MY STORY

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The Stats

Nickname: Cait, dad calls me Caitmate

Birthday:  9th February 1992

Born: Auckland, New Zealand

Height: 179cm


Lives in: North Shore, Auckland

Family: Older sister (Ashleigh) younger brother (Mitchell)

Heritage: Dad is a kiwi, mum is half French half Dutch

Qualifications: Bachelor of Health science Major Oral Health

Profession: Athlete, Dental Hygienist/Therapist

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Where it all begun

  

Red Beach is where it all begun.  At the age of 5 mum and dad enrolled me in Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club and the attraction to sport begun. I feel I have always been a super competitive person and I guess I have my brother to blame for this, we would compete against each other in everything which often lead to tears and arguments!

I loved every moment of surf; after school my mates and I would walk to the surf club and I would love the challenge on the water. Training with boys was pretty common for me they were just like my brothers and they would treat me like one of the boys.

At 14 I won my first ever national surf ski title, it came down to a photo finish, the fire in my stomach had begun and from then on I continued the medal hauls winning 6 national surf ski titles and other medal wins including Iron Woman, board race and team events.

Throughout all of my surf training and racing mum and dad emphasised the need for education, I struggled a little in school, my attention span was short, as my brain was always ticking with sport but when it came to deciding what to do with myself post high school I knew I had a passion somewhere in the medical field.

At this time I still had this dream about making it to the Ironman Series in Australia and if I had my way I would have escaped school and taken off to Australia but I knew deep down I needed an identity outside of sport alone.

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So off I went to university and I fell in love with the profession I was getting myself into and knew this was a path I wanted to take in the future. I loved every aspect of the dental industry, but my head was still thinking about sport. That is when I took up kayaking, I headed down to lake Pupuke with my long time surf coach and friend Vaughan Skiffington, he had always trained me hard and it was cool to have him by my side whilst starting this journey of kayaking.

After just 7 months of paddling I raced my first under 23 world champs (2013) and placed 8th in the A final, from then on I have been in the open squad with my focus being on the k4.We have had our ups and downs as a team which I hope to talk about one day but our biggest achievement is lining up at the Rio Olympics and racing our heart out. Kayla, Aimee and Jaimee have been my family over these years of kayaking, we laughed, cried and worked extremely hard together and I am so proud of how far we progressed.

Last year also had its ups and downs but I am so lucky that Lisa Carrington and Gordon Walker took me in and we then became a K2 team in which still amazes me every day. After all the work we put in as a team I was lucky enough to race with Lisa and stand on the podium beside her as a World Champion. But what topped it off was I was able to get into the big boat and also win a bronze with Aimee, Kayla and Lisa, three amazing girls that I am so proud of.

In the meantime I am training as hard as I can and working part-time as a dental hygienist. So I am not sure what the future of kayaking has for me, I hope to become a multi medalist at the next Olympics but most of all I just want to keep bettering myself physically and mentally, so we will see!