Kate Willis: One-on-one with a senior rower
July 15, 2020
What is something unique about your hometown?
Willis: I'm from Cambridge, United Kingdom. Approximately 25% of people who live in Cambridge cycle to work.
What sports did you play growing up and how did you transition into rowing?
I played most sports growing up. My favorites were basketball, field hockey, track and field and rugby. I first started rowing when I moved to Cambridge when I was 16. I attended a 'learn to row' course through my school and then joined a local club.
What is your favorite sport to watch?
What is your favorite rowing memory?
My favorite rowing memory is racing in North Carolina in 2019. The weather was beautiful and we got to race a lot of different universities that we had never raced before.
What was your favorite subject when you were growing up?
What is your major at MSU? How did you choose it?
Kinesiology. I chose it because wanted to study something sport and health related.
Do you have a nickname? How'd you get it?
Some of my teammates call me Kaffy. Jen and Annie started it because apparently I pronounce 'th' as 'f', so at first, they started calling me Kaferine and then they shortened it to Kaffy.
Who has been the most important or influential person in your life? What can you tell me about them?
I'd probably say that the most influential person in my life is my mother. I look up to her in so many ways. She is always there for me no matter what. I know that I can always go to her for advice and that she will support me through anything and everything. She is also the strongest woman I know, even when I know she is going through a tough time, she doesn't show it and still manages to keep a smile on her face.
What was your favorite trip during your rowing career?
Spring Break 2020 in Sarasota, Florida
If you had one person in your life to spend a week with on an all-expenses paid vacation, who would it be? Where would you go? What would you want to experience?
I would pick my teammate Sarah Carless. We've already travelled eight countries together. Next on our list is to go to Iceland. We're both very adventurous so we would be down to do anything. Some of the things that I would like to experience would be the Blue Lagoon, which is a geothermal spa with an outdoor lagoon, see the northern lights, go glacier hiking and ice caving, go whale watching and explore some of the national parks.
Your teammates are inspirational people in their own right. Tell us about a teammate who has inspired you. What obstacles did that person overcome or what accomplishments make you look up to that person?
A teammate that always inspired me since the beginning of my rowing career at MSU is Meaghan Faucher. Apart from being an extremely talented athlete, I always thought that she was a great role model to others. She always had the right mentality when it came to rowing. She was always hard working, never complained openly about any workout and even if she was having a bad day, which everyone does occasionally, she would leave it at the door and never bring it to practice.