NAB AFL Auskicker Olivia Carmichael (far left) had a challenging start to life.
She had over ten operations before she was nine months old, three open heart surgeries and a VP shunt just to name a few.
Despite all the health setbacks, nothing would have stopped Olivia from completing her third season of NAB AFL Auskick in 2012.
Olivia is registered at the Kawungan NAB AFL Auskick centre in Hervey Bay and has also participated in a couple of girls only Auskick sessions.
Olivia’s parents Lee and Peter were naturally concerned about their daughter participating in a ball sport after all the operations.
However, an all clear from the doctor and Olivia’s infectious smile and enthusiasm meant they could hardly say no to filling out the registration form.
Olivia’s mum Lee believes that it is a sense of achievement that keeps Olivia coming back to Auskick.
“She can play and be on a level footing with all her peers and she can see the improvement,” Lee said.
And what does Olivia enjoy most about being involved in Auskick? It’s simple:
“I love playing the games and being involved in the team, but my favourite part is the kicking,” Olivia said.
Olivia certainly isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty either and can often be found getting amongst the footy against much bigger opponents, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Olivia’s enthusiasm has seen her selected twice to play half-time little league at the Gabba.
“It’s amazing to play on the big oval in front of so many people and hear all the cheers,” Olivia said.
NAB AFL Auskick is the only sport that Olivia currently plays and it looks like she will be enjoying it for a few more years to come.
Olivia’s inspirational story also sees her vying to be a NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year nominee in coming AFL fixture rounds.