February 2022 - THE SPORTS CONNECTIONS: Follow Your Heart with Kamryn Blackwood
By AMarie Castillo :: Sports Writer
Kamryn Blackwood is Professional Badass. She was born in Rio Rancho and raised in Farmington, New Mexico. Growing up an athlete in New Mexico, she became a college athlete in Florida, winning Miss New Mexico, becoming an actor, and now a top-ranked Professional Pickleball Player globally. There is nothing this woman can’t do. Most people settle and ignore the what-ifs, but Kamryn proved you can make it anywhere if you follow your heart.
How did you become a Professional athlete?
I entered my first Pro draw at the PPA (Professional Pickleball Association) Texas Open in October 2021. I didn’t know what to expect with the pro tour and all that entailed. There were a lot more rules, regulations, and expectations. I had a lot to learn and had to do it quickly. I wanted to succeed. I remember winning my first professional match at the Texan Open and thought, "wow, I can do this!” I have a lot of work to do, but I can do this! I came back to New Mexico with a game plan. I started a rigorous training schedule and planned out the rest of my year to travel to the PPA Championships, PPA Masters, and a tournament on the APP (Association of Pickleball Professionals). I finished the year ranking at #28 in the World in singles and #48 in mixed doubles. I will be touring on both tours in 2022, alternating between the PPA and APP.
You also are an Actor? How do you balance being a Professional Athlete and Entertainer?
Before the pandemic hit, I lived in Los Angeles. I signed with a top Talent Agency for acting and modeling. I had always wanted to act since a very young age but never pursued it because I needed to make sure I got a scholarship for college and only focused on sports. After Miss USA, I decided I couldn't live with the what-ifs. I sent my headshots and resume to my agency on a Tuesday, received a contract on a Thursday, signed and sent it back on Friday, packed my car on Saturday, and drove out to LA on Sunday. Balancing the two like anything can be difficult, but these two aspects of my life go hand in hand. The work, time, prep, effort, hard work, professionalism is not only for me to be the best I can be but also for the audience to see quality work from me no matter where I'm.
What do you think about living back in New Mexico?
New Mexico is and will always be HOME. If you find your people and places, you can make any city you live in fun and enjoyable. I love our food in New Mexico - from Farmington to Las Cruces. I have my favorite places to eat and hang out. When I come home, I love to get back into my church and catch an Isotopes game. I love to go out to the lake with friends, go hunting with my family or relax at one of our breweries/distilleries.
How can people support you?
If any person or business would like to support me, I am currently looking for sponsorships to help me on my journey this year on the tours. I have been funding my career so far and would love any support Albuquerque has to offer so I can continue to put New Mexico on the world stage!
To discuss potential sponsorship opportunities, email Kamryn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMarie Castillo, a.k.a Part Time Bro is a Sports Comedian who performs live shows and content creator combining her love of sports and stand up comedy.