Nikki Webster releases children's book inspired by friend and paralympian: 'Dare to dream'

Photos: Nikki Webster has just released her first children's book
Photos: Nikki Webster has just released her first children's book Photo: Supplied

Nikki Webster is no stranger to helping dreams come true. 

After her starring role in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Ceremony, Nikki gained fame worldwide and launched a successful singing career.

Now, the 32-year-old has just released an inspirational children's book, 'Dare to Dream', together with her brother Scott, which is all about helping kids 'think big and work hard' to achieve their dreams.

"The book is about a young girl who falls asleep and dreams of doing what she loves – performing on stage at the Opera House," Nikki tells Essential Kids.

"She has to overcome challenges to reach her goals, and wakes from her dream feeling passionate and motivated to conquer those obstacles." 

It's a lesson Nikki learnt herself at a very young age.

"Obviously I was very lucky to have my dreams come true at just 13 and I had a very clear direction, but that in itself brought its own set of challenges to navigate," she admits. "I learnt about the power of hard work and believing in yourself."

Photo: Nikki and Scott with their lifelong friend, paralympian Ben Weekes (centre)

Photo: Nikki and Scott Webster with their lifelong friend Ben Weekes (centre) Supplied

While Scott and Nikki have the overarching goal of encouraging and nurturing young people, including through their three dance studios in Sydney and the Central Coast, the inspiration behind the book comes from one of their oldest and dearest friends - Ben Weekes.

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Ben was just 13-years-old when he suffered a blood clot to his spine - which left him with incomplete paraplegia.

"I will never forget the shock of that day when Ben went to hospital," she says. "But by far my strongest memory, and what's left a lasting impression on me, is the  amazing way that Ben dealt with the adversity."

Ben went on become one of Australia's most successful paralympians - representing the country in tennis at four Olympic games. 

"His ability, even as a young teenager, to accept what happened to him and then go on to achieve so many great things with such positivity left a huge mark on Scott and I. He truly is an inspiration."

With two children of her own, Skylah, 7, and Malachi, 3, Nikki admits her kids have been her harshest critics when it comes to the book. 

"Skylah in particular has been a big part of the editing process and gave us lots of feedback," Nikki laughs. "She's excited she can finally talk about it now too!"

Nikki loves being a mum and reveals the best part is 'watching the world through their eyes'.

"They are both similar and yet so different," she says. "I love seeing their little personalities develop. And they both love to perform!" 

"Skylah is such a sassy little princess. Dance is her favourite thing and she's at the studio every day after school." 

While Nikki would love to write more books, for now she is focused on her dance schools, after COVID-19 forced them to shut down face-to-face classes for much of the last year. 

"We use our studios as a safe space where kids can be creative and connect with like-minded friends," she says. "We encourage kids to work hard and do their best. Anything is possible."

Nikki and Scott have partnered with Paralympics Australia and will be donating a percentage of the proceeds from book sales to the organisation. 

Dare to Dream is out now and available to purchase through Amazon.