A National Qualifying competitor at Newcastle and a former Assistant Coach at Torrington, Kinlee Whitney knows all about the impact that Speech and Debate can have on students' lives. Kinlee jumped on One Clap to reminisce about the way this activity has impacted her life and reflect on how the broader Wyoming Speech and Debate community is one of love and support.
Having a conversation with Kinlee Whitney is like slamming a coffee with a shot or two of espresso for good measure. Kinlee brings energy and life to every person lucky enough to interact with her - and I was lucky to get the chance to reconnect with Kinlee on the One Clap Podcast.
I was familiar with Kinlee as a passionate and excellent competitor when I was coaching for Torrington, and when she showed up in town for college at EWC with a desire to help out our team on the interpretative side, I was thrilled. She downplays her impact on that Torrington team, but Kinlee was an energizer who brought so many great ideas to the table and helped our students take their pieces to the next level. She was also a team community builder who was a positive force for all coaches and competitors.
In a quick episode of the pod, Kinlee shared her Speech and Debate story, discussed how coaching was for her a way to connect to a meaningful community, and reflected on the unique love and support that radiates from our Wyoming coaching and competitive community.
During our discussion on the podcast, Kinlee referenced the Wyoming State Speech and Debate Tournament in Lander several years ago. At that tournament, the Wyoming competitive and coaching community reached out to me and my family in a way that has prompted my eternal thankfulness. My young daughter had recently been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and underwent a scary and expensive surgery to remove part of her small intestine (since this surgery, Lucy undergoes infusion treatments and has been increasingly healthy thanks to the amazing medical care she has received). At that tournament, coaches and competitors did fundraisers and surprised me with a generous amount of cash and a cascade of love. In many ways, that moment solidified my commitment to give whatever I could give back to this community in love. I can attest first hand, our coaching and competitive community is one of support and overwhelming love.
Thanks so much, Kinlee, for coming by the One Clap Pod and sharing your story, ideas, and kind words!