Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy

Adventurous, fun-loving Paralympian sportswoman, philanthropist and mentor

Life for adventurous, fun-loving Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy has been anything but dull. Born on 21 June 1986 with one leg shorter than the other, her right foot was amputated when she was just eighteen months old.

It wasn’t long before Kathleen mastered the art of life with an artificial leg, and, growing up in a very sporty family, Kathleen soon was playing many sports and showing a particular talent for basketball. Her mentors, Paralympians Don Elgin and Tim Matthews, convinced her to try Paralympic sport, providing a turning point that would later see her travel across the world to pursue her passion.

In 2000 Kathleen led the way in a fund-raising effort to ensure a group of young children with missing limbs could go to Sydney to witness the Paralympics. Her generous nature still sees her heavily involved with creating opportunities for those less fortunate.

Kathleen insists that the most challenging yet most rewarding and amazing experience she has had in her life has been away from the court, when she had the honour of caring for 3 young people in foster care.

Kathleen enjoys being outdoors, going to the beach (and is learning how to surf), camping, practices yoga and pilates and volunteers at Roelands Village (an ex Aboriginal mission) as a mentor for their pre-employment program. Displaying an incredible resilience and passion for helping others, Kathleen O'Kelly-Kennedy is a lady on a mission, and it is hardly surprising that is in demand as a speaker all over Australia.

Close to 10 years experience in public speaking/mentoring, able to cater to many different events/topics including: Fighting back from adversity, body image, self-esteem, learning from failure, what it means to be brave in sport, sacrifice, the importance of a balanced life, courage, goal setting, dedication, team work, embracing your difference and other peoples differences, Paralympic sport, having a go, what it means to be an elite athlete, maintaining motivation, keys to success, the different tricks you can play on people if you're lucky enough to have one leg!

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