Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Interview with Valkyrie Center Kelli Gillispie

Kelli (far left) and teammates at recent Valkyrie media day

Question #1: How did you hear about the new LFL team in Minnesota and what made you interested to play?

Answer: Actually, my boyfriend ran across it on TV about 2yrs ago and it kind of became a Friday night ritual to watch with some of our neighbours. Then litearlly within 5 minutes of the LFL's announcement that MN would have an expansion team, my neighbour emailed me the good news! Since most of my life I've been an athlete it was exciting to hear about an opportunity to be a part of a competitive team sport again; and even better one I've always wanted play, but never had the chance till now.

Question #2: Did you have any experience in athletics prior to trying out for the Valkyrie or is this all new to you?

Answer: Fortunately, I've had plenty of athletic experiences which have proved to be very beneficial! The majority of my experience comes from gymnastics, soccer, and track.

Question #3: Have you been surprised or disappointed with the level of support/interest/fan engagement?

Answer: I've definitely not been surprised in the level of interest, partially because who isn't going to have some curiosity as to what this league is about with the name Lingerie Football League. As for the level of support, especially from fans, friends & family, it has been so overwhelming and positive it's Amazing! WE THANK-YOU! And I believe a big part of this is from the Valkyrie players & Coaches really putting themselves out there, dedicating themselves and working extremely hard on building a strong competitive team that plays real football.

Question #4: How are you able to balance running a business, civic involvement and friends/family while playing lingerie football?

Answer: LOL, It's quite the balancing act and some days I wonder myself! We all make sacrifices, which our friends and families have been really understanding about so it makes it easier. Then thankfully, we have an amazing coaching staff that really tries to work with our schedules because they realize we have full time jobs that need to pay the bills. However, keeping my priorities in check, making sacrifices and maintaining a healthy lifestyle definitely help.

Question #5: Have you received any negative feedback about playing from other city council members or others in the community?

Answer: First, I'm never going to apologize for being an athlete because athletics is a main component of who I am today. Besides that these are two parts of my life that I keep very seperate.........With that being said, there was one gentleman that wasn't to thrilled about it, but that's probably because if I hadn't run he would've been re-elected. LOL Overall, though everyone has been really supportive and I've received a tremendous amount of positive comments about the team, the hard work we put in and how much fun people have watching us play.

Question #6: Are you comfortable in "uniforms” the LFL requires you to wear?

Answer: The uniforms are what they are. I grew up as a gymnast and now live on a lake, where you are always in a swimsuit so, it's not as much about being comfortable as it is being confident in who you are.

Question #7: Are you planning on playing again next year?

Answer: Who wouldn't want to play with this group of athletes as long as they can? The Valkryie are such an amazing group of competitors with the most dedicated coaching staff and I'm very proud to be apart of this family! At the same time we all know that if we don't put in the hard work, we will be, it's ultimately left in our hands.

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