Off to the Youth Olympics

Hamilton News - - FRONT PAGE - Tom Row­land

Jug­gling her ed­u­ca­tion while pre­par­ing for the Youth Olympic Games has be­come a nor­mal way of life for 17-year-old Hamil­ton teenager Kayla Good­win.

A Year 12 stu­dent at Sacred Heart Girls Col­lege, study­ing six sub­jects at NCEA Level 2, be­ing a sport’s am­bas­sador at school, play­ing and cap­tain­ing the SHCG 1st XI foot­ball team and fill­ing in where pos­si­ble for the Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers Foot­ball Club Women’s team are just some of the events in Kayla’s di­ary.

Now with the third Youth Olympic Games in Ar­gentina ap­proach­ing, Kayla is train­ing day and night for the tour­na­ment, af­ter be­ing se­lected to rep­re­sent New Zealand.

“This is only the third time that the sum­mer youth Olympics have been held and I feel very priv­i­leged to be able to rep­re­sent New Zealand at this event,” Kayla said.

She said she be­came in­volved in ath­let­ics at 4 years old, af­ter watch­ing both her dad and brother in­volved in the sport.

“It just seemed a nat­u­ral thing to do. My Dad was at the track coach­ing and my older brother had just started com­pet­ing, so I just wanted to join the party.”

Kayla is cur­rently ranked num­ber one in New Zealand for triple jump, long jump, 100m hur­dles, and hep­tathlon for U18 and holds the NZ record for both the triple jump and hep­tathlon.

Last year she was placed fifth in the long jump and 14th in the 100m hur­dles at the Youth Com­mon­wealth Games in the Ba­hamas.

“This ex­pe­ri­ence taught me so much about my­self and proved to me that hard work and ded­i­ca­tion pays div­i­dends.”

Find­ing a healthy bal­ance be­tween her ed­u­ca­tion and sports has been a key part of her prepa­ra­tion for the youth Olympic games

“Along with train­ing ev­ery day for ath­let­ics I also have two foot­ball train­ing for school and then come home and do a few hours of home­work each night.

“When I am avail­able I also play for both the Wan­der­ers NRFL Premier team and premier re­serve team which is al­ways fun.

“It is a chal­lenge be­cause I want to do well in every­thing I do.”

“I am ex­cited to be a part of an­other multi sport event and am look­ing for­ward to be­ing in this en­vi­ron­ment again. It is al­ways fun to go and sup­port as well as learn from other New Zealand ath­letes that are com­pet­ing.”

“The stan­dard in my event, triple jump, has re­ally im­proved since the last Games so it is go­ing to be very tough. My goal is to make the top half so I can con­tend for a medal.”

She has set up a Givelit­tle page and is look­ing for help so she is able to at­tend the event in Oc­to­ber.

■ https://givealit­tle.co.nz/cause/kay­la­good­win-2018-youth-olympic-games-jour­ney

Photo / Sup­plied

Kayla Good­win at the qual­i­fiers for the Youth Olympic Games.

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