HUNDREDS of budding skaters collided last weekend as world-class roller derby teams came to Swindon for a two-day bootcamp.

After exchanging the second and fourth spots in the world rankings on Saturday night, the London Roller Girls and Rose City Rollers hosted the training sessions for skaters around Swindon and as far afield as Europe.

With around 1,000 people coming through the doors at Fustal in Kembrey Park on Saturday alone, the teams said the sport is growing in popularity since forming in the UK less than a decade ago.

Amy Ruffell, aka Raw Heidi, of the London Roller Girls, said: "We were the first roller derby team to set up in Europe, and up until yesterday we were fourth in the world.

"We invited the Rose City Rollers over to play us last night, who were number two in the world until we beat them and took second spot.

"Today we are running a bootcamp, so people from all over Europe, including from Oslo and Madrid, have come to be taught by them because they are one of the best teams in the world.

"We had about 1,000 people come last night, and I don't think we have ever had as many girls come along with colourful hair and tattoos."

Teaching blocking and general skating skills, Amy said the sport has similarities to American stoppage times, with the game spreading from North America in the noughties.

"It's a relatively new sport , but once you know about it you will spot it springing up all over the place," she said. "It is still slightly counter-culture but also immensely popular, as we have gone from one league here to more than 1,200 leagues worldwide, and hundreds in the UK.

"The girls here today are doing skills and drills with five girls in each team running for two minutes, so it is very similar to American spots in terms of stoppages. They are learning blocking drills and general skating skills.

"This if for intermediate and advanced levels, with everyone mixed up together, and we play at a high level which is why we have got such a good turnout.

"We have invited a world class team, so people come to be coached by them, and we only come against that level of play maybe once a year."

While an amateur sport at the moment, there are currently talks of taking the game professional.

"It's an entirely volunteer run community so nobody here gets paid for it," Amy added. "I think once you pump money into something from sponsors it gets corrupt, but there is a lot of discussion about whether it will be professional. I feel like we would lose something special if that happens. At the moment we have quite an innocent sport and people do it just because they love it.

"It is a full-contact sport, and people can find that quite surprising because it is predominantly played by women. There are those women who wouldn't dream of something like this, and those that say bring it on. We have quite an unusual group for that reason."