Kimaya Lampkin has traveled to two different continents with the View Park riugby team (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Junior Kimaya Lampkin is a dual-sport athlete and has become a leader of the View Park girl’s rugby team. A key lesson she learned in being a leader is to understand the perspective of every player on the team.

“I have to not criticize people, because some people might not have the same passions as I do,” Lampkin said. “I help them and I also help myself with doing that because I can’t get mad because somebody messed up.”

Lampkin envisions herself playing professional rugby as an adult, she uses the footwork skills she gains from volleyball when she is playing rugby.

“You have to constantly move your feet and adjust to the way the ball is moving,” Lampkin said. “If someone is running at you, you have to adjust to where you think they’re going to run.”

Being on the View Park rugby team gave her the opportunity to travel to Tanzania, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Her first trip abroad was during her ninth-grade year, Lampkin was chosen over seniors on the team to attend. This fueled her to improve her rugby playing skills.

Through traveling overseas, Lampkin learned how people with different cultures and backgrounds have a lot in common with one another.

“We’re all alike,” she said. “Playing abroad, it seems they’re just like us, they practice the same way. They may have a little more skills than us but I learned, we learned.”

Lampkin also plays club Rugby with the Belmont Shore Rugby Football Team and helped the team reach the national tournament that took place in Utah.

“That was a hard tournament,” Lampkin said. “But it was really fun, it made me realize a lot of things that I need to work on.”

In volleyball, Lampkin saw improvement in her hitting skills. The improvement came from her commitment to practicing. During the team’s first practice this season, Lampkin was amazed at her own hitting abilities and was proud of herself.

“A pretty big challenge was me learning how to hit because I kinda just learned how to hit this year,” Lampkin said. “I can hit the ball with all my strength.”

Playing rugby and volleyball keeps her accountable for excelling in school. Lampkin enjoys Algebra more than other school subjects.

“I like to solve problems and I don’t like writing, that’s why I don’t like English,” she said. “I like working with numbers.”

Lampkin also works to assist the homeless population by donating to an organization on skid row.

“I make homeless bags,” she said. “Even though you might not know how they got there … you still have to give back to them because they’re not where you are.”

When she grows up, Lampkin wants to be a forensic scientist and a pro rugby player with hopes of playing in the Summer Olympics.

“That’s why I keep pushing myself hard in rugby,” Lampkin said. “I actually want to play abroad because that’s another experience that you have to take if it was given to you.”

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