Meet the Officials – Kelly Killpowski

How did you first hear about roller derby? 

I first heard about the Bruisers through Latina Heat (who happens to be my fabulous and talented hair stylist). When I first moved to Milwaukee in 2010 and started to see her for my salon services, she told me about the league & I started to come to the bouts to watch her play. The rest is history!

How long have you been a Brewcity Bruiser Official? 

This is my 3rd season – my first as a skating official (in training)!

What made you decide to be an Official?  

After I started attending the bouts regularly (and was enthusiastic about it!), Heater encouraged me to get involved as a volunteer, too. I was looking to get more involved in Milwaukee and meet new people, so it was a perfect fit for a relative newbie, too. I went to an interest meeting and decided to become a member of the league as a Non-Skating Official 3 years ago – and it’s been a fantastic decision. I credit her for getting me involved, and credit the league, the sport, and the spirit of derby for keeping me here.

What made you switch from being a NSO to a Referee? 

I was terrified about the concept of skating – so, that’s why I tried it. I am a firm believer in doing things that scare you or challenge you, and learning to skate has been a TRUE challenge for me, both mentally and physically. Though I’ve always been active or involved in some sort of sport, I had really no roller skating experience; I started from ground zero. I am so proud of myself for pushing through (it’s SO MUCH FUN!) and look forward to continuing to grow and improve, with the awesome support from fellow officials and skaters alike. Participating in Bootleggers (BCB’s rec league) and learning to skate have really made me appreciate and understand the sport so much more.

What was your proudest moment as a Referee (or Non-skating Official)? 

Most recently, passing my skating skills test on my way to becoming a skating referee! Gotta admit, I cried a little bit.

What was your favorite bout to work? 

They all have great and exciting moments – which is why I love them all! I always enjoy working championship bouts & seeing the crowd get into it. I also have been lucky to officiate for the Blitzdkrieg and for the Micro Bruisers – so fun. I like them all. Can I say all of them? (People who know me know I have lots of favorite things. Sorry, can’t pick here.)

What’s your favorite NSO position? 

Jam timing, no doubt. I also love working the inside white board! Crap, I’m doing it again.

Best fall during a practice? 

My first boot camp – right on my tail bone. I was sore for weeks, but I got a good fall out of the way (so I told myself) so I could keep going and not be scared of falling any more.

Best fall during a game? 

None, yet!

What’s your favorite part of being on Team Zebra? 

All the parts? It’s a goofy, fun, supportive, smart, and sassy group of people. Everyone is welcomed and embraced for their quirks. I don’t have family here in the state, so I feel lucky to call the Zebras one of my WI families.

What would you say to people who were thinking about becoming an Official? 

YOU CAN DO IT! (Waterboy voice). But seriously, you should.

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