PIETERMARITZBURG Girls High School pupil Kate Croudace is set to represent her country at the junior and u23 Sprint Kayaking World Championships, which will be taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, this July.The Maritzburg Fever recently sat down with her to talk about her love for the sport, her motivations, and how she feels to be able to represent her province, and country, on the international stage. “I started canoeing in grade eight through my school (Pietermaritzburg Girls High) and I really enjoyed it, so I started training more frequently and eventually joined one of the training groups at Camps Drift,” Kate said.Thrilled at having been selected for the South African team, which will compete in Bulgaria, Kate said that it was fantastic to see all her hard work and dedication paying off. She said that it would be her first time visiting Bulgaria as well as representing her country.“I am so excited about this opportunity. River races have taken me to some amazing places, that most people wouldn’t be able to even access, and that is awesome. I have met some wonderful people through canoeing as well,” she marvelled. To represent her country for the first time means a great deal for Kate who hails the efforts of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Canoe Union Academy and Canoeing South Africa, as well as her parents, for always encouraging and motivating her. “I have all these support structures in place but I also believe that if you enjoy what you do it is easier to stay motivated and do well,” she said.Preparing for her races are just as important as competing in them, Kate explained, and she follows a strict plan when it comes to racing.“I make sure that I have a race plan. This includes knowing the race details such as race times, lane draws and my warm-up routine. It is also important to eat regular, healthy meals leading up to a race,” she stressed. Currently in matric, Kate manages her rigorous schedule by trying to use her time wisely and keeping organised. “My teachers are quite understanding of my schedule and are very helpful,” she added appreciatively. Kate is the only junior girl from Kwa-Zulu Natal to be selected for the competition and will be competing in the 1 000 m race.