‘I want others to get the same opportunities’

Picture of is Portsmouth Roller Wenches - an all-lady roller skating group that is skating around Southsea skate park in a national bid with other skate groups to cover the distance of the Olympic torch relay.' 'Everyone's efforts will also be in aid of the charity SportsAid.' 'Caption from top left - (names of the women are their Portsmouth Roller Wenches nicknames)'Harold Bashup, Smirkules, Slam Boleyn, Tess of the Derby Wheels, Miss Dynamighty, Peggy Peril, R.I.P. McMurphy, Lady Von Whack'n'Smack, No Pain - No Elaine, R R Cool J, Psyclone Destroy'her, Brookslide, Moscow Cruel, Fanny Haddock,  Hel'on 8 Wheels and Gutterball.
Picture of is Portsmouth Roller Wenches - an all-lady roller skating group that is skating around Southsea skate park in a national bid with other skate groups to cover the distance of the Olympic torch relay.' 'Everyone's efforts will also be in aid of the charity SportsAid.' 'Caption from top left - (names of the women are their Portsmouth Roller Wenches nicknames)'Harold Bashup, Smirkules, Slam Boleyn, Tess of the Derby Wheels, Miss Dynamighty, Peggy Peril, R.I.P. McMurphy, Lady Von Whack'n'Smack, No Pain - No Elaine, R R Cool J, Psyclone Destroy'her, Brookslide, Moscow Cruel, Fanny Haddock, Hel'on 8 Wheels and Gutterball.
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Taking part in an Olympic challenge would be a tough task for many people.

But this daring group of combat roller derby skaters don’t have any fears about joining a huge national bid to cover the distance of the Olympic Torch Relay route.

All 38 members of Portsmouth Roller Wenches will skate 1,000 laps each around a 88ft by 53ft makeshift course at Southsea Skatepark, in Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, on Saturday, June 16.

Other skating groups from around the country will be clocking up the same number of laps at different venues at the same time.

By the end of it everyone will have clocked up a staggering 103,890 laps – which is the equivalent of 3,787 miles, the distance of this year’s torch relay.

The challenge, which was set up by skating organisation Severn Roller Torrent, will also help to raise money for SportsAid, a charity which helps young people get into sports.

Ellie Blenkarn-Tancock, 36, has been a member of Portsmouth Roller Wenches since last September.

Ellie, of Warren Park, Havant, says: ‘I’m really chuffed to be involved in this.

‘It’s going to be a huge effort by so many skating groups across the country.

‘It’s going to be fun and exciting to think that we’re helping to achieve something special.

‘I hope that loads of people from across Portsmouth will turn up to support us at Southsea Skatepark.

‘We need all the encouragement we can get.’

Ellie says she is confident that the all-female group will manage to skate 1,000 laps.

‘A lot of the group have been skaters for a long time – and because they’re used to being a part of a combat sport they won’t see it as a huge challenge.

‘It’ll be more like a training exercise to them.

‘I have so much fun skating. It’s a lifestyle rather than just a hobby.

‘It’s also great to meet new people.’

She adds: ‘I’m glad that we also get the chance to raise money for charity in the process.

‘Since I’ve been a roller derby skater I’ve seen how skating has improved my quality of life.

‘Now I want others to be given the same opportunities that I have been given.

‘A lot of the team have managed to get a fair bit of sponsorship already which is great.

‘I hope we can raise as much as possible.’

To donate, all you have to do is visit justgiving.com/roller-derby-olympic-torch-relay