Mandurah Catholic College student sets sights on international wakeboard championships

10 May 2022

Stella Kennedy

Just 11 years old, Mandurah Catholic College student Stella Kennedy is proving to be a pint-sized dynamo when it comes to wakeboarding. 

The Year 7 student will compete in the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation’s (IWWF) World Wakeboard Championships in Lago del Salto, Italy from July 25-30, along with her mother, Symmone, who has been selected as part of the Australian team. 

Stella’s first international competition comes after she won the Wakeboard WA State Titles for 10-14 year old girls in February; and finished in fifth place at the Supra Boats Australian Wakeboard Nationals in Canberra in April. 

Often described as a combination of snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding, wakeboarding involves competitors being towed behind a boat on a wakeboard holding a cable while performing aerial tricks and manoeuvres. 

Symonne Kennedy, an Australian wakeboarding champion, said Stella had grown up around the sport. 

“She trains hard and has great agility from her gymnastics background; and I have no doubt she’ll put her best into the experience in Italy.” 

Symmone Kennedy, mother 

“I would always train with the girls during the week when Stella was a baby. We’d put her in a washing basket in the boat when she was little and then we’d all take sets driving,” said Symmone, who started wakeboarding 15 years ago. 

“Whenever it was my turn to ride we’d race out with the portacot, feed her, and come back, so I guess it was only inevitable that she would grow into the sport.” 

Stella first got on a board at the age of four, started competing at just six years old and has gone from strength to strength in the sport. 

“Stella has progressed through Wakeboard WA and has done amazingly well. The best part is we have so many kids in the sport in WA now. They all cheer each other on and support each other, it’s really beautiful to see. 

“Stella is really excited about competing in Italy. To get over there and ride against Italians, Germans, the British, Koreans – all of them – is incredible. She knows if she wants to do well she has a lot of work in front of her, but she’s got the commitment. 

“She’s grown up around wakeboarding so has a fair idea about how it all rolls and what she has to do. She trains hard and has great agility from her gymnastics background; and I have no doubt she’ll put her best into the experience in Italy.” 

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