|Photo by Ramon Aiello, 2013|
QF: First, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself? (Job, pets, favorite food, etc.)
CK: My favorite food is cheese. I have 2 ten year old kitties and 2 one year old doggies. I have a
Bachelor's degree in Medical Technology and work for a Medical Group laboratory which means I perform lab tests to help diagnosis and treat you when you see the doctor. I'm looking at going back to school for my Master's in Nutrition.
QF: What's your derby name and why did you choose it?
CK:My derby name is Smitten Kitten because I love kitties. My number is 88 because Back to the
QF: How long have you been involved in derby and in what aspects have you been involved?
CK: I started playing roller derby in 2009. In 2011 I transferred to Central New York Roller
Derby, which I still call home, and very quickly began taking on jobs with recruitment and
coaching newbies, organizing fundraisers, and was elected as Secretary on their Board of
Directors. I still remain in that position and occasionally coach our newbie and league practices.
Last season I played with our All Star travel team but took a step back from competitive play this
season. I intend on getting back into that next year.
QF: Now I am sure this is the question everyone wants to know the answer to, why the heck did
you agree to coach The Quadfathers :) ?
CK: The Quadfathers are CNYRD's brother league so I've been around these guys for a few years.
This season they were looking for some help so I volunteered to be around to run some practices
and help with whatever they needed. I don't think anyone expected it to turn into a full time gig,
but I'm happy it did.
QF: So, you have been coaching us for about 1/2 of a season and we currently are 3 and 2.
Congratulations on getting us to this point. What has been your favorite moment so far?
CK: I don't have a single favorite moment. Every practice the guys work harder. Every game the
teamwork improves. They bust their assess and they leave smiling. Watching them give their all at
practice and at games makes me happy.
QF: Do you have any other hobbies or pastimes that you enjoy besides derby?
CK: I like cooking and baking. And taking pictures of things I cook and bake.
QF: Any insight you can give to aspiring derby coaches specifically men's derby coaches?
CK: Derby men's locker rooms stink. Have your halftime team meetings elsewhere.
...And here is what a few of our veteran skaters had to say about our new Coach.....
Tommy Talbot aka TOM-A-HAWK #1225:
“I feel this season has been a lot of fun but also a lot of hard work so far, and having Kitten step up
and coach us knowing that we have a lot of strong personalities to contend
with has been great. She has made us all bust our butts out there and has done it in a positive way where we feel we need to give her 150% at every practice and every game.”
Stephen Burt aka Bobby Brady #8
“We are very fortunate to have Coach Kitten step in this season. She has played a key role in our
season and has done a great job at keeping the team unified. Whether it be during practice or in a
bout she has been the extra eyes and guidance that we need. We really appreciate her taking the
role as Coach and look forward to finishing up this season strong.”
Graham Espe aka Grambo #37:
“The team was a bit lost over the winter. We had the drive for a really good season - Brandon stayed on as captain for a second year, and we were all excited to build on what we accomplished last year. I
think everyone felt like things were starting to gel in our teamwork and camaraderie but coaching
each other adds stress that no one wants. Kitten stepped up initially as a favor for a couple
practices and it went great. She's really pushed the team into a more positive space and knows how
to handle lots of strong personalities without getting flustered. I know I'm in better shape than I've
ever been in my life, and part of that is definitely from her practices. I'm excited to see what the
So, if you see Kitten, give her a high five and congrats on the new position and on keeping us in line!