session. The first thing you learn is how to fall. Right from the start you are chucking yourself on the floor so you get over the fear quite early."

At the time she started training with the Lincolnshire Bombers Lisa was committed to regular Thai Boxing sessions but she discovered that she enjoyed the skating more.

"I thought I had found my thing with Thai boxing," says Lisa. "But the roller girls were so lovely I wanted to keep going back to more sessions. It's not just the skating either, they do all sorts of fundraising things like car boot sales and events. I just became completely immersed in the group."

Lisa and the rest of her team have already watched Whip It at The Odeon and they enjoyed it.

"I think the film gets across the ethos of roller derby quite well," says Lisa. "It shows how passionate people get about it. The film doesn't actually show an awful lot of roller derby but it is a useful introduction for people who don't know anything about it."

Currently there is no official roller derby league in the UK. The Lincolnshire Bombers have to organise their own matches and they play by the rules of the American roller derby governing body; the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

"A London roller derby team have just become the first team outside America to become part of the WFTDA," says Lisa. "I would love to see roller derby become as popular as sports like netball and hockey. More and more people are finding out about it now and people are finding that it is totally different. You don't have to be really athletic to start but once you start you realise the importance of fitness. It doesn't feel like a session at the gym – you just get on with it and you forget that you have burnt off around 300 calories. Roller derby is a great way of keeping fit without knowing you are doing anything."

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  • Profile image for This is Lincolnshire
    James, Lincolnshire  |  April 23 2010, 9:24AM

    I like roller blading.

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