Sophia Naismith's family are using their tragedy to help other teenagers follow their dreams. It is almost six months since she was struck and killed by a Lamborghini. Alexander Damian Campbell, 34, has yet to plead to causing death and harm by dangerous driving.
Sophia Naismith's family are using their tragedy to help other teenagers follow their dreams. It is almost six months since she was struck and killed by a Lamborghini. Alexander Damian Campbell, 34, has yet to plead to causing death and harm by dangerous driving.

Sophia’s family: She would want us to make a difference

Smiling for the camera, a bubbly Sophia Naismith had the world at her feet as she showed off her Most Valuable Player Award, won at Australia's peak school volleyball tournament a year ago.

Today, life is very different for her heartbroken family as they mourn the popular, talented and happy teen while battling "unimaginable" grief.

It is almost six months since she was struck and killed by a Lamborghini while on a Morphett Rd, Glengowrie, footpath. Alexander Damian Campbell, 34, of Elizabeth North, has yet to plead to causing death and harm by dangerous driving.

Despite their ongoing trauma, the family is working hard to ensure that her memory is strong and her legacy secured.

Sophia Naismith was killed by an out-of-control Lamborghini six months ago. Her heartbroken family have set up a foundation in her name to honour her memory.
Sophia Naismith was killed by an out-of-control Lamborghini six months ago. Her heartbroken family have set up a foundation in her name to honour her memory.

Speaking publicly for the first time, her parents, Pia Vogrin and Luke Naismith, both 46, reveal how a foundation established in Sophia's honour is helping young people achieve their dreams.

Raising more than $112,000, The Sophia Naismith Foundation last week gave two sports scholarships to her fellow Brighton Secondary School students who showed her best attributes.

Sophia excelled at state volleyball, as well as soccer, netball, rhythmic gymnastics and ballet.

She strived for excellence. She had a "can-do" attitude. She was a team player. She always wanted to improve. She loved competition.

She worked hard at school, aspired to study physiotherapy at university and, days before she died, had secured a part-time McDonald's job.

"Sophia, my firstborn, gorgeous daughter, the centre of my universe, had the world at her feet," said Ms Vogrin, an events officer.

"She was ready to take on anything - anything - which we would have supported her in. She was blossoming as a 15-year-old girl and had her whole life ahead of her.

"She was a really happy teenager and had so much energy and a plan."

Ms Vogrin added: "You just want your kids to flourish and make the most of life's opportunities. As a parent, you would do anything to support your children, whatever they are into, wherever their talents lie or interests lie.

Sophia Naismith’s parents Luke Naismith and Pia Vogrin at Brighton Beach. Picture: Tricia Watkinson
Sophia Naismith’s parents Luke Naismith and Pia Vogrin at Brighton Beach. Picture: Tricia Watkinson

"It's really about supporting your kids, and I think having this foundation is something that really represents and honours Sophia's legacy. Supporting each other is the crux, the core of (being) a teammate.

"That's what they do - you support each other and help each other along."

Sophia's father, a cinema executive, paid tribute to his "angel" daughter's "inspirational" and "supportive" qualities.

"Her legacy, her memory is something that we will always maintain in her honour so that her presence will still be felt," he said.

"Now more than ever we realise how important it is to make every moment count."

Brighton Year 10 students Chelsea Doyle, 16, and Jack Loy, 15, were awarded the $1000 peer and coach-voted prizes to help travel to Queensland for this week's Australian Schools Volleyball Cup, on the Gold Coast.

A banner designed by fellow Year 10s in Sophia's memory was unveiled during the event's opening ceremony on Saturday as her parents, and sisters, Saskia, 13, and Ursula, 11, watched during a minute's silence.

Sophia Naismith competing in gymnastics. Supplied by family
Sophia Naismith competing in gymnastics. Supplied by family

"It's … bittersweet because this time 12 months ago we were watching her in the same competition where she was awarded the Most Valuable Player," Ms Vogrin said at Sophia's favourite beach, Brighton, before flying out.

"We will, however, be proud that Sophia's foundation was able to support her peers who are playing at this time, that she continues to support others to achieve their volleyball dream."

A further four students have won $500 scholarships after playing volleyball for Australia, while a memorial bench, built by Year 12s, was revealed at Brighton Secondary last week. More scholarships and sports infrastructure are planned.

"Out of this situation, we are able to provide a legacy that recognises Sophia's contribution at the school and in life," Ms Vogrin said. "Sport is what she loved and was passionate about. Having something that really represents her is what we've chosen to do.

"It's awfully sad that we even have to have it in the first place. She would want us to do this, to do something out of this.

"As parents, we're really proud that she had that impact in such a short time."

The southern suburbs-based parents wanted to thank the community for its "overwhelming" gen­erosity. "They have rallied together for each other and for us, which we have been really grateful for because there is no textbook," Ms Vogrin said.

"This is a parenting scenario no one knows how to navigate. As parents, we're trying to navigate it with two other children … through a community that wants to be involved, so we want to stress thanks for that."

A bench at Brighton High School in honour of Sophia.
A bench at Brighton High School in honour of Sophia.

Declining to speak about the crash, they told how everyday life was hard. Meal times. Car journeys. School trips.

The family is struggling "to imagine our first Christmas without Sophia and every minute of every day she is missing from us".

Her 15-year-old friend Jordan, injured that same night, is recovering.

"It's unimaginable for a parent to have their child killed," Ms Vogrin said. "You kiss your child goodbye and you don't expect that's going to be the last time that you see them. And our family has, you know, imploded.

"It's really terrible. It's had a catastrophic impact. It's unimaginable. There are no words for it. There isn't actually a word for it. It's too sad to even process."

Mr Naismith praised their two other daughters' bravery.

"We are real people. This really happened to us, and it shouldn't have," he said.

"It's really resonated with people everywhere. I think it's because it's easy for yourself or anybody else to think 'Oh my God, that could've been me. That could happen to my kid'.

"And it shouldn't, but it did happen."

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Sophia Naismith holds her Most Valuable Player award at the 2018 Australian Volleyball Schools Cup in Melbourne. Picture supplied by family
Sophia Naismith holds her Most Valuable Player award at the 2018 Australian Volleyball Schools Cup in Melbourne. Picture supplied by family
A banner created by Brighton High School's volleyball team in honour of Sophia Naismith.
A banner created by Brighton High School's volleyball team in honour of Sophia Naismith.