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Featured Skater: Katrina or Random NPC

Name: Katrina or Random NPC

Number: 4

Team/League History: I started skating as a junior skater back in 2008 with the Emerald City Junior Gems. It was a really different game back then skating on a youth team and seeing the game develop out of the resurgence of roller derby.

I aged up into the adult league with the Emerald City Roller Girls and even skated in Scotland with Granite City Rollers for a short time when I studied abroad. I decided to retire after 6 years of playing to let my body rest and recover from a knee injury.

But….now I’m back with a new name and a new team! I loved building up my skills last year during newbie training and relearning the game as a Keweenaw Roller Derby skater.

Year you became involved in roller derby: 2008

How did you get involved with roller derby? See above.

Where are you from originally? My hometown is Eugene, Oregon. I moved up to the Keweenaw 2 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin.

Name a fun little known fact about you: I once had the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama on my birthday. My university just happened to be hosting a visit and got a chance to hear him speak and shake his hand.

How did you pick your name? As this is my third roller derby name, I struggled with finding one that fit me as a person now and wasn’t in active use by another skater. I knew I wanted to have a nerdy one and picked out a few D&D themed ones. Random NPC just came to me after stewing on the idea for about a week. I like that it can connect to various nerd tops from TTRPG to video games.

Do you have a pre-game ritual? I like to make a playlist especially for warmups and waiting before hitting the track.

What is your favorite drill at practice and why? I love footwork and agility drills. I’ve always felt pretty confident in my skating skills and like the artistry of it. Kind of like dancing.

How would you describe your derby playing style? Twinkle toes. I love juking other players and getting them to slip up so I can slip past. Sometimes I like to call it my drunken style because I’m always bouncing around and catching myself at the last moment. It’s all to keep momentum and movements fluid and helps with injury prevention. I like being flexible to be what my team needs.

What is your job outside of roller derby? And how, if at all, has it contributed to your experience of roller derby?  I am a library director. There are a lot of librarians who play roller derby (even in the Keweenaw). I think it’s having an alter ego, like Wonder Woman and Batgirl. Maybe with all the quiet and stationary work during the day, we feel the need to shake things up in our spare times.

What advice do you have for people who want to get involved in roller derby? Roller derby is such a fun community to be a part of. There’s a reason I keep getting drawn back into it. Volunteering at bouts is a great place to learn more, be involved, and give back. 

It’s not always as intense as you see at bouts, too. You don’t get to see how we check in with each other after a hard hit/fall or an injury. We may hit hard but we have big hearts that care too. That support, connection, and encouragement is priceless.

And lastly, favorite places in the Keweenaw?  I love driving up to Copper Harbor and hiking around Hunter’s Point Park especially in the fall as the leaves begin to change. Then finish off the trip with a pint at Brickside Brewing before heading back along 26.