, Derry, New Hampshire


July 7, 2010

Roller derby skaters have a wild side

By day, Terri Armstrong is a quality regulatory specialist for a medical device company. But by night, she puts on crazy thigh-high socks, a black-and-white, polka-dot tutu, a Mr. Owl T-shirt and roller skates. She puts purple streaks in her hair, sucks on a Tootsie Pop and becomes Harmony Lix, a skating dervish on the Queen City Cherry Bombs, a New Hampshire roller derby team.

Armstrong, 41, originally from Londonderry, became interested in roller derby when two friends had their wedding reception at a roller skating rink.

"One of these friends is in the Boston roller derby league," Armstrong said. "It was my first time on skates since junior high."

Armstrong, now of Raymond, used to skate at Spinning Wheels in Londonderry, now Benson's Lumber and Hardware on Orchard View Drive.

"I checked out New Hampshire's roller derby and joined last August," Armstrong said. "You have to put your time in volunteering at bouts and training before joining a team."

She joined the Queen City Cherry Bombers in February. She also is on one of the derby's two intramural teams, the Granite Skate Troopers.

It's the state's original women's flat-track roller derby league. The women wear quad skates, rather than inline skates.

"It's a skater-run nonprofit organization that promotes women's athleticism while giving back to the local community," said Maggie Giadone.

Giadone, whose skating name in Saly D. Bug, is from Nashua and on the league's publicity committee and street team.

"Picking a name is ridiculously complicated," said Kristin Mahoney, a skater from Derry. "You cannot have the same, or even similar, name as any other roller girl in the world — it has to be unique."

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