A former Louth woman who has always had a passion for sport is set to skate her way to the Roller Derby World Cup in Dallas, Texas, in December.
Sharon Leese, 26, has been selected to represent team England who will be battling it out against 30 other countries.
After spending most of life living and being educated in Louth, Sharon headed off to pursue a career in design.
After having further education and employment in Middlesbrough, Lincoln and Leeds, one thing during has remained constant, her growing love for the sport of roller derby, which she has been playing for the last four and half years.
Now living in London, Sharon is part of the London Rollergirls where she plays under her skate name, Lexi Lightspeed and the team are the best in Europe and currently ranked the sixth best in the world.
Sharon said: “Roller derby is physical and aggressive, which is uncommon for a women’s sport. There are a number of men’s teams out there, and the sport for them is getting bigger, but it started out as a women’s grassroot sport and still is considered as such.
“I chose to play roller derby because I always enjoyed skating as a child, I also enjoyed the more high paced physical sports.
“When I heard what roller derby entailed I got really excited about the sport, I remember thinking, that’s something I could be good at.”
In the sport, Sharon plays the position of jammer, signified by the star symbol on her helmet.
There is only one jammer per team that plays on the track at once alongside the other four blockers. Her job is to try and skate through the pack of blockers and complete as many passes through them as possible to earn the points needed for a win.
Now that Sharon has been selected to play for Team England, she splits her time between the two sides, but her focus for now is very much the World Cup in Dallas.
Sharon added: “We head to Dallas in December and the World Cup takes place from December 4-7.
“I am really excited for the World Cup as I’ll get the chance to compete against the best skaters in the world and gain the opportunity to see how we fair as a nation in this sport. I hope to do my country and Louth proud and come home with a medal, hopefully gold.