SURF STUDIO: Jaime Roberts
On the latest episode of Surf Studio, we to talk to Olympic debutante Jaime Roberts from Mullaloo SLSC in Western Australia about her love of surf lifesaving, paddling and her journey to join the Australian Olympic Kayaking team.
“I was a bit of a late bloomer to kayaking…I was working up north in Pilbara on the mines, driving a truck and listening to the London Olympics and the men’s K4 1000 was racing,” Jaime said.
“I didn’t really know what kayaking was, but I knew a few surf lifesavers that did this sport called ‘kayaking’… and all four in that boat were surf lifesavers.
“I remember listening to the race getting really excited, and they ended up winning Olympic gold which I thought was so awesome.
“I suppose I made the connection going hang on a second…maybe I could go to the Olympics and do something as special as what they have done.”
Eight years on from listening to the Australian men win Gold, Jaime has booked her own spot on the team for Tokyo 2021 in the Australian women’s K4 1000m.
Surf lifesavers and ski paddlers have a long history of competing in kayaking at the Olympics and Jaime and her fellow teammates in the Australian Olympic Kayaking team are no exception, with most of the team having come from surf lifesaving clubs around the country.
“I would say that ninety-nine per cent of kayakers are from a background in surf lifesaving or have dabbled back into it after having seen all of us come from such a fun sport,” said Jaime.
“That’s how I got into kayaking as well, it was through surf lifesaving.”
While kayaking is certainly Jaime’s focus for the near future, ski paddling and surf lifesaving will always play a role in her future.
“I’ve had a lot of achievement in the kayaking side of things over the past seven years, but I’m still only on one Aussies gold medal which hopefully next year we can make a change to that,” Jaime said.
“I’ll always be a paddler no matter what sport it is, but I do especially see surf lifesaving being a long part of my life until I’m basically in a wheelchair.”
To hear more about Jaime’s story and her journey to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics make sure to tune into Episode Seven of Surf Studio 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