Road to London: Kate Roberts

2012-05-31 10:35

Cape Town - In the 11th in a series of Q 'n A style interviews with South African sportsmen and women ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Graeme Joffe chats to SA triathlete, Kate Roberts.

Road to London: Bridgette Hartley

Road to London: Kate Woods

Road to London: Cameron van der Burgh
Road to London: Mbulaeni Mulaudzi

Road to London: Gideon Sam

Road to London: Marcus Retief

Road to London: Freedom Chiya

Road to London: Irvette van Blerk

Road to London: Chad le Clos

Road to London: LJ van Zyl

Road to London: Marc Mundell

GRAEME JOFFE: Less than two months to go to the London Olympics, have you packed your bags yet?
KATE ROBERTS: Actually, I am leaving this week to go and train in Europe and prepare for the Olympics over there. Ja, so starting to pack and starting to get really excited for the big day in two months time.

JOFFE: And your preparations, how they coming along?
ROBERTS: They are going well. I think I am in a really good head space which is really important and the training has gone well. I’m not injured, I’m not sick and I am excited and motivated and I am going to give the next two months everything, so I can get a great result in London.

JOFFE: Have you got some events between now and London?
ROBERTS: At the moment I am going to put my head down in the month of June and just really train, train really hard. Then in July I have two preparation races that lead up to the Games and then the big dance on the 4th of August. So, it is going to be a big period of just focussing on training in June and then just two preparation races. The key is not to go into the Games too tired, you want to be fresh and ready to take on the big day.

JOFFE: Kate, you were 32nd at the 2008 Olympics and with that Olympic experience under the belt, realistically you must feel that you do have a chance to medal in London.
ROBERTS: Ja, you sort of have to go in there with the attitude of I want a medal, and I am going to prepare as best I can and just go in there and give everything to make myself, my country and my family proud of me and I can promise everyone I am going to be giving everything to get that medal, So ja, we will go in there with high expectations.

JOFFE: Your daily training regime, I’m getting tired just thinking about what you triathletes must go through.
ROBERTS: It is intense but I love it. I think I actually forget how hard I train, I mean it is a twenty four hour job, you know I am training a lot, sleeping a lot and am eating a lot (laughter) …

JOFFE: I like the sleeping and eating part.
ROBERTS: Ja, that is the best part about it! It is an intense environment but it is what I enjoy and what I love, and now the next two months, it is going to be that. It varies on a day to day basis but you are training 6-7 days a week, anything from 2-6 hours of training per day. Then around that, is crucial what to do to prepare for each training session.

JOFFE: Where did it all start for you?
ROBERTS: It really started as a really young Kate, she was always a swimmer and a runner.  So, when I was 17, I started cycling and so that is where it all started and I went into triathlons. I won't give away my age but it has been a good twelve years later, and I am going strong and really love what I do, It has been a wonderful journey.

JOFFE: Have you got some support in the way of sponsors?
ROBERTS: I do, I am very lucky to have my sponsor Business Systems Group, known as BSG and they have been wonderful in contributing to my Olympic campaign. It is an expensive process and we need help and backing. I am really pleased to have them on board as well as Triathlon South Africa. I have been very fortunate to have the support and I am excited about going forward and representing my sponsor and Triathlon South Africa and everyone else who has helped me get there.

JOFFE: Women’s triathlon -  is that growing in South Africa?
ROBERTS: Yes it is growing but not as much as I would like it to see it grow. Once I am done with the Olympics, I would really like to get involved in helping young girls and more females to get involved in the sport because it is such a wonderful sport. I believe we have so much talent in South Africa that is not being brought to the table, so I would love to be involved and get other girls involved, and hopefully good results will get them involved. That is definitely what I want to do after the Olympics.

JOFFE: You residing in Bloemfontein, not sure if you are a Bloem girl and not going to ask you if you went to Grey, unless you’ve changed. (laughter)
ROBERTS: (laughter) Ja, a born and bred Bloemfontein girl and always have been.  I went right next door to an all girls school called Eunice Girls High and Grey College is very close to my heart and I’m a very big Cheetahs fan.

JOFFE: So, was you first matric dance at Grey College?
ROBERTS: Ja, actually (laughter)

JOFFE: Okay, no more questions on that, (laughter), some of your other hobbies?
ROBERTS: I like to cook, I like to read, I love music, I love my family and I love spending time with them. I have a twin sister and she is my best friend and  very supportive of my triathlon career. So, we are very close and I love my animals. I have Labradors which take up a lot of my time. So all in all, I don’t have too many hobbies, but hopefully after triathlon, I can get involved in some more things outside of the sport.

JOFFE: What does your sister do?
ROBERTS: She is a chartered management accountant, she is a working girl, unlike her sister (laughter, she doesn't do triathlons but she loves the sport and is definitely my number one fan. She supports me through and through.

JOFFE: Finally I saw a story about how much you love coffee. Have you made sure that caffeine is not on WADA’s banned list?
ROBERTS: Ja, thank goodness it’s not!

JOFFE: Kate, wishing you all the best for the Olympics in London and maybe we can have a “coffee” when you come back with a medal.
ROBERTS: Thanks Graeme, I really appreciate the support so much, so I will be in touch.
Catch Graeme Joffe on SportsFire every Monday and Thursday at 17:30 on Radio Today, 1485am in JHB, National on DStv audio channel 169 and streaming worldwide on Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

Kate Roberts, 28, was born in Bloemfontein, and competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where she finished 32nd in the triathlon.