Olympian Kayla Moleschi brought her story and her drive to achieve to students in Aldergrove this week.
Moleschi won a bronze medal with Canada’s Womens Rugby Sevens Team in Rio last summer and was the only B.C. player on the team.
Moleschi visited five Langley district schools as well as the Langley School District Rugby Awards on Monday, June 5. The visits included the Shortreed, Parkside and Fort Langley elementary schools, Betty Gilbert middle school and Aldergrove secondary school.
Kayla Moleschi, now age 26, first started playing rugby in grade nine at Columneetza Secondary School in Williams Lake, B.C. She then attended Thompson Rivers University and the University of Lethbridge, where she was named Canada West Rookie of the Year and CIS All-Canadian in 2011.
She made her debut with Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team that same year, scoring two tries in her first match at the 2011 IRB Challenge Cup.
Moleschi’s on-field vision from the hooker position gives Canada another scoring option in the forwards and her consistent play over the last few seasons has made her a regular on the women’s national team for the last four seasons.
Moleschi was part of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2015 Pan Am Games, scoring two tries, and was one of only five Canadian players to play in every event during the 2015-16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series. Her 34 WSWS tries are the fourth most in Canadian history.
She made a good impression on the large assembly at the Aldergrove secondary school gym on Monday, answering a broad range of questions from the students in a frank but friendly manner.
“Quitting isn’t in my vocab(ulary),” she told the students in answer to a question about whether she was self-motivated to work and compete so hard.
“My parents (Ron and Andrea) drove that into me. I couldn’t rely on other people being with me every step.”
She suffered a broken foot in March and has been side-lined briefly while she recovers and heals, but she still plays a role in the team’s training.
Moleschi plays both the hooker and scrum half positions and is looking forward to playing with the team in the upcoming Commonwealth and World Cup games.
Further down the road she foresees getting into either kinesiology or massage therapy, or possibly teaching.
However, she intends to keep playing for the national team at least until she is 30, so that she can compete for the gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Aldergrove secondary principal Jeremy Lyndon told the students that his take-away from Moleschi’s presentation was that along with passion, one must “put in the hard work” to help develop the “innate abilities, unique strengths” we all have as individuals.
“You can see that in our gym, the hall of fame we have, of kids that have achieved great things. And that’s not just athletics, it’s also physics and other disciplines.”