paddler Profile 2014 – Sonia Ryan


NAME:   Sonia Ryan


CLUB: West Lakes Canoe Club

COACH:   Pete Gargiulo 

NICKNAMES:   Son/Sonz/Sony/Onya/Onya Sonia

WHEN / WHERE / WHY DID YOU BEGIN IN THIS SPORT:   I began half way through 2012 at West Lakes to improve my surf lifesaving for Skis and then I got selected into the next wave program later that year and haven’t stopped since.

GREATEST SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT:   Getting into the Olympic Hopes team 2 years in a row  (2013 & 2014) and also winning the u/17 ski 2014, as this was my major goal for the year.

FUTURE GOALS:   To make the Junior Worlds team next year and placing in an Olympic distance. Also winning the u/19 ski

WHAT KEEPS YOU BUSY OUTSIDE OF KAYAKING?    School, Tumblr, Sleeping and Hanging out with my friends

GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR CAREER:    Jim Murphy because without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. And also myself as I had self-doubt but I wanted to prove myself wrong and do something with my life that I could be proud of. Also My Dad Scott he is always telling me I shouldn’t be happy with where I am now I should always want to be bettering myself.

WHICH COMPETITOR DO YOU RESPECT MOST:  Would defiantly be Francesca Kidd she has amazing endurance and the amount she travels just to get to training every day I bow my head to her. Also Emma Jager as the amount of times she has helped me to get to a better place in my life I have lost count and the amount of times she is sick but still manages to do amazing still amazes me.

WHO INSPIRES YOU:    From Kayaking it would have to be Naomi Flood/Hannah Davis as they both came from a surf life saving background like me and both have similar body shapes to me so I do know it is possible. And outside of Kayaking would have to be Anna Meares and what she went through to get to where she is now just inspires me all the time and when I am at a low point and feeling down I just watch her episodes on Australian Story and I’m even more determined than before.

IF YOU WERE NOT A KAYAKER WHAT WOULD YOU BE:   I would probably be doing surf lifesaving but more serious with trying to get into the Telstra Iron woman series and also playing hockey at a much higher level. Also I would still be swimming competitively and a lot more often. And defiantly doing a lot better at school.

FAVOURITE SPORT / OLYMPIC CHILDHOOD MEMORY:   Watching the swimming I used to be glued to the TV if any swimming was on at all I wouldn’t leave the screen I would be as close as I could get, watching Ian Thorpe, Libby Trickett (Lenton back then) and Jessicah Schipper wishing I could be them one day an represent Australia at the Olympics in any sport.

BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED:   My Swimming coach when I was younger always used to motivate me really well. I wasn’t the best swimmer in the pool but he used to always say you might not be the best today but one day you will. He could see so much potential in me that I could never see myself, I just thought I would keep swimming to make my parents happy. It really motivated me to do well and I slowly started to believe it myself so I started swimming more and training harder to prove people I am better than they thought. Also my personal favourite quote that I use to motivate me is ‘Work until your idols become your rivals’ and I use this as something to push me daily.

EDUCATION / EMPLOYMENT:    Year 11 student at Immanuel Collage



9th K1 1000m u/18 A-final

2nd K2 1000m u/18 A-final

5th K2 200m, 500m u/18 A-final

1st U/17 Ski