By Lindsay Pantry
Wakey Wheeled Cats are set to welcome a new chairperson and five new members to the head committee in the biggest shake up of the league’s leadership in five years.
The Cats were founded in April 2009, and as a not-for-profit league, are governed by a head committee voted for by league members.
After founding the league with Steph ‘Feline Fatale’ Sellers, Cats co-founder Kirsty ‘Fu’ Quinn is stepping down as league chairperson.
Katie ‘Lookin’ Fur Trouble’ Swift was voted by her peers as the new chairperson, and will take on the role from January.
As co-founder and current travel team captain, Kirsty has been a major force in making the league what it is today.
She said: “When Steph and I founded WWC more than five years ago, it began with a group of six friends skating in circles in a hall the size of a badminton court. At the time, we were the 17th roller derby to start up in the UK. It was very new to us and building the league was completely trial and error – and hard work.
“Being in such a small city, it took us a long time and a lot of dedication to get where we are now; with a full sized track to practice on, over forty members in the league and every game we’ve played being covered in the local sports pages.
“Stepping down from a leadership role is a difficult decision to make, especially when it’s with a team you love and that you’ve built from scratch, but the time is right to allow new blood to take over and introduce fresh ideas into the league.
“I’m confident that Katie is the right leader for the Cats, and has a strong leadership team behind her.”
There have also been big changes to the make up of the head committee itself.
Richie Dunk is stepping down as head coach after more than two years guiding the development of the league.
Five Cats who have also been on the committee since its inception in 2009 are also standing aside.
Caroline ‘Florence Night In Jail’ Pegg will take over as head of training from Venetia ‘Ace Venclawher’ Beba; Anne ‘Acid Pain’ Body takes over the financial role from Amy ‘Peggy Bitchell’ Mitchell; Vicki ‘Wheelie Coyote’ Gray has stepped down as head of recruitment, replaced by Chrisse ‘Bat Hit Crazy’ Webster; Lindsay ‘Linda LuMardy’ Pantry will stand down as head of media, a role now taken by Lucy ‘Luce Lighnin’ Relins; and Lysette ‘Glory’ Bell takes over the charity and events role from Louise ‘Edd Hunter’ Edwards.
For the first time, the league has a vice chair, Katie ‘Honey Monsta’ Clayton, and a secretary, our head ref, Rob ‘Em Blind.
The league has also voted in two new skater advocates, Diana ‘Dee Tsar Star’ Bracewell and Janine ‘Bash’ Hubbard.
Kirsty added: “The Head Committee has been devoted to providing local women with an alternative athletic option and we are proud to represent Wakefield within the roller derby community. I love how well Wakefield has responded to the team and the support we have received.
“By voting in the new committee, the league has put their confidence in fresh blood to take the Cats on to a winning 2015. I look forward to seeing the Cats move forward and hope that roller derby remains in Wakefield for years to come.
“On a personal level, I look forward to being ‘a skater’ and being able to focus on being a strong skating team member. I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to make the team what it is today, and wish the new leaders every success.”
After a brief hand over period, the new committee will take on their roles in January 2015.
The Wakey Wheeled Cats Head Committee are:
Chairperson – Katie ‘Lookin’ Fur Trouble’ Swift
Vice Chair – Katie ‘Honey Monsta’ Clayton
Secretary – Rob ’em Blind
Training – Caroline ‘Flo’ Pegg
Merch – Zoe ‘Bruise Buffer’ Melia
Media – Lucy ‘Luce Lightnin’ Relins
Recruitment – Chrissie ‘Bat Hit Crazy’ Webster
Creative – Danielle ‘Dan’ Millea
Bout – Katie ‘Honey Monsta’ Clayton
Finance – Anne ‘Acid Pain’ Body
Charity & Events – Lysette ‘Glory’ Bell
Head Ref – Rob ‘Em Blind
Skater Advocates – Janine ‘Bash’ Hubbard and Diana ‘Dee Tsar Star’ Bracewell