#RisingStar: 2023 Emerging Athlete of the Year, Kyra van Kan

Recipient of the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards Emerging Athlete of the Year accolade, Kyra van Kan, has already carved a significant name for herself in the world of sport at a remarkably young age. This trailblazing golfer is undeniably a formidable talent worth acknowledging.

Van Kan attended her first Momentum gsport Awards event and expresses a profound sense of honour and gratitude for being recognised on the prestigious stage, marking a significant milestone in her career.

“How can I even explain it? Winning this award means more than the world to me. I couldn’t believe it when my name was called out, I had a million emotions and thoughts running through my head,” said van Kan.

2023 Momentum gsport Awards Emerging Athlete of the Year accolade, Kyra van Kan

“I worked really hard this year to get to the position I’ve always wanted to be in and to be recognised and rewarded for that is unbelievable. gsport made me feel really special that night, and I couldn’t have wanted more. This is a memory and moment in my life that I will never forget.”

The Momentum gsport Awards serve as a grand celebration of the remarkable achievements and invaluable contributions made by women in the world of sport, acknowledging their outstanding efforts and impact. 

Van Kan considered it a privilege to be in a space that celebrates women in sport, emphasising the significance of supporting one another and recognising the power it holds.

“The experience was remarkable! I had the privilege of getting my hair and makeup done and I had never felt so glammed up. Everyone was so kind and friendly and excited for the night to begin. The atmosphere of the awards was fun and everyone supported each category and winner. The night was pure joy. What I’ve taken away from the gsport Awards is to always be grateful for what comes my way and to thank and support the women who really make a difference in the sporting world.”

“This achievement makes me feel extremely grateful for all my blessings this year and tells me to never give up on a goal that I have been yearning for. I am not going to stop working now but work harder and push myself to the limit,” she continued.

“I would also like to continue to spread kindness and positivity around the world because everyone deserves to smile a day.”

2023 Momentum gsport Awards Emerging Athlete of the Year accolade, Kyra van Kan

Furthermore, she went on to recount some of the noteworthy highlights of her career.

“I won the SA Women’s Amateur in February this year then went to Cape Town and won the Leading Amateur at the Investec SA Women’s Open which is a professional event. I travelled to 3 different countries this year and represented South Africa in Uganda, Indonesia and Japan. I can’t thank GolfRSA enough for granting me those opportunities. I won the All-Africa in Uganda. I have had consecutive top 3s and wins throughout this year as well”

She looks up to role models such as Ashleigh Buhai and Nelly Korda. Ashleigh has been a lifelong source of inspiration for her, captivating her with her remarkable talents and generous spirit. Nelly Korda, another favourite, impresses her with her golfing prowess and inspirational journey.

Van Kan also illuminated the factors that serve as her sources of motivation and drive, “What keeps me going is the 9-year-old girl, who drew up a bucket list and wished to be like golfers that were number 1 in the country. 

“I have always wanted to be here and I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt and grown into a better player. I’ve always had big goals and am always going to want to get to the next level. I’m finishing up school now and next I want to be in university in the States. After university,  I want to turn professional and play golf on the LPGA tour, representing South Africa.”

Photo 1 Caption: Rising South African golfer Kyra van Kan pictured with her Emerging Athlete of the Year accolade at the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards at the Wanderers Club on Tuesday, 12 September. Photo: gsport 

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