KIRKCALDY woman Angie Thomas has an alter-ego.
By day she teaches the gentle martial art of Tai-Chi in local health centres and retirement homes, but when she puts on her skates, she becomes Alma Geddon, the ‘bringer of destruction’ in the fast and aggressive female sport, roller derby.
Angie (40) took up roller derby two-and-a-half years ago, joining Edinburgh club Auld Reekie Roller Girls after spotting a flyer on a shopping trip to the capital.
And on Saturday she flew out to Toronto, Canada, to compete for Scotland in the first ever Roller Derby World Cup, which will be streamed live over the internet.
“It’s the very first time that this has been done,” Angie told SportsPress. “Roller derby is the fastest growing sport on the planet and it’s reached a point where it’s big in enough countries to warrant a World Cup.
“Up to now America has lead the way. It’s their sport, and we’ve been drawn in the same group as them, which we’re really excited about.
“The girls on the USA team are are pretty much our heroes. What they can do on the track is fantastic.Now we get to play them and it’s an incredible opportunity.
“Our aim will be to play our best, enjoy ourselves, learn from the experience and show people that we love roller derby in Scotland.”
Invented in America in the 1920s, roller derby is a game played by two teams on an oval track. Each team fields five players made up of one attacker, known as a jammer, and four defenders, called blockers.
To score, jammers must make their way through the opposition blockers, earning points each time she manages to lap a player on the opposing team.
“It’s full contact, but there are lots of rules,” Angie explained. “Safety is something that’s taken quite seriously.
“It’s quite a strategic game as well. There’s a lot of thinking involved as well as the rough stuff. It’s great fun.”
Each roller derby player has the option of choosing a name for herself, and Angie’s fits in perfectly with her style of play.
“I’m the bringer of descrutcion!” she said. “My middle name is Alma, and I’m a blocker, so it’s my job to hit the opposition jammer down or help my jammer get through buy knocking the other blockers out of the way.
“The name suits the way I play. I found that having that alter-ego helped me in the first instance to step up and get a bit of confidence.”
Angie, who is also the Scots assistant coach, is the only Fifer on the team, but hopes to encourage more locals to try the sport.
“There’s no roller derby in Fife,” she explained. “I book the hall at the Bowhill Centre in Cardenden every Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m for some extra skating.
“If someone wanted to come along and see what we’re all about they would be more than welcome.
“We do accept male members into the league but generally they come in as referees. Men’s roller derby has not really taken off yet.
“It’s quite nice to be involved in a sport where ladies are at the forefront of what’s going on.”
n The Roller Derby World Cup begins today (Thursday) and can be viewed on www.derbynewsnetwork.com.