Kath Koschel isn’t your normal athlete. In fact, she wouldn’t even consider herself an athlete. But the former NSW elite level cricketer has more fight in her than most professional athletes ever would. Kath’s story is one of inspiration, from a hospital bed contemplating life changing surgery to setting up a movement that drives her every day passion. There have been more than a few significant bumps along the way, but she has never let the setbacks get the better of her with her physical and mental strength pulling her through challenges most couldn’t even consider.
Kath was an up and coming female cricketer, living her dream playing for the NSW Breakers, when she was struck down with an injury that would eventually land her in hospital, having multiple surgeries on a serious back injury with further complications leading to her left leg almost being amputated.
She entered rehab to learn to walk again and there she met Jim, a man she grew to love, before he tragically took his own life. Devastated and heart broken, Kath channelled her energy into what she could do to make a difference. From here, her charity The Kindness Factory was born.
She started with her own small acts of kindness, feeding the homeless in Sydney for a night, shouting a struggling family their groceries and donating a wheelchair to the rehabilitation centre that was the catalyst for this initiative. And she does this while holding down a full time job in a specialist field in Australian cricket.
Since the launch of this incredible movement, her social media channels have been flooded with other people’s small acts of kindness, either on the giving or receiving end, highlighting what Kath had known all along, good people exist and kindness matters.
But just when she thought her fair share of pain and suffering was done, and her new path was ahead of her, tragedy struck again. While training for her first Ironman, riding her bike with a group of friends, Kath was struck by a car; breaking her back again; and so started the recovery process for a second time. Another few weeks in hospital, another few months in rehab, and many more months of recovery ahead of her. Most people would ask why me? I can’t do this again. I’ve had enough.
And it’s not that those thoughts haven’t crossed her mind, it’s just that she doesn’t let them get the better of her. She’s here for a higher purpose, to ensure Kindness isn’t forgotten, in fact that it’s celebrated and enacted. And she will, who’d back against her!
She is well regarded and sought after for her famous keynote presentation which was first shared Kirribilli House in October 2015. She speaks of the adversities that she has overcome and how she used kindness to turn her life around.
Kath has received several Australian medals and is a contributor in the young leaders initiative, driving change and provoking thought to Australia’s younger generation.