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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 16/03/2023.
Ginger Kennett - World Championships 2022
AUS Equestrian Team | Libby Law Photography

Let's embrace #genderequity with Ginger Kennett

The month of March is known internationally as Gender Equality Month and this year’s theme – to embrace #genderequity – calls on everyone to do their part to improve gender equality. 

In this edition, 20 year-old Ginger Kennett from Australia talks about the support she has received from her immediate and extended family during her career. An international vaulter from Picton, New South Wales, Ginger is also an eventer and a student at the National Art School in Sydney.

“I have been riding and vaulting since I was 9 years old. I was instantly passionate about Vaulting but have enjoyed competing within both the disciplines of Equestrian Vaulting and Eventing.

Throughout my development as a vaulter and up until today, I have been very fortunate to have the support of my entire family - my mum, dad, sister, aunties, uncles, cousins and all of my grandparents.

My mum and dad in particular have been instrumental in providing and facilitating the type of role models that have allowed me to develop as an athlete. They have fostered and encouraged me to nurture the mental strength that I have needed to realise my goals and my potential whilst I have endured and battled with various mental health issues surrounding anxiety and depression.

They have taught me not to be ashamed about my mental health and any associated stigmas but rather to talk about it and work through it day by day, so I can accept and embrace who I am and most importantly to be myself. I am a big advocate for mental health and wellbeing support at every stage of life, and in particular the support required in high performance sports to help break down the barriers and shed more light together on how we think and feel.

Everyone has different circumstances and face extremely different degrees of individual challenges. I have learnt that mine are my very own. The road is never free of bumps, highs and lows, U-turns and exits and everyone’s journey is unique. Mum and dad have helped to empower me to make my own decisions and create my own solutions that work for me.

My parents are my strength and my safety through their support. Together they are the greatest team, sharing their own strengths and weaknesses and I think this combination makes them just so compatible and balanced in life.

My dad has dedicated a great deal of his energy to ensuring that I have the infrastructure to practice my sport at home. He built everything from the ground up which enables me to train at home without having to travel long and far.

In April last year, I was competing in Europe during a time when Australia experienced some devastating floods. Our arena was severely affected and my dad worked tirelessly to fix up everything before we got back so that I could continue training.

I adore my mum and dad and everything they do for me to help make my quest as an international athlete realisable. They are always together and I see how their dedication and differences compliment their relationship because they support each other and share their own struggles and highs and lows.

This has taught me how important it is to work through things together, that nothing is insurmountable and that you are never alone in life when you have strong relationships surrounding you.

It has been difficult at times competing internationally with such long distances and long periods of time away from home.

My family support me by never judging me and just letting me be myself, which is why I can be comfortable in my own skin. They ground me and from them I have learnt that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.  I know that they are always on my side and this has allowed me to chase my dreams, make them unforgettable, and individualise my achievements.”

Story from FEI Media Advisory