Kayla dreams of Olympic gold

Kayla dreams of Olympic gold

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Kayla Bongers is currently training with the Western Australian squad for a position at the 2021 Asia Oceania Championship. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Remember the name Kayla Bongers, as one day she may be on the world stage competing for gold in Modern Pentathlon. 

The 14-year-old Kelmscott youngster is not only good at one sport, but she excels at two, including swimming and running, and is beginning to refine her skills in fencing and pistol shooting with the aim of one day competing in the Olympic Games. 

Kayla currently swims three times a week, trains in fencing a couple of times a week and takes to the track at the Gosnells and Districts Little Athletics Centre to continue to beat her personal best. 

She admits it is difficult to balance her school life with her sporting endeavours and it has been financially challenging for her parents to keep up with the gear she needs but she is determined to try her best in an attempt to one day compete on the big stage. 

“Because the sport is not big in Western Australia, we mostly have to fly elsewhere to compete or to do training camps,” Kayla said. 

“Modern Pentathlon features epee fencing with a sword, combined running (four by 800 metres), laser shooting with a pistol, swimming (200 metre freestyle) and showjumping with a horse, although I am not practicing at the moment as this is not a requirement for the Youth Olympics.” 

Kayla said she hasn’t landed a position in the Youth Olympics Games just yet, as the qualification competitions will be completed closer to 2022. 

“This will most likely be in 2021 before which five athletes will be selected for the qualification event,” she said. 

“The highest placed Oceania athlete will then be given the honour to represent Oceania at the Youth Olympics in Dakar 2022.” 

Until then Kayla will continue to hone her skills and will learn the ins and outs of the sports from members of the Western Australian Youth Olympic Games squad. 

“I have been accepted into the squad due to my age and my willingness to commit, plus my pleasing results even though I have not trained much just yet,” she said. 

“I am also a member of the Western Australian Modern Pentathlon Association so I can go to the Modern Pentathlon competitions anywhere in the world. 

“My whole family just completed their first competition for Modern Pentathlon WA last weekend and we had great fun.” 

Kayla will travel to Hungary next year to take part in a training camp.