Kerryn Bessel (nee Bailey)

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The Bailey family have a long sporting history in Broken Hill as accomplished footballers, playing for both North Football Club and Central Football Club, so it is no surprise that Kerryn grew up with the talent and determination that it takes to compete as a world-class gymnast. 

Kerryn Bailey quickly climbed the South Australian gymnastics ranks: in 1976 she joined the South Australian State Under 14s team competing at the Australian National Championships; in 1977 as a member of South Australian State Silver Open team, Kerryn competed at the Australian National Open (Silver) Championships. 

In 1978, after a stunning performance at the Nationals, Kerryn, aged 14, was selected as a reserve to compete at the World Gymnastics Championships in Strasburg France. 

At 15, and the height of her international career, Kerryn represented Australia in the World Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. She retired from competitive gymnastics after the Fort Worth Championships and, after completing her education, became a coach at the Broken Hill Gymnastics Club, sharing her skill and knowledge and inspiring young Broken Hill athletes to fulfil their dreams. 

Kerryn was honoured with the Athletic Award of Distinction by Gymnastics Australia, an award given to athletes who compete in the Olympic Games and Senior World Championships, including the Commonwealth Games. She has also been awarded Life Membership of the Broken Hill Gymnastics Club. 

Now married with two adult children, Kerryn Bessel is still serving her community as Practice Manager of Broken Hill’s Williams Street Surgery. 

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