Urabe to row for Team Canada in New Zealand

Peter­bor­ough na­tive who rows at West­ern Univer­sity is on Row­ing Canada’s U21 team for Trans-Tas­man Se­ries

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - JES­SICA NYZNIK Ex­am­iner Staff Writer jes­sica.nyznik@pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

A Peter­bor­ough na­tive is off to New Zealand next month to row for Canada in the Trans-Tas­man Se­ries.

Kyra Urabe, 18, is one of 10 young women on the Row­ing Canada Av­i­ron (RCA) U21 team.

The team is com­pet­ing in the TransTas­man Se­ries in Lake Kara­piro, New Zealand from Aug. 23 to 25.

The se­ries aims to help de­velop younger row­ers, giv­ing them a chance to gain high level com­pe­ti­tion ex­pe­ri­ence.

Urabe will be com­pet­ing in the light­weight dou­ble, open-weight quad and open-weight eight.

Urabe went to Kawartha Heights Pub­lic School in Peter­bor­ough un­til Grade 4, be­fore trans­fer­ring to Trin­ity Col­lege School in Port Hope for the rest of her school­ing.

She started row­ing in Grade 9 when she joined Trin­ity Col­lege’s row­ing team.

“It was a re­ally fun ex­pe­ri­ence…it’s was great, pos­i­tive, sup­port­ive at­mos­phere cel­e­brat­ing the lit­tle achieve­ments,” she said of her first year.

By Grade 11, Trin­ity Col­lege had hired a new row­ing coach, who pushed Urabe to work harder.

That sum­mer she joined the Peter­bor­ough Row­ing Club, train­ing in the de­vel­op­men­tal pro­gram.

Urabe raced dur­ing her last year of high school, but wasn’t sure if she wanted to stick with it.

“I was in and out about it for a re­ally long time,” she said.

But her high school coach en­cour­aged her to keep with it, so she did.

The teenager com­peted on the Peter­bor­ough Row­ing Club’s ju­nior team that sum­mer.

Then it came time for try­outs at West­ern Univer­sity, where Urabe was go­ing into her first year of sci­ence stud­ies.

As her mother was driv­ing her to Lon­don for the try­outs in Au­gust, Urabe had a lot of self-doubt.

She re­mem­bers telling her mom she didn’t think she was good enough and that she’d get chewed apart.

“I’m so glad I stuck with it and ac­tu­ally showed up.”

Urabe made the team and found West­ern’s train­ing plan and the at­mos­phere re­ally helped her to de­velop as an ath­lete.

“Also, my team­mates are amaz­ing. They helped me push harder … I hon­estly could not have made the team with­out my team­mates.”

At the be­gin­ning of the year, Urabe started train­ing heav­ily to pre­pare for test­ing for the 2018 Speed Or­ders.

She qual­i­fied for the na­tional team se­lec­tion tri­als and moved on to se­lec­tion camp at the end of June.

On the last day of camp, Urabe learned she’d made the U21 team.

“I was re­ally ex­cited be­cause I had put in a lot of work and it was re­ally re­ward­ing to know that it had paid off.”

This sum­mer, Urabe’s goal is work on her speed and progress as much as she can be­fore the up­com­ing com­pe­ti­tion and school year.

The Olympics aren’t quite on her radar yet, but she’s not rul­ing them out ei­ther.

For now, she’s just go­ing to con­tinue to en­joy her sport.

“I’m just happy to row, it doesn’t mat­ter what team.”

UNIVER­SITY OF WEST­ERN ON­TARIO PHOTO

Kyra Urabe

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