Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:31

Swift Current athlete kicks in two college sports

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Kaity Letwiniuk had a successful 2015-16 season with the Rattlers. Kaity Letwiniuk had a successful 2015-16 season with the Rattlers.

It’s been quite a year in athletics for Swift Current native Kaity Letwiniuk.

In late March, she was named this past season’s Medicine Hat College Female Athlete of the Year.
Last fall she was named an Alberta College Athletic Conference all-star for women’s soccer for the 2015-16 season adding to the ones she earned the previous two seasons. In March, she was named the 2016 ACAC Women’s Futsal Player of the Year.
Her exploits in soccer are also well documented. Last season, she was on the ACAC silver medal-winning Rattlers who lost to NAIT in the finals. She scored 12 goals in 10 games including an impressive five-goal effort against Lakehead in September. In futsal, the Rattlers won in convincing fashion the 2016 ACAC futsal championship 3-1 over Keyano College March 6, led by Letwiniuk and her teammates. There was stellar play during the tournament with the team rolling out so many strong lines.
Prior to her being named the Athlete of the year, Letwiniuk explained 2015-16 was thoroughly enjoyable for her, not because of the awards and personal accomplishment, but because she truly loves being part of this particular group.
“It’s been one of the better seasons I have had, just with the team and how much we work together and stand together,” said Letwiniuk, an education student. “All the girls on the team, we just work together so well on and off the field and it has made it that much better of a season. In the outdoor, even though we didn’t have the result we wanted  in (ACAC) conference, we still played our hardest and there’s nothing more you can really ask for from our team. I was really proud of the girls and it made it one of the best years.”
Letwiniuk actually never even heard about it her first year at the college when someone told her there “was indoor soccer” at the college.
“I played indoor soccer a bit back in Saskatchewan growing up and I thought it was going to be like that. Everyone said it was different and I just opened my mind up to the game because it was something different and fun to play,” explained Letwiniu, a graduate of the Swift Current Comprehensive High School and one of the dominate players on some gifted Ardens' soccer squads.
“My first year I wasn’t good in futsal and I was frustrated because I wasn’t as good as I thought I’d be at it, but over the years I’ve definitely progressed and become a better player at it. I’ve thought about it mentally a lot more. It’s definitely mental, you have to think a lot quicker.Futsal brings it up to that next level where you have to think quicker on your feet, you have to think of the next play before it’s even happening ... Lots of players show up differently in futsal than they do in soccer.”
In soccer she uses her speed to her advantage while in futsal she enjoys the challenge of play anticipation. After the second season and with the start of her third year, she felt comfortable and noted she didn’t overthink the futsal.
“In futsal, I don’t score as many goals in soccer as futsal, but in futsal I help the system because I can get into position to help my teammates out.”
She is going back to the college for one more season. Letwiniuk can’t wait for next year. She’s especially excited about soccer. She will be in her fifth season and the team should be a powerful one.
“It’s really exciting, but really sad too,” the Swift Current native explained. “I’m really excited for it.”
Letwiniuk said the 2016 national soccer championships are in Montreal so it would be especially exciting to qualify.
She plans on staying in Medicine Hat in the off-season to train and wants to try out for a semi-pro team in Lethbridge over the summer. Letwiniuk noted after that, competitive soccer isn’t the offing for her. She noted she had to be “realistic” and needed to focus on her education which she loves.
“I enjoy going to class and I enjoy doing the homework ... Learning (is) helping me keep on track,” said Letwiniuk who is planning on teaching high school physical education with a minor in history. “I was going to teach Grade 1 originally, but I think the Grade 12s will push my limits a bit more.”
All of this is not lost on college officials who are very proud of her as mentioned when discussing her futsal award.
 “Kaity is the epitome of what a student athlete should be; exceptional in the classroom and a consistent all-star on the field of play. Kaity also has outstanding leadership qualities and is a great teammate,” says Terry Ballard, athletic director at Medicine Hat College.

Read 1959 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 April 2016 10:15
Ryan Dahlman

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