Clubs join to celebrate Zoe’s life

Lach Kennedy with the custom artwork 'Wind Spirit With You' by First Nationas artist Gerard Black. (supplied)

By Justin Flynn

Newtown & Chilwell and Bell Park Football Netball Clubs will join forces this weekend to celebrate the life of Zoe Kennedy.

Zoe’s life was tragically cut short in 2020, aged just 13, from an asthma attack.

Zoe played netball for Newtown & Chilwell and her dad Lach played footy for Bell Park so it was a logical move to make the Zoe Kennedy Tribute Match between the two clubs.

“Zoe loved her sport and would be proud to see the sporting community come together to ensure that other kids with asthma don’t miss out,” Lach said.

“As a parent, your child’s health and happiness is the most important thing in the world, you want to make sure you’re monitoring and managing your kid’s asthma. With the foundation, we’re working hard to normalise things like preventers, relievers, and to let people know that you don’t have to feel ashamed to use your puffer and speak up if something isn’t right.”

Local sporting clubs and stadiums will display specially designed posters by Geelong artist Georgia Naughton. The brightly coloured artworks have asthma-themed phrases and will bring the issue to the forefront.

In a special addition for the 2023 event, an art auction will be held, featuring a unique piece by renowned First Nations artist Gerard Black. His custom artwork, titled ‘Wind Spirit With You’ portrays Zoe’s colour purple and depicts the importance of healthy connections between family and community.

Since its establishment in 2020 by the Kennedy family and Figurehead Group, the Zoe Kennedy Foundation has made remarkable strides in supporting young people with asthma.

With nearly $300,000 raised, the foundation has funded a Virtual Care PHD and product trials for Puff-ah, an innovative smart inhaler system designed to improve adherence to asthma medications.

“We’re humbled by the support of the Geelong community – particularly the Newtown and Bell Park Football Netball Clubs,” Lach said.

“There is genuine care for players and we’re proud of what this is generating in terms of asthma awareness in sport.”

The Zoe Kennedy Tribute Match is on Saturday August 5 at Elderslie Reserve, Newtown.

The schedule includes netball matches starting at 8am, followed by football matches for the Under 16s, Under 18s, reserves and the main event at 1pm, featuring activities such as face painting, balloon twisting and a silent auction.

Netball presentations and a ceremony will be held at 1.30pm, leading up to the seniors’ football match between Newtown & Chilwell and Bell Park at 2.30pm.

The day concludes with a trophy presentation, live entertainment, food trucks, a raffle draw and the highly anticipated art auction at 6pm.

For more information and updates about the Zoe Kennedy Tribute Match, visit or follow @zoekennedyfoundation on social media.

Purple ‘Inhale Exhale’ beanies will be on sale for $30 and scarves for $35, symbolising unity and raising funds for the Zoe Kennedy Foundation.