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Keeping the kegel tradition alive

Keeping the kegel tradition alive

Elizabeth (Betty) Nicolai’s health prevents her from extensive involvement with the Tanunda Kegel Club but she still shows enthusiasm for the sport which she took up more than 30 years ago.

And even though she has stepped down from the president’s position, Betty of Tanunda is encouraged to see a new generation of kegel players coming through.

The Tanunda Kegel Club is the only club of its kind in the southern hemisphere and strongly reflects the history of the region.

Prior to 1973 it was a men’s only competition, but Betty with the encouragement of Gunther Dummin and his wife, Brigitte formed the first ladies’ competition.

The Nicolai family is extremely dedicated to the sport – Betty was the ladies’ president from 1974 to 1985 and then took on the role as the president of the whole club. Her late husband, Dennis was heavily involved too and at one stage five members of the immediate family were involved – hence the reference to the Nicolai Kegel Club.

“The men spoilt us… we were home twiddling our thumbs and they were playing kegels,” said Betty.

“The enjoyment of competition… it taught you more or less to think of others as well as yourself and when you had a good score you were proud of yourself and when others had a good score, it was about good sportsmanship.”

Today, Betty’s son, Geoff is secretary and the pair work hard to promote the sport far and wide.

Since the 1980s, Geoff has been on the committee and said it was quite handy having his mother as president.

“At least you are on the same wave length,” said Geoff.

For the full story, grab February 6 edition of The Leader.