Olympic rugby bronze medalist Kayla Moleschi gets set for her welcome home parade Saturday as her dad

Olympic rugby bronze medalist Kayla Moleschi gets set for her welcome home parade Saturday as her dad

Community welcomes Moleschi home

Williams Lake celebrated Kayla Moleschi’s Olympic accomplishments and gave her a warm welcome home Saturday.

Williams Lake celebrated Kayla Moleschi’s Olympic accomplishments and gave her a warm welcome home Saturday.

After a small parade accompanied the Canadian Women’s Rugby Sevens Team bronze medalist from city hall to Marie Sharpe Elementary School, people congregated on the school field for a celebration.

Kayla received accolades from MLA Donna Barnett, Mayor Walt Cobb, Lake City Secondary School principal Gregg Gaylord, one of her former rugby coaches Mauro Calabrese and Darcy Patterson from BC Rugby.

Barnett was fighting back the tears as she congratulated Kayla.

“You have made everybody so proud,” Barnett told her. “To all the young people here, look at what this lady has done with the support of her parents and her community.”

On behalf of Premier Christy Clark and the government, Barnett presented Kayla with a plaque.

Mayor Walt Cobb said her Olympic medal was an indication of what a person can do with a lot of hard work, perseverance, commitment and sacrifices.

“Her grandpa told me this morning from nine years old, when they were watching the Olympics on TV, Kayla told him she was going to be on that podium one day,” Cobb said. “Well here she is.”

He presented her with a huge bouquet of white and red roses to show how proud of her the city is.

Lake City Secondary School principal Gregg Gaylord spoke on behalf of School District 27.

“The first thing I have to say is wow, I haven’t yelled at the television that much, just cheering your name,” Gaylord said. “From Kayla Moleschi, a Columneetza grad in 2008 to Olympian bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics in 2016. What an outstanding accomplishment.”

Gaylord asked Kayla if she remembered what happened when she touched the ball for the first time in the game against Japan.

“Yah, you scored,” he said, causing Kayla to giggle and the crowd to cheer. “All your hard work has certainly paid off. Congratulations and keep inspiring these young people here in the crowd.”

One of Kayla’s former coaches Mauro Calabrese congratulated her on behalf of the Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club.

“We are all really proud to see Kayla’s development from when she first showed up on the rugby pitch in Grade 9 and we first started coaching her and knew that she had some pretty good talent,” Calabrese said. “Obviously she’s had some really good work ethic to go along with it.”

He chided her about being able to kick the rugby ball and pass now compared to her first days.

“It’s been great to see her journey and the Rustlers have enjoyed being a part of the ride,” Calabrese said.

“She still lists the Williams Lake Rustlers as her home club which is nice. The Rustlers and the whole community has been supportive of Kayla over the years. It’s been great.”

For the parade the Rustlers had stencilled her name on the side of the team bus and even spray painted the hubcaps and side view mirrors bronze.

Patterson presented her with a large banner signed by every girl that played in the 2016 BC Summer Games, as well as a jersey from BC Rugby with Kayla’s No. 2 on it.

“Thank you Kayla for all your tireless effort,” Patterson said. “I’ve seen Kayla being a young gun on the BC Team all the way to where she is now.”

When it was her turn to take the microphone Kayla fought back the tears and said it was amazing to see the support of the whole town.

“You guys have been following me my whole journey, and a lot of you my whole life,” she said. “I owe a lot to you guys and am truly grateful for everything you have done.”

She thanked her parents Andrea and Ron, saying she would have never made it where she is without them.

“You guys have always taught me to love with all my heart and to give everything that I have into anything I love and dream for.”

After the speeches, Kayla shared her medal with people who wanted a photograph taken with her while local rugby players, coaches and Patterson gave children a taste of the game and its skills in a workshop.

The party closed with a touch rugby game where Kayla eventually joined in for a few minutes.

“The celebration was more than I ever expected,” Moleschi said as it came to a close. “Thank you so much guys, you mean the world to me.”



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The wind has been gusting Friday, March 5 in Williams Lake with the risk of a thunderstorm in the forecast for later in the afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
More than 500 customers in Cariboo without power, risk of thunderstorm Friday afternoon

The BC Hydro map is adding more power outages as the afternoon unfolds

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Many members of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club (pictured) have teamed up with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society to host a free ski in celebration of World Water Day. (Patrick Davies photo - Black Press Media)
Conservation society, cross country ski club, celebrate World Water Day with free ski March 6

The free ski will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6 at Bull Mountain

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read