Sports

Katie Kyle – Junior Sportswoman of the Year Tells Athletes: ‘Be Positive’

SHE is only 15 years old, and is already creating waves on the swimming circuit throughout the Caribbean. She attends the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School and is currently in Form 3 under the guidance of teacher Donna Webster.

The recently crowned Junior Sportswoman of the Year for 2016, Katie Kyle recently revealed to the VOICE how her swimming career all started and what keeps her hitting the pad ahead of her opponents at local, regional and international meets. At the time she had just dominated the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association Annual Awards held at the Bay Gardens Hotel in Rodney Bay.

Image: (l-r) Katie Kyle in action, receiving the junior sports woman of the year award, in smiles after making a clean sweep at SLASA awards.  (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)
(l-r) Katie Kyle in action, receiving the junior sports woman of the year award, in smiles after making a clean sweep at SLASA awards. (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

Kyle who previously attended the Montessori Centre says, her favourite subject right now is Biology, but she also likes Food and Nutrition and Physical Education.

She said: “I don’t have a specific subject that I like but, I do like biology and physical education. I like these two subjects because I like to learn the way living things work and certain aspects also help me to see how the human body works. And for Physical Education I like it because I love to be in action and try other sports other than swimming. I also like to learn more about PE which gives me more knowledge about a life of an athlete not just for swimming but for other sports and how they differ.”

Kyle is a member of the Sharks Swim Club and is under the watchful eyes of Coach David Peterkin, Andy Edward and Jamie Peterkin. She started competitive swimming in Grade 5.

VOICE: Is anyone else in your family involved in swimming like you do?

Kyle: Yes, my parents, they always try to come to all my meets to support me and they also help me prepare. They help with fund raising for my club. My sister used to swim, and my brother swims now.

VOICE: Apart from swimming, have you played any other sport?

Kyle: I haven’t really done any other sports except volleyball in school and when I was younger I played tennis, but was still swimming. I stuck to swimming because I preferred being in the water.

VOICE: Any achievements at the regional and international level?

Kyle: Yes, I won a bronze medal at CISC, a silver medal at CCCAN, and competed at FINA short course World Championships in Canada in December 2016.

VOICE: What was the feeling like, when your name was called for Junior Sportswoman of the Year at the 37th national sports awards held at the National Cultural Centre?

Kyle: I was surprised, excited and very happy. I was relieved and just very happy.

VOICE: Your favorite local swimmer, regional and international and why?

Kyle: I don’t really have a favourite regional, international or local swimmer; but I like to watch KatinkaHosszú or Katie Ledecky swim. Especially in the 100 metres fly for Katie Ledecky.

VOICE: Who are your sports heroes and what you admire most about them?

Kyle: I don’t have a particular sports hero, but I do admire Alia Atkinson because like me she’s from the Caribbean and is doing so well at swimming.

VOICE: What are you favourite swimming events?

Kyle: My favourite events are 50 metres fly, 100 metres fly and 100 metres free

VOICE: How do you prepare for a championship?

Kyle: I normally just train hard in the pool and in the gym, try not to eat too many junk foods before the upcoming meet and stay hydrated.

VOICE: When was the first and last time you represented Saint Lucia and at which championships?

Kyle: The first was in 2012 and the last time was in December 2016 at FINA World Championships. I have represented Saint Lucia 8 times and my club for the past 5 years.

VOICE: How many championships have you won?

Kyle: I have won two overall age group trophies for OECS and 6 overall age group champion trophies in the past two years for my club.

VOICE: How far would you go in representing Saint Lucia in swimming?

Kyle: For sure the Olympics, either 2020 in Tokyo or 2024.

VOICE: What is your favourite meal?

Kyle: I don’t have a favourite meal; I like to eat many things like pizza, lasagna, macaroni and chicken.

VOICE: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Kyle: I’m inspired by my other swimming friends overseas and in St. Lucia who do more work than me sometimes and are always trying their hardest. Those people inspire me.

VOICE: What do you do during your spare time?

Kyle: I go on Netflix, talk with my friends or bake because I feel relaxed when doing them.

VOICE: What words of advice or encouragement do you share with younger athletes at the RHAC?

Kyle: Just train hard, stay focused, think positive, have fun and do your best.

VOICE: Is there anything else I should know about Katie Kyle?

Kyle: When I go to meets, I feel nervous sometimes and all I would do is try to stay calm and talk to my friends to relax me. I also want to thank my coaches and the swim club for always supporting me.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy…
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