Like mother, like daughter, Smith’s lifesaving skills run in the family
Jemma Smith’s passion for lifesaving runs in the family.
The 2019 Open Female Champion Lifesaver is her mother’s daughter.
“She got me involved in the sport when I was a nipper and she introduced me to the lifesaving side of things,” Smith said.
“She’s been doing that for a long time. I was really intrigued, and I’ve loved doing it ever since.”
The Smith family had more than one reason to celebrate at the 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships when Mum Kerry won the 40 Years and Over Female Champion Lifesaver.
“It was exciting and special to do that alongside her,” she said.
Smith and her sister are third generation members of Umina and her mum and pop are life members of the club.
“Surf lifesaving and lifesaving aspects are a really big part of our club, we’ve got a strong contingent at Umina in the first aid and champion life saver.
“I feel fortunate we’ve been introduced to it and have such a strong foundation at our club to build upon.”
All-rounder Smith stepped up to the Opens in 2019 and brought form to the Aussies having won the ironwoman and ski events at the NSW State Championships.
“I’ll be going around the cans plenty of times in the board, the skis and ironwoman.
“At the Aussies it’s the atmosphere, I love being down on the beach, being in the team races, when you’re on the line with your team mates you lift that extra little percent.”
When asked what event she likes best, Smith said she’s fortunate to do both.
“I love the Ironwoman as it tests all your disciplines and champion lifesaver utilises the aspects you use on the beach every day when you are on patrol.”
“You do a swim, a board, a tube and sprint race and then you go and do the 40 question theory paper. We do a live patient assessment and then CPR on a mannequin, so it incorporates a wide variety and you really have to prepare for everything.
“Two days leading into it I’m in lockdown studying the book making sure I am up on all my theory knowledge.”
Known for her versatility, Jemma has big plans for a sporting future. Later this year she will compete at the 2019 World Kayaking Championships (Sprint) and Ocean Ski World Championships.
“Exciting off season for me, I’m excited to see what those opportunities bring and keen to test out my skills in a different arena – definitely a lot of work to do,” she said.
For full Aussies 2019 results >> click here