Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/8/2017 (1619 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
If Kaedyn Lashley’s success continues at this rate, she may soon need a bigger passport.
The 18-year-old Southland Park resident is a member of the Canadian national rhythmic gymnastics team that will compete at Taipei 2017, the XXIX Summer Universiade, which will be held from Aug. 19 to 30.
The Summer Universiade, which is organized by the International University Sports Federation, is an international sporting and cultural event for university student-athletes that is staged every two years in a different city.
"I feel pretty honoured, as it’s a pretty big deal, and I’m really excited about being selected," said Lashley, 18, who is a member of the HPTC International club.
"I’m looking forward to doing the best I can and representing Canada to the best of my abilities. It’s also important to have fun, enjoy the experience and express myself in the best way I can."
In a case of the apple not falling far from the tree, Lashley’s love of rhythmic gymnastics comes from her mom, Monique.
"My mom was a gymnast, too, which is how I first started. At first, it was baby steps, but it stuck with me and I kept going through the years," she said.
In terms of dedication and commitment to the sport, the last five years have been very busy for Lashley, who graduated from Collège Béliveau in June and will be attending University 1 at the University of Manitoba in the fall.
Her rhythmic gymnastics resume since 2012 includes appearances at numerous domestic and U.S. competitions, as well as participation in events such as the Las Vegas Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational, the "Rumi and Albena" International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament in Bulgaria, the Kalamata Cup in Greece and the Danube Cup in Slovakia.
Because Lashley already has so much travelling under her belt, she believes these experiences have greatly enhanced her personal development.
"There are lots of benefits to travelling and I’ve become very independent, as well as a good problem solver. Travelling has certainly helped me grow and I definitely know my way around an airport. And experiencing different places and cultures around the world has been eye-opening for me," Lashley said.
One nation the teen has yet to visit is China, which is adding to the excitement of attending the Summer Universiade later this month. Emphasizing the performance will be more important than the result, her coach, Zdravka Tchonkova, said the event is an important one for Lashley.
"It’s Kaedyn’s first appearance at such a big event, in terms of the competition," said Tchonkova, who lives in Fort Garry.
"Our focus is on performance goals, not ranking goals. At this moment, we don’t exactly know who is competing yet, as it depends on how many athletes are registering as students. This is the biggest event of its kind, and I’m happy Kaedyn has qualified as an athlete for Canada."
"Kaedyn is a very powerful athlete to coach, and she is always willing to express herself through music," Tchonkova added. "She’s the oldest athlete in my class, and her attitude and work habits make her a role model for the younger generation in the sport, and the knowledge that she passes on to these younger gymnasts is invaluable."
Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7111.