Kaitlyn Rauwerda, 18, a member of Ancaster Christian Reformed Church, is one of nine athletes who will represent Canada at the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Junior Track World Championships to be held August 15 to 19, 2018, at the UCI World Cycling Centre Velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland. Rauwerda joins Team Canada after earning six medals at the National Track Championships in Milton, Ont., earlier this year. This four-time national champion also earned 2 medals at the 2018 Canadian Road Championships in Saguenay, Que. She also competed in the Grand Prix Gatineau, her first Pro Elite event, in June 2018, placing 18th overall.
It all began when the National Cycling Centre Hamilton (NCCH) held time trials during a gym class at Calvin Christian School in Hamilton, Ont. Rauwerda was a Grade 8 student at the school and really enjoyed the idea of cycling competitively.
“There’s something satisfying about pushing your body that far,” said Rauwerda. “And it was a good outlet for my competitive nature,” she added with a laugh.
She joined NCCH and in late 2014 began individual training, coached by NCCH’s Rick Lee. Rauwerda recently graduated from Hamilton (Ont.) District Christian High (www.hdch.org) and is now training with Team Canada in Milton, Ont. While she loves to race, Rauwerda does get anxious before big events.
“When I’m really stressed out or nervous, I take a few minutes to pray,” said Rauwerda. “I feel God’s reassurance and I can calm down.”
In the future, Rauwerda hopes to attend university to study kinesiology but is taking some time off after high school to work and compete.