#OurAthlete: Kate Campbell prepares for Pan Am Games stage

Kate Campbell is preparing herself for one of the biggest events of her karate career; the Pan Am Games. In her sport, it actually doesn’t get much bigger.

Kate Campbell will be taking her karate chops to the Pan Am Games

Kate Campbell will be the first woman from Atlantic Canada to represent the country at the Pan Am Games in karate. (CBC)

Kate Campbell is preparing herself for one of the biggest events of her karate career; the Pan Am Games. In her sport, it actually doesn't get much bigger.

"The Pan Am Games is probably the closest my sport gets to an Olympic level," said Campbell, as karate isn't in the Olympics.

Campbell was born and raised in Fredericton and has been competing in karate since she was five. Her mother was trying to find something for Campbell and her brother to do. 

"My mom actually wanted to put both my brother and I into a martial art for not only the self discipline but also for the self defence and everything else that goes on with martial arts," said Campbell. 

- Kate Campbell

Campbell's mother ended up putting them in karate at a dojo near-by their house, and the sport stuck.

"I just fell in love with the sport and took it up as a competitive lifestyle and here I am 19 years later."

Campbell knew in May that she would be competing at the Pan Am Games.

Not only is she competing at one of the biggest events in her sport, she is also doing it on Canadian soil, which she says gives her extra energy. 

"I think that the hype and the media and the excitement and the energy around the games is just something that can't really be compared to anything else in my sport," she said.

It takes her back to watching the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and seeing how supportive Canada was of their athletes.

"The energy in the city and the energy in even the stands that I saw through the television, that's what I'm excited to feel because I think that's what drives a lot of athletes to do really well, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to experience that as a competitor at the games," said Campbell. 

Campbell still has some time to train before she competes.

Her event is on July 23, which is one of the last days of competition. 

"I feel like I'm on top of my game so hopefully that shines on the mat on the day that I compete," said Campbell.  

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.