Kelli Wray is a much-loved member of staff at Santa Maria College. She was also a member of the Class of 2005. What many people don’t realise about Kelli is that she has competed at an elite level in both bowls and hockey. In bowls, she represented Australia and has also succeeded in breaking down boundaries in the sport.
We recently asked Kelli to talk to us about her bowls career and life since school.
What were the highlights of your bowls career?
There have been a few including:
I was the first junior girl to represent the sport in Western Australia at the age of 11.
Being the youngest ever winner of the State Singles, Triples and Pairs events.
Representing Australia on my debut at the Asia Pacific Games and winning a gold medal, with my family there watching.
Coaching the USA Team in the 2012 Asia Pacific Games.
What did you learn about life and yourself through bowls?
Playing bowls provides you with the opportunity to play with people of all ages and abilities, and with each game you play, you learn life skills including success, disappointments, achieving goals and how to overcome defeat.
For me personally, the many years of playing elite hockey and bowls taught me that with hard work and dedication you can succeed, and now I use those previous experiences from bowls to coach other athletes to achieve their dreams.
What was your greatest challenge?
Many people saw bowls as an ‘older person’s’ game, and to change people’s perspective on that was the greatest challenge. Even when I won state events I was still not allowed to be selected for nationals because of my age. However, now bowls is seen as a young person’s sport with thousands participating and competing across the country.
What is your role at Santa Maria now?
I am a groundskeeper at the College where I help maintain the grounds, turf, and gardens throughout the school. I also have a coaching business.
What is it like to be back in your old school?
Well, the first day starting back at Santa Maria College I struggled to call a number of previous teachers by their first name. I was still calling them ‘Ms’. There is this door at reception that says ‘No Student Access’, it took me a while to know I could go through that door now as I am no longer a student!
Every day this week the Career Centre has hosted the Year 12 girls for lunch. The girls were engaged in some informal career information research. Students browsed through various university and TAFE handbooks, chatted with career counsellors and other staff while enjoying hot beverages and home baked treats (thank you, Mrs Hughes!).
In the next few months, the Year 12s will be making some key decisions regarding their learning preferences for next year. Making decisions like this can be a stressful exercise and having an open-house type event where students can come into a relaxing environment and talk about future possibilities makes for a positive start in the decision-making process.
The EcoSisters Service group had a great afternoon on Tuesday after school, during their reflection workshop. They met as a whole group and were fortunate to have staff member Melissa Marshall speak about her role as a volunteer at a Cockatoo Conservation Centre. It provided great inspiration to the students to consider how they can become involved to assist environmental conservation.
Year 9 student, Charlotte Parsons presented information about the negative effects of plastic in the environment to remind students of the importance of supporting the plastic bottle recycling program at the College. Students then worked in small groups to discuss possible goals and projects for the group to work towards during the year.
There has been a lot going on in Science this week!
Year 9 classes have been learning about prisms, visible light and using filters to see what happens when different colours of light are mixed.
“In Science, we have been learning about light, in particular, refraction, reflection and colour. I thoroughly enjoyed this topic as we got to use the light boxes to show what happens with light when shone at different mirrors and lenses and we were able to mix colours.” Lauren Winship
“I really found this light topic interesting, especially creating the rainbow spectrum and learning about reflection!” Abbey Winship
“I loved learning about the colour topic. The rainbow spectrum was so interesting and so cool.” Olivia Taliangis
Year 9 Marine Science girls dissected blue swimmer crabs, learning about adaptations to life in an estuarine environment.
“The dissection of crabs was really interesting as we were able to see the different parts of the crab and how they adapt and move in their environments. I was very jealous of the fish who we gave the fresh crab meat too! ” Lauren Winship
“In Marine Science, we dissected some blue crabs! This was really fun and interesting to discover all the different parts of the crab.” Abbey Winship