From left: Debbie, Kelly, Chloe and Daphne at 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Q: With so many other sport organisations and non for profits, why did you choose Special Olympics Australia?
Kelly: When I was a junior tennis player I was in mainstream competition but there were very bad moments with other kids around me so my parents looked for other tennis opportunities and that’s when I joined Special Olympics.
Q: What is your favourite Special Olympics Sport? Or what sport did you play as a kid?
Kelly: I have been holding onto a tennis racquet since I was 8 years old. Tennis has been a big part of my life not just as a player but also being a coach and giving back to my sport.
Q: Is there a particular moment, memory or achievement that stands out for you?
Kelly: Yes I have been to four World Games as an athlete playing tennis and I have been to two Junior Games as a coach for tennis. Special Olympics has given me that chance to give back by supporting me and for me to show off my skills as a coach to give back as well my knowledge to a beginner player of how I dealt with areas.
Q: How has Special Olympics Australia impacted your life?
Kelly: As a person who has an intellectual disability it has given me the confidence to use what I have learnt in Special Olympics to seek new tennis skills, to also grow as a person and as a tennis player. Special Olympics has also taught me life skills through competition, training and travelling in teams.
Q: What difference have you seen the Special Olympics movement make on athletes or family members lives?
Kelly: Special Olympics improves the lives of athletes and parents. Athletes learn new skills, parents get the opportunity to talk with other parents – everyone gets a better understanding of living with a disability.
Q: What would you say to someone considering volunteering for Special Olympics Australia?
Kelly: Do it - it is rewarding. You do it once as I did as a coach and I haven't looked back. It is something that you can put on your CV, it’s challenging as you do work with all abilities, but you also learn more about yourself with chatting and meeting new people along the way.
Q: What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Kelly: I have played basketball for Australia as part of Basketball Australia’s Intellectual Basketball Team called The Pearls. I won two Basketball World Championship medals in my time in the team.
Q: Where to from here, what’s next, what does the future look like for you?
Kelly: I will be always continuing to volunteer and give back to Special Olympics and will also play tennis for as long as I can.
Thank you Kelly!
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