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Independent’s Meier and Kadeckova – Athlete Spotlights – Presented by KTAG

By Matt Browning

To go along with being teammates on Wichita Independent’s girls tennis team, Lilly Meier and Karolina Kadeckova share a unique connection.

Meier and Kadeckova are spending the 2021-2022 school year at Independent as foreign exchange students. Meier is from Germany, while Kadeckova is from the Czech Republic.

“Sometimes I still don’t realize that I’m studying in the U.S.,” Kadeckova said. “Everything here is so different than I’m used to. I’m still at the beginning of my journey so we will see. All the people are so nice and helpful here.”

The process for Meier and Kadeckova to get to America was similar. Both had to go through the application process, get their Visas, be chosen by a host family and then ultimately a school.

They could have been selected by any state, so both getting to Wichita and specifically at Independent was by chance.

“The transition to live here went very well for me,” Meier said. “At the beginning everything was different and new and exciting. By now I’m getting used to it every day and it feels like I’ve been living here for much longer than a month.”

Transitioning to the way Americans play tennis has been an adjustment for both players.

“The differences are the rules for high school tennis, because we are only playing games until eight, instead of two sets until six when we go to tournaments,” Meier said. “Also the surface we are playing on is different, because I used to play on sand back in Germany.”

Kadeckova also said being able to play for a school has been a nice change from the Czech Republic where players are on teams not affiliated with schools.

“It’s so nice that you don’t have to find another team because you can play for your school team (that’s a big difference),” Kadeckova said.

Both said their experience at Independent has been excellent so far.

“The Independent School is a very nice school,” Kadeckova said. “The teachers here are very helpful and understanding. They are trying to help us every time we need it.”

After the school year is over Meier will go back to Germany and finish her high school education.

“It will take me two more years, because I have to do the 11th grade again, since this year doesn’t count for me in Germany,” Meier said.

Kadeckova will finish her senior year in the Czech Republic next year.

This year in the US doesn’t count for me,” Kadeckova said. “I want to go to the University in Prague and also do tests for a driving license. 

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