GRACE Kenny barracks for St Kilda, harbours aspirations of being a boundary umpire and has played Auskick at North Warrnambool for the past three years.
The Woodford nine-year-old’s Down syndrome is secondary to her passion for football, which recently saw her named AFL Auskicker of the Year nominee for round 20.
Grace’s father Sean registered her for the honour after she was involved in AFL Women’s Round at the MCG a few weeks ago.
She was selected from thousands of applicants and is one of 22 pint-sized footballers in the running for the prestigious award.
The nomination saw her travel to Ballarat for an interview with former Western Bulldogs player Luke Darcy which aired on Channel Seven last Friday.
“She’s just beside herself,” Grace’s mother Rachel Kenny told The Standard. “She had a great day ... she responded really well to the questions. Grace, she lives in the moment — then and there she wanted to go to the grand final.”
The prize will also see Grace march in the grand final parade, play a mini football game during half-time and present medals to the premiership players.
The Auskicker of the Year will be announced during a gala dinner, with the lucky child being awarded Geelong captain Joel Selwood as a personal footy mentor in 2013 plus a $5000 National Australia Bank savings account.
Grace’s brothers Lachlan, 7, and Patrick, 5, and sister Lila, 3, and parents will also be included in the excitement.
Grace is constantly making her family proud and proving to be “amazing” — like the song that inspired her name, Mrs Kenny said.
“Grace has achieved so much,” she said. “She always gets involved, always outdoes our expectations.
“It’d be great to see her out there running the boundary while her brothers play.”