University News

July 12, 2022

21 year-old Kayla Noelle Sanchez, fresh from her FINA World Swimming Championship Games in Budapest where she won 2 medals with the Canadian relay team, returned to the Philippines to officially join the Philippine National Swimming team, under the Philippine Swimming Inc, headed by president  Lani Velasco. She was released from Swimming Canada after expressing her desire to swim for the country. “I’ve always been really proud of my Filipino heritage,” she said. “I needed to make this really difficult decision for myself and my family to take this opportunity to represent the Philippines. I want to help inspire people that are like me to swim and get into the sport.

The Kapampangan world-ranked swimmer found time to visit Pampanga and drop by at Holy Angel University to thank the Center for Kapampangan Studies under Mr. Robert P. Tantingco, who successfully nominated her for the Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award in Sports in 2019, given by the provincial government of Pampanga. She was then given a whirlwind campus tour that included visit to the university museums and the chapel. The 2 hour-long visit was also a sort of  a homecoming for her father, Noel Sison Sanchez, of Dau, Mabalacat City, a 1981 Holy Angel high school graduate.  Kayla was also met by OIC-President Leopoldo N. Valdes, a fellow Fil-Canadian, to whom the young swimmer presented her Olympic Silver and Bronze medals won in the team relays. The OIC-President wished her well in her competitive swimming journey in the Philippines.

Kayla was also a multi-medalist at several editions of the FINA World Swimming Championships. In her teens, she broke the World Junior Swimming record for 50 m. freestyle thrice. She was also a part of the 2018 Canadian team that competed at the Commonwealth Games where she won 2 Silvers for the 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relay. In 2019, she defeated world record holder Federica Pellegrini in the 200-meter freestyle finals at the International Swimming League in London. She will begin her residency requirements later in the year.