‘When I was growing up, in sport, my family really wasn’t into playing sport. They were into watching it, but not playing it. And I was an only child, so at school I just tried every sport. I tried hockey, cricket, netball, tennis, all sorts of sports. I took a little bit to netball, but my love was tennis, of course. So growing up I just tried every sport. I just tried to do everything, enjoy everything, tried to experience all different sorts of sports to find one that I really loved, which was tennis, and then, now, swimming.

I like to play sport to feel like I’m part of the team, to beat people, to be competitive, to win, to learn how to lose, and, of course, to exercise and to stay healthy. Sport makes me feel really good, especially when I’m playing well. If I’m not playing how I should be playing, or feel I should be playing, and I’m letting myself down, it tends to bring me down as well. But generally, when I play, it just makes me feel energized, and I’m with other people, and they’re getting excited, and they’re getting happy when good things happen when we play sport. So I really enjoy that.

Previously, my love sport was tennis, and it was just so good. We were no superstars at all, but when we walked onto that court, we felt like superstars, we were high-fiving each other, we were woohooing, and we just had so much fun. But unfortunately, because of my knees, I had to give up tennis, and now I swim. And that family is amazing as well. They just encourage you to swim faster, to beat your personal best. And if you’re not actually feeling like it that day, they get you down there, and they get you in the pool, and once you’ve finished you just feel amazing.’

  • Kelli Bailey 2019