April’s All-Star of the Month: Val Killmore!

Name:  Val Killmore

Number:  2

What’s the story behind your name and number?
I wanted something that was easy to mix with my real name, which is also Val, and was funny and easy to remember at the same time.  Plus, Val Capone was already taken by an amazing skater (sad face).  My number is the same number I used when I played college soccer.  It will always be my lucky number.

What positions do you play?
I primarily jam but will also block or pivot occasionally.

What is your favorite thing about derby? What first attracted you to the sport?
I knew absolutely nothing about roller derby when I first started. I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know anything about the sport besides the fact that women hit each other on skates.  I was attracted by the challenge.  I remember thinking I need to do something competitive and organized, but I want a challenge where I won’t be told I was playing too “rough”.  Then I met very inspirational athletes who were doing things on skates I haven’t seen before and they all served a purpose on the team on the track and off the track to help keep the league functional. I immediately felt empowered to do more and got sucked into the world of derby.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from playing?
I have learned that roller derby is not just a sport, its a family.  When you need support they will always be there.  There are so many different personalities involved and we are able to get past our differences and accept each individual for who they are.

What are your goals as a player?
To work hard until my good gets better and my better becomes best.  I aspire to be an athlete that is humble and hard working at the same time.  My goal is not to become better than my teammates, but to become better than myself.  I hope to always grow as an athlete and keep climbing until my legs literally fall off.

What is your most memorable moment on the track?
My most memorable moment was when I played against Assassination City with my old teammates on the Southern Misfits.  We knew the game was going to be hard and when we pulled out the win near the last few jams the whistles blew and we all started screaming and jumping.  Skaters were giving each other hugs and crying because they were so happy.  We were all on one page in that moment and I will never forget how a hard fought win feels like.

What type of gear do you prefer?
I have so many different preferences depending on what surface I am skating on.  Atom wheels have been faithful to me on non slip surfaces but I have found the backspins with Vanilla to be awesome on those slippery ones.  I love the DA45 sure grip plates and the best boots usually come from Riedell.  All this being said, gear can not make you a good skater. It may help but I can always tell the difference in a skater who works hard on crappy skates next to a skater who thinks her skates will do all the work for her.

Do you have a favorite song to skate to or a theme song?
Any song from Straight Line Stitch, Acasia Strain, or We Came As Romans. If you haven’t heard of them then I really don’t have time to explain.  It might be a little too loud for you. ;P

Val, during warm-ups, waiting for bout time so she can kill more (Photo: Craig Judd)

What is your favorite sign or cheer you’ve seen or heard from the crowd?
“RED STICK, RED STICK, OI, OI, OI” of course!

If you could arm wrestle any person in the league, who would you arm wrestle and why?
Probably G String, because I can tell she lifts weights and I like the challenge.

Is there a teammate with whom you work the best?
I think I work best with Little Miss Maggot, but she is an amazing skater and pretty much everyone works well with her.  If Beat Ho Ven had a wig then it will definitely be him because he knows all my moves and can read my mind.

What sports did you play before you laced up the quads and took to the flat track?
Track, soccer, volleyball, and basketball

What do you do when you’re not skating?
When I’m not watching cute little babies or attending symphony concerts to watch Beat Ho Ven conduct, I am working out or training off skates.

Do you have any advice to anyone thinking about taking up derby?
Take a risk and I promise you will not regret it.  Derby is life changing for the better.  You will gain a level of respect you never knew you had for yourself while simultaneously meeting incredible women from around the world.

When did you join Red Stick Roller Derby?
I transfered from the Hub City Derby Dames to Red Stick in September of 2012.  I started skating with the Derby Dames in their 2010 season.

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