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A group of athletes standing together

Photo: Former KidSport recipients Paralympian Ben Popham, Kayla Nel and Keara Nel, with Olympian Peter Bol.

When kids join a club, they not only join a team where they get to play sport and learn new skills. They also become part of a community where they can make friends, learn valuable life and leadership skills.

The department recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the program by looking at the benefits to some former and current recipients.

This includes twin gymnasts Keara and Kayla Nel who received crucial KidSport support on their sporting journey, where they ended up representing Australia all over the world.

“As a single parent I couldn’t afford for them to do more than one sport at a time. Gymnastics is an expensive sport — my kids couldn’t have done it without KidSport,” says their mum Jodie who believes playing sport created positive outcomes for her daughters. “KidSport gave my children the chance to experience everything they wanted and worked hard for, without being held back by financial constraints. It’s helped them to reach for the stars.”

Now as gymnastics coaches, the sisters enjoy sharing their love of the sport with others and helping kids reach their potential.

“If a child is finding it hard to learn a skill, I can use my own experiences to help them” Keara said. “I love to inspire and mentor younger athletes especially when they’re dealing with mental blocks.”

Find out about some KidSport champions.

The 10th anniversary couldn’t go unmarked, so the KidSport team invited the Nel twins,fellow KidSport recipient Paralympian Ben Popham and  special guest Olympic runner Peter Bol to come and speak to local governments and sporting clubs who are important partners in promoting KidSport and processing vouchers which go towards more than 2000 clubs.


Page reviewed 27 February 2023