Katie Kelly sitting by ocean pool in her Paralympic race suit

Katie Kelly, Paralympian guest

Meet Kathleen (Katie) Kelly. Katie is a Paralympic Gold Medallist, 2 x times World Champion, and the Founder of Sport Access Foundation – helping young Australians with disability access sport.

Katie grew up in Armidale and Casino, and now resides at the Gold Coast. Her mother Eileen, is a member here at SportUNE, and is an avid Aqua attendee.

We sat down with Katie to find out more about her sporting career, and the Sport Access Foundation. 

You recently competed in two triathlons for the Tokyo Olympic Trials, what did you enjoy about these events?

Firstly, it’s been so fantastic to race again after the COVID lockdowns and many races cancelled. Both races gave my Guide Bri Silk, and I an all important opportunity to get some race practice in and see where we are at after a very long training block.

Where does your passion for triathlons come from?

It’s an absolute joy to compete in triathlons. I think like many Aussies we love a challenge, and I’ve always been very active from my younger days when I started doing marathons and Ironman races.

I also love showing that despite changes in your circumstances and for me that is losing my eyesight that there will always a be way to continue doing what you love.

Tell us more about your guide, Bri Silk’s role?

Bri’s role is a combination of Guide, Coach and Race tactian. Our communication is very streamline and it’s about clear, concise language and cues to ensure we are on sync and powering our way through the course. We are tethered in the swim, ride a tandem, and then are tethered for the run.

How can people get involved with your foundation, Support Access Foundation?

We love people to fundraise for us, and as a charity, all donations are tax deductible over $2. Visit our website for more details. Your donation goes direct to helping kids with the cost of sport including modified equipment, travel, competition, and Carers cost.

Thank you so much for spending some time chatting with us Katie, your journey is nothing short of inspiring! 

If you’d like to follow Katie on her journey, follow her Instagram here and Facebook here.

SportUNE is proud to support elite student athletes at UNE.
Our UNE Sports Academy assists student-athletes to balance their studies whilst meeting
the high demands of representative level sport. Find out more about the Academy here.