School will soon be underway and fall sports—soccer, girls’ volleyball, football, girls’ tennis and cross country—are gearing up. Student-athletes at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, which has a full slate of competitive sports, are now under the thoughtful guidance of Olympian Kym Carter, who began as athletic director on July 1. Since then, she has met with at least 27 head coaches.

“I have always had—even during my professional career—some involvement in coaching and also an interest in working with young people,” said Carter, a former world-ranked heptathlete and accomplished coach. “When I was still a professional athlete training at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I took myself over to a local Boys and Girls Club and started volunteering. I eventually became the program director there. [This position] is the opportunity to be involved in helping to form the minds and ways of thinking for young people and set them off on a good path.”

Carter likes the idea of working with young student-athletes and helping them translate sports into life experiences and lessons. “Helping them be able to use their athletic experiences to see how that can translate to working on a paper for school, having your first job and being a responsible individual,” she said. “I often just try to help them realize how great they are.”

Getting acquainted with Poly Prep’s coaches has been smooth, describing them as a great group of people. Carter said everyone, both in athletics and throughout the school, are very welcoming. It was good to get introduced during the summer when things were less hectic. As of this week there are orientation and department meetings.

There was a national search for the position of athletic director with applications from around the country. It was clear that Carter, who was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2020, has the leadership abilities to oversee the athletic program and the understanding that student-athletes also focus on their academics. She appreciates that school administration has a vision for a wonderful, inclusive school.

There are some exciting new things for this school year. “We just finished putting in the new baseball field, which has soccer and lacrosse fields on it as well,” said Carter. “We’re still in the process of finishing our new girls’ soccer field.”

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