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What watching sport with my family meant to me – Nikolai Topor-Stanley

Nikolai Topor-Stanley Western United

As Western United prepares for ‘kids takeover’ week at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, Nikolai Topor-Stanley has embraced the occasion by reminiscing on his childhood memories in a sports mad family.

United celebrates the family atmosphere inside the stadia and encourages all families in the West and right around Victoria to get down to Geelong to watch the Green and Black face Brisbane Roar.

Topor-Stanley grew up in Canberra as the younger of two boys in a family that revolved around sport. As a kid he had many sporting heroes of his own, including Michael Jordan, Monica Seles and Mal Meninga – an immediate indication of the diversity of his sports following.

“Any major sports event was a must-watch in my house, which followed weeks of emulating sporting heroes in the backyard or down the local park,” Topor-Stanley said.

Ultimately though, Topor-Stanley found that he had a particular talent for football and began to go down a more specialised path when he was around 15 years old.

Prior to that, he said his family never influenced him to take one particular path, aside from being committed to his education and putting his best foot forward in every endeavour.

“My parents never pushed me into any one particular thing aside from staying up to date with schooling and encouraging me to give my best at anything I put my mind to,” he said.

“Before that, making a living out of sport wasn’t really something I dreamed about or gave too much serious consideration as I was either naïve to the possibilities or was having too much fun just playing and competing at a wide variety of sports as a kid.”

Topor-Stanley said that support and guidance from his family prepared him for all of the ups and downs of a career in professional football, and that he was grateful to be able to reflect on “my personal growth as a person and not just as a footballer”.

It’s a message that rings true throughout the entire Club – the important role that family values play in development, on and off the pitch.

That is the main objective of Western United, to be accepting of its wider family in the West and cultivate an atmosphere that is inclusive, diverse and sets an example to the rest of society.

The Club cherishes its family feeling, and with a perfect kick-off time this Saturday to go along with fun activities for kids and families pre-game, there is no better time to join the Green and Black family than right now ahead of the match against Brisbane Roar.

Tickets are on sale now, and all kids under 12 will go free. Book your tickets now.