Born and raised in Wellington, Kayla Imrie has been a mainstay of the New Zealand team for the past five years.
A member of the Black Fins Surf Lifesaving squad and a talented swimmer it was only at the age of 17 she opted to shift emphasis to kayaking. Qualifying to make the New Zealand Junior team for the 2009 Australian Olympic Festival in her first season in the sport proved an encouraging start.
In 2014 she missed out on selection for the open K4 team but showing great resilience and training on her own at Lake Pupuke she bounced back to make the senior squad the following year. On her open international debut she was a part of New Zealand’s gold medal-winning K4 500m team at the 2015 World Cup in Portugal before later that year finishing ninth in the K4 500m A Final at the World Championships.
In 2016, Kayla made her Olympic debut at the Rio Games, placing fifth in the A Final of the K4 500m.
The following year, she landed a bronze medal in the K4 500m at the open World Championships alongside – Aimee Fisher, Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Ryan.
More success followed at the 2018 World Championships when Kayla secured double silver in the K4 500m and K2 200m boats. Last year she struck gold in the K4 500m at the World Cup in Poznan.