During Sunsets for Kate I have invited others to share a sunset story. This post is from Katie who has Usher syndrome.
Katie Kelly from Merewether, Australia.
Where and when was the sunrise taken?
My favourite sunrise is when I’m at Merewether beach.
Everyone who comes down has a big smile on their face because it simply calms everyone and soothes the mind and soul.
Why were you inspired to capture that moment?
Every time I visit I like to take photos as it’s just such a beautiful spot. This one is not of sunset rather of my friends and I (far right) watching the sunset.
Any other sunset memories to share?
I saw some magic sunsets at Santorini, Greece, when I was learning to scuba dive there about fifteen years ago. Back at home in Darwin down at Mindi Beach when I lived there three years ago and more recently while on holidays at Sandon River near Maclean in northern NSW. Sandon is only accessible by 4WD on low tide or boat across the river. It’s so quiet and peaceful. My friends and I sat at the top of the little hill and watched the sunset with a full moon in the background.
This was a great moment as I reflected on the year of 2016 and being in Rio for the Paralympics.
Like me, you have Usher syndrome. Do you mind me asking what you will miss if you can no longer see?
I tend not to think of it this way rather I think about what I will always see.
Katie received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Australia Day Honours List, and won The Primary Club’s Sir Roden Cutler Award, which recognises athletes with a disability who display enormous determination and dedication in their sporting pursuits, inspire the nation, and are the embodiment of the Australian spirit.
Katie also founded a charity which I have asked her to share with us.
Sports Access Foundation
People ask me what was it’s like to win a Gold Medal. The best way to answer that is to describe what a Gold Medal means.
Michellie Jones told me a Gold Medal would change my life. I came to realise that when I met young girl named Ruby in December 2016.
Ruby always loved to run with her local Little Athletics Club. However, due to an illness she lost her eye sight and is now blind. To access and participate in the sport she so enjoys, Ruby needs support.
I met Ruby at the time I was struggling a little with what I felt like was more vision loss. Then, there I was chatting to this vibrant, energetic young 9 year old who just wants to play and do what she loves doing. A young girl who has endured so much in her own life and all she wanted to know was what it was like doing Paratriathlon. Katie, she asked ‘What tethers do you use with your Guide?’, ‘What is your Guide Michellie like? And so on.
And with that, I began to realise more clearly what that Gold Medal means.
Sport Access Foundation has been established to provide grants to Australian children with a disability, so that they may have an opportunity to play and participate in sport.
Sport Access Foundation is for children like Ruby. To participate in the sport she loves, Ruby needs a Guide, tethers and access to Vision Impaired sporting activities. This will help her well-being, her connectedness and her sense of purpose and belonging.
Sport Access Foundation has some big goals, but for now we want to make a direct impact and help children like Ruby. To do this we are providing three grants to the value of $2,000 to children with a disability aged between 7 and 17 years of age.
I hope you will join me by supporting Sport Access Foundation and working towards getting more Australian children who have a disability into sport. To show your support, you can make a tax deductible donation now.
Thanks for sharing Katie. It sounds wonderful.
Now finally, you and I have not yet met. If we could meet and share a sunset drink anywhere in the world, where would that be? Wish as if anything is possible.
You never know, a sunset fairy may just grant us this sunset wish!
Merewether Surf House*.
*Katie invited me to sunset drinks for her birthday in February, but I think the sunset fairy forgot, like the tooth fairy sometimes does.
Thank you to Katie for taking time away from her training to guest post for me.
I will never forget how proud and excited I was for Katie when I woke early that morning and checked on her Facebook page. Katie and her guide Michellie Jones had won Australia’s first Gold Medal for Paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Wishing you well for future races Katie!