Surf Studio: Episode Five
On this week’s episode of Surf Studio, we are recognising and showcasing Women in Surf Life Saving to coincide with the 40 Year Anniversary of the first females to receive their Bronze Medallion in 1980.
First up we head to Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast to chat to former World and Australian Ironwoman Champion Kerri Thomas, then we head to Portsea in Victoria to chat to the first female Surf Life Saver of the Year Dr Natalie Hood. We then finish up on the Far North Coast of NSW and chat to Jenny Kenny, one of the first ladies to receive a Bronze Medallion in 1980 and a female leader in surf sport officiating.
We chat to Australian and World Ironwoman Champion Kerri Thomas about back to back Aussie Ironwoman titles in 1998 and 1999, and the introduction of the ski leg into Australian Ironwoman racing in 1999.
“There was possibly two or three races that I should’ve won, but these random things would just happen,” Kerri said of her much anticipated Australian Ironwoman titles.
“I often look back now and think did those things happen to keep me going to make sure the sport did eventually get the ski leg in, and that I was proactive and supporting that happening.”
Dr Natalie Hood from Portsea SLSC in Victoria talks to us about her journey from Nipper to the first female Surf Life Saver of the year as well as her competition days and her time as an Olympian.
“I’d finished medicine by the time I became an elite athlete… I graduated medicine in 1990 and it was a bit of a juggle for the first few years,” Dr Hood said of balancing work as a Doctor and training as an Olympic athlete.
“You’re hospital based and trying to study and paddle and do night duty and then finish night duty at eight o’clock in the morning and then go and try and train.
“I’d be out paddling, being on call and trying to paddle with a pager in a plastic bag in your boat.”
Finally, Jenny Kenny talks about what it was like to be apart of one of the first Bronze squads in Tasmania and her journey through Surf Life Saving over the past 40 years.
“There was five of us in the squad, we all played water polo together, one of them was pregnant at the time, so there was sort of six girls in the squad,” Jenny said of the first female Bronze squad at her original surf club, Carlton Park SLSC.
“We trained so hard…with the reel, line and belt we were not so confident as belt swimmers in those days so we did a lot of training and a lot of drills on the beach and it was freezing.”
“It was really tough pulling that belt but at least we were used to swimming.
To find out more about each of these ladies’ stories make sure to tune into Episode Five of Surf Studio this Wednesday night on the SLSA website and SLSA Facebook page.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email firstname.lastname@example.org