Thursday, 17 September 2009

Kirsty keen to kayak her way to gold

A Pontarddulais sportswoman may soon be paddling her way to an Olympic gold medal.

Kirsty Woolford, age 23, has been offered a place on the Great Britain fast track programme for flatwater kayaking and is now looking to land a place in the Senior Women's Team and to compete at the 2016 Olympics.

Kirsty, a Procurement Contracts Officer at Swansea Council, applied for the Girls4Gold Olympic Talent Recruitment Programme in June last year and was one of 900 applicants who were tested for strength, fitness, attitude and body structure.

Results were carefully analysed to see what sport would offer the perfect match for the best of the athletes and Kirsty was one of 26 chosen to progress to stage two for flatwater kayaking.

She then passed a further strength and fitness test in Nottingham with flying colours before attending a series of ten intensive training camps aimed at identifying the four best kayakers to make the final cut.

Kirsty, a former pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr in Gowerton, will leave her job at the end of the month to start full-time on the fast track programme in October.

She said: "I've been interested in sports all my life and, having been a member of both the 3M and Swansea Harrier running clubs, I realised that I had gone as far as I could go with distance running and sprinting.

"I believe that there is a sport out there for everyone and this is why I applied for the Girls4Gold programme as soon as I found out about it.

"The selection process was very tough but I'm delighted to be among the four chosen for flatwater kayaking.

"I'm sure I'll have to sacrifice a great deal along the way but being picked for the Senior Women's Team and possibly competing in a future Olympics would make every second of it worthwhile."

Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "Swansea has a proud tradition of generating top sports stars and we hope Kirsty will soon be following in their illustrious footsteps.

"Landing a place in the Great Britain fast track programme is a wonderful achievement and beating off close to 900 other athletes for a place among the kayaking elite is testament to Kirsty's huge potential as a sportswoman.

"I hope her dedication and ability mean we'll one day watch her compete for a medal at the Olympics."

Kirsty, who regularly trains at the Fitness Studio in Gorseinon, will receive a grant to cover accommodation and general living throughout her fast track training but is now looking for further sponsorship to help her along the way.

Email Kirsty on if you're interested in sponsoring her.


Post a Comment

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |