At a glance:
- Inaugural All Nations trainee Nyaluak Nienkel has impressed through her involvement with the Saints.
- In partnership with Moorabbin Airport, the St Kilda's All Nations Program aims to introduce AFL to some of Victoria's most multicultural schools.
- Nienkel was born in Sudan, is one of 13 children and comes from a sports-mad household.
If you think you’re from a fanatical sporting household, All Nations trainee Nyaluak Nienkel’s family might have you covered on weight of numbers alone.
The Sundanese-born teenager is one of 14 children – and sister to 13 brothers – in the sports-mad family, who are all passionate fans and participants in several codes Melbourne’s south-east.
Nienkel arrived in Australia when she was two years old and has since become an inaugural member of St Kilda’s All Nations Program, in partnership with Moorabbin Airport.
“I’ve always – since I was a kid – wanted to do something in sport,” Nienkel told saints.com.au.
“My brother used to play AFL and he’d always teach me and we’d just get out to the park and play as much as we could.
“Then from there I really started liking AFL and started doing a lot of other stuff with sports.
“Sport just gives me this kind of a feeling and I just really like it.”
Nienkel is currently completing her Certificate II in Sport and Recreation alongside her Year 11 studies at Dandenong High School.
It was there where she was first introduced to St Kilda, impressing in the interview and selection process to be inducted as an inaugural All Nations trainee.
As part of her opportunities at the Saints, Nienkel has assisted with school clinics at All Nations selected schools, helped coach and umpire in the girls’ Little Saints Cup round-robins and even worked at St Kilda AFLW home games at RSEA Park.
“When I was doing the clinic with the little girls, it just reminded me of when I was a kid,” Nienkel said.
While COVID-19 has put a stopper on all outdoor activities and school visits, Nienkel has remained involved with the club performing numerous administration tasks from home.
In partnership with Moorabbin Airport, the Saints launched the All Nations Program last November.
The landmark initiative aims to introduce AFL to some of Victoria’s most multicultural schools through round robin tournaments, holiday programs and a Next Generation Academy scholarship program.