In the lead up to Rio 2016, I was lucky enough to interview synchronised swimmer Danielle Kettlewell and wheelchair basketball player Adam Deans. More than six months after their debuts at Rio 2016, these athletes are using their exposure to help others, joining forces with Paralympic runner Brad Scott and Olympic Gymnast Lauren Mitchell to create enABLD – “To empower others by teaching them tools and life skills to enable them to achieve their dreams!”
Danielle spoke to me about how the idea came about.
The enABLD Team
Danielle is born to Australian parents, but she was living in Canada when she started synchronised swimming at the age of 8. In 2013 she was offered an opportunity to pursue her love of synchro in Australia, so she packed her bags. Danielle was going through a lot in the lead up to her big move down under. She was actually suffering from a concussion when she found out about the opportunity. Danielle made her Olympic debut at Rio with Australia’s synchronised swimming team.
See my interview with Danielle before Rio: Synchro Goes Rio
Adam was already a motivational speaker before he decided to help create enABLD. At the age of 17, Adam was diagnosed with bone cancer and subsequently had to undergo an amputation of his left leg. Adam competed in his first Paralympic Games in Rio as a member of the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team.
See my interview with Adam before Rio: Aussie Rollers Rio-bound
Brad was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy. He competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing , just two years after taking up running and continued to the 2012 and 2016 summer Paralympics. At his media interview at the Rio Games, Scott said
“To all those kids back home with a disability – the disability doesn’t have to be your excuse; it can be your greatest opportunity.”
This mindset is exactly what enABLD is about.
Lauren may have just missed out on Rio, but she is one of Australia’s most successful gymnasts. In 2010 she made history by becoming the World Champion on Floor. Like anyone, Lauren’s career hasn’t been smooth sailing throughout. She has dealt with multiple injuries and setbacks, showing her strength and motivation in life.
All members of the team demonstrate a great deal of strength and a desire to use their experiences as an opportunity to offer support to others. To enABLE.
Danielle makes it clear their athletic achievements are not what defines them, but at the same time their backgrounds as Olympians and Paralympians is the market they are looking to target. “I don’t think that it’s anything we’ve seen in Australia yet.”
Thank you to the team for taking the time to tell your stories and I look forward to seeing what you can do together….
Watch this space.
You can contact the enABLD team see what they’re up to through various platforms: