One of the US's top roller derby skaters is coaching in Napier this weekend.

The highly experienced Sarah Hipel is co-captain of the Texas Rollergirls' Texecutioners and captained the Canadian team in the 2014 Blood and Thunder World Cup, thanks to dual citizenship.

Holly Harper, aka Betty Machete of Hawke's Bay team Bay City Rollers, said the team was committed to improving its rankings "and doing our region proud".

"If that means flying Sarah from the States to elevate our level, then hey, we'll do it," she said.


"We opened up registrations to all the leagues across the North Island and the response was phenomenal. We closed it down at 65 but there were nearly 100 inquiries.

"There are six Team New Zealand players participating this weekend who came fifth out of 30 teams from around the world in the Derby World Cup."

The "boot camp", at McLean Park's Rodney Green Centennial Event Centre, involves eight "gruelling" hours of skating today and tomorrow.

Hipel has developed cross-training techniques and skills for the sport.

She said New Zealand had world-class players, despite having fewer teams.

"We have been playing for a bit longer - this is my tenth year - but there are definitely some good players here.

"They have been playing for a few years now and are getting on well.

"Hawke's Bay is great and so is New Zealand - they are doing really well and ranked high in the world."


The Bay City Rollers moved up the New Zealand ranks last year from 12th to seventh.

Harper said a Freshmeat course would start on March 22 and the Guns and Roses, the Junior Squad, would start Easter Weekend.