FEAP Athlete Profile - Kya Wills-Rawlings, Athletics and Cross Country

The Flinders Elite Athlete Program is designed to mentor, inspire and support our student athletes to learn and grow.

FEAP is all about developing healthy and positive life skills and character traits, as well as planning for success, whether in the classroom or the sporting world.

Here we share a profile with FEAP athlete, Kya Wills-Rawlings, a cross country runner and athletics champion, with some words by our FEAP Director who is working to support Kya along her journey.

FEAP Director, Ms Lauren Nourse

"Kya is a new student to Flinders and a welcome addition to our FEAP group. She is a bubbly student who is well organised and focused on maximising every opportunity within the College. I am really looking forward to being a part of her sporting and school journey and helping her to set goals and work hard to achieve them."

Kya, which sport are you focused on and what are some of your achievements? 

While many events have been put on pause due to COVID-related restrictions, I have been fortunate to compete in a number of competitions including the State Cross Country Championships where I placed 7th in the individual event. I also ran the third leg in the one-kilometre relay, bringing home a silver medal for the Sunshine Coast region. I placed 3rd in the Regional Cross Country Championships earlier in the year and won Age Champion at the District Cross Country Carnival. I also won Age Champion at the District Athletics Carnival, however, sadly both Regional and State Athletics Championships were cancelled. 

Outside of Cross Country and Athletics, I am also passionate about Touch Football and Rugby and in 2021, I was selected to shadow both Regional teams respectively. 

In 2021, I achieved 3rd place in the U11 Girls Beach Relay, 5th in the 1-kilometre Beach Run and Board Rescue, 3rd in the Beach Flags, 6th in the Beach Sprint, and competed in the finals for the Ironwoman and Board Race. I also competed in the Sunshine Coast Surf Life Saving Branch Championships where I won the 2x500m Sprint, placed 2nd in the Beach Flags, the Beach Sprint and also in the U11 Beach Relay, 3rd in the 1-kilometre run and also in the Board Rescue, and 5th in the Ironwoman and Board Race. While the 2022 season has been cancelled, I look forward to defending my titles and competing again in 2023. 

What are your sporting goals for 2021 and beyond?

My sporting goals for the future are to attend the Australian Institute of Sport for Athletics and Cross Country. I hope to one day wear the green and gold for Australia, representing the country at the 2032 Olympics. 

For 2022, I will strive to do my very best in all that I can, with the aim to improve on my PB’s, medal at the State Championships in Athletics and also Cross Country, and earn a place at the National Championships.

What are your academic goals at Flinders? 

My academic goals are to make the most of all the amazing academic and co-curricular opportunities available to me. I hope to continue to achieve good grades, enabling me to receive the best ATAR possible and open doors in the future.

What support do you appreciate accessing through FEAP? 

Through FEAP, I have been able to meet, speak with and learn from elite athletes through the workshops facilitated by the program. It’s been great to hear about their experiences in sport and how they’ve been able to overcome challenges. Ms Nourse has really helped me with my time management and I am incredibly grateful for all of her support.

Please share some new skills and strategies you have learnt through FEAP? 

Within the short time I have been a part of the Flinders Elite Athlete Program, I have already learned so much. From the support of Ms Nourse to the workshops and even other students in the program, I’m learning that if I put in the hard work now and continue to have a positive attitude in the face of adversity, it will show in my performance. 

What has been your favourite FEAP workshop?

My favourite workshop so far has been the Jordan Mercer workshop. Sharing with us many of her skills and strategies for overcoming challenges, Jordan helped us create our own ‘Wellbeing Backpack’. Jordan’s strategies for pushing through the blockers that we face were really helpful. It was also great to hear about her journey as an Ironwoman and now potential AFLW star.

What do you enjoy about the FEAP? 

The FEAP program is an amazing opportunity for young athletes to gain an insight into what being an elite athlete is all about and I have already learned so much. I have loved using the facilities available to us including the gym, and  have found the workshops, support and guidance to be a great benefit both academically and athletically.

Who are your role models?  

My sporting role models would have to be Georgia Miller and Jordan Mercer. I look up to them so much, not only because of their success in sport but because of their joyful approach to competing, the gratitude they show towards their coaches and their never give up attitude. They are so inspirational and I hope to one day be just like them.

Another inspiration in my life is my Dad. He has always supported me and I couldn’t be more grateful. A quote he has always told me is ‘it's not a race, it's a journey’, and I carry this with me in each and every competition.

To learn more about the Flinders Elite Athlete Program and how to apply, visit here.

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