Three Whanganui West Coast Bombers will get to feel the rough and tumble of World Cup roller derby as part of the New Zealand men's team to compete in Barcelona in April.
Blair Thomas-Greenem (aka Atomic Hamster), Adrian Price (aka Pony), and Palmerston North medical doctor Ryan Barber (Barber) have been selected for the New Zealand men's team. All three have played for the Kiwi men's team before.
The trio have also been regulars on court for the West Coast Bombers since the team went co-ed, but will find competition far more arduous against the big guns at World Cup level.
Bombers player/coach Emma Camden, aka Crystal Crush-Her, four from the Whanganui squad had been selected for national duty in Spain, but one could not commit to the tour
Roller derby is a fairly small fraternity, but growing in New Zealand, so not so surprising to gain selected from the provinces.
"We have had limited international exsposure when West Coiast Bombers lined up against a co-ed Australian side earlier this year. It was certainly a step up to another level, but at least we held them to the closest score of any of the other New Zealand teams on the day," Price said.
Both Thomas-Greenem and Price will gain more international experience when they play in an Australian men's derby in Coffs Harbour next month.
Thomas-Greenem will play for Perth, while Price will play for a Newcastle squad."We are still actively trying to grow the West Coast Bombers," Camden said.
"We have about 50 members and an active playing squad of around 30, eight or nine of which are men. Our aim is to increase numbers to be able to field a men and women's team as well as maintaining our co-ed match-ups.
"But it is hard to find all men teams to play. In large centres like Auckland where the skill level is a bit better girl side don't mind playing men's teams from the provinces."