SLSA National Awards of Excellence 2021 – Surf Sport Award Winners
Surf sports form a core part of the Surf Life Saving movement and there are four awards. Surf sports provide surf lifesavers with opportunities to develop and compete in the skills that keep them rescue ready for patrol.
Surf Sport Official of the Year – Kylie Innes, BMD Northcliffe SLSC – QLD
Official of the year recognises and rewards officials who have made a significant contribution to the area of officiating. This includes both the commitment shown to officiating over the calendar year and contribution towards official’s educational development.
Over the past season Kylie has officiated at 20 carnivals for a total of 33 days. At her own club, Kylie was instrumental in recruiting nipper parents, encouraging, supporting and mentoring them through their journey as an official. Throughout the 2020/21 season, Kylie has mentored, supervised and conducted assessments on Probationary Officials including timely completion of the necessary paperwork. She always provides thorough, positive and constructive feedback.
Whilst her passion lies in the beach area and her strengths are coordinating, refereeing and working in the flag and sprints arenas, she has also stepped into senior roles in pool rescue, ocean events and lifesaving events, including the champion lifesaver and patrol competition.
Kylie is known for the safe, efficient and enjoyable way in which her arenas run. She is respected by officials, coaches, parents and athletes of all ages and at all levels of competition. Kylie has made a significant contribution in both officiating and promoting the role of the official on the beach.
Surf Sport Coach of the Year – Charles Sheffield, Grange SLSC – SA
The Surf Sport Coach of the Year recognises and rewards coaches who have made a significant contribution towards the area of coaching. This includes both athlete’s performance and contribution to coaching educational development.
Charles is Head Beach Coach at Grange. The team has seen multiple successes over recent years at State and National levels across individual beach sprints, flags and beach relays. Charles has been instrumental in maintaining cohesion and excitement in the Beach arena against the backdrop of ongoing uncertainty created by COVID. 2021 saw the strongest ever Senior beach contingent travel to the Sunshine Coast for Aussies with 16 athletes on the sand, maintaining Grange’s strong reputation in this area.
Charles’ team started their campaign strongly on the sand at State champs, securing 11 gold, 6 silver and 10 bronze across sprints, flags and relays. At Aussies his beach team was prominent across most events with top eight finishes in twelve finals including four medals.
Charles has provided his athletes a diverse program by offering individualised training plans, keeping athletes race ready throughout the off season. He worked with external track and pro-athletics programs to compliment sand training.
Charles’ personal attributes also have a major impact on the athletes personally, his positive nature and energy spreads through the group to inspire and motivate each of them to improve year on year.
Surf Sport Youth Athlete of the Year – Emma Woods, Alexandra Headland SLSC – QLD
The Surf Sport Youth Athlete recognises and rewards athletes who have demonstrated sporting excellence and contribution to the development of surf sports.
Emma has excelled in iron racing across the past season. At the Qld state champs Emma took home an impressive 13 medals including five gold, six silver and two bronze. Emma continued this success at the Qld State Endurance Championships taking out first place in the U19 4km board paddle. Emma was a successful qualifier for the Nutri Grain series, coming third in her debut in round one and sixth over-all. At Aussies Emma dominated her age group in the water taking home four gold medals, three silver and two bronze medals.
Emma is a well-respected mentor at Alexandra Headland, contributing to the coaching sessions and mentoring up and coming competitors. Emma is a familiar face as a leader at the U14 ‘Straddie Camp’ and regularly lends a hand at Seahorse Nippers.
Surf Sport Athlete Georgia Miller, BMD Northcliffe SLSC – QLD
The Surf Sport Athlete of the Year recognises and rewards athletes who have demonstrated sporting excellence and contribution to the development of surf sports.
Georgia has dominated the water over the past season, starting with Qld State Champs, winning eight gold medals. Georgia broke surf lifesaving records at Aussies, taking home nine gold medals, the most ever won by an individual athlete. In the 2020/21 Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series Georgia finished second overall, winning Rounds 3 and 5.
In the Summer of Surf Series Georgia’s results earned her the top ranking winning the Ironwoman. At the Oceans 38 event, Georgia finished first in the Ironwoman and surf board relay. Georgia maintained her winning streak at the Queensland Pool Champs wining both the Manikin and obstacles relays, and coming third in the 4 x 50m medley race.
Over the past season Georgia was co-patrol captain and has conducted water safety for the Juniors at Northcliffe. She patrolled above competition requirements and gives back to the surf community by attending junior training sessions to share her knowledge as well as being part of Athlete Advisory Panels when requested.
She wears her club colours with pride and always represents surf lifesaving in a positive, strong and professional manner.