Young Gun Lizzie Crowned Top Junior Athlete

Lizzie Welborn’s meteoric rise in the world of surf sports continued on Saturday at the NSW Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence with the North Bondi youngster being crowned the 2015 Young Athlete of the Year.

For any teenager, a 16th birthday is a long-awaited milestone, and Lizzie Welborn had double the reason to celebrate as it allowed her to step up and test her not inconsiderable talents against open aged athlete for the first time.

She announced herself as one to watch during the inaugural Summer of Surf Series where contested the open board event in five meetings. She did enough to finish fifth on the overall pointscore with her most memorable result coming in the grand final at Newport where she finished second.

“I am so stoked to win this award, I really can’t believe it. It’s just the perfect end or should I say beginning to a season. I just can’t wait to start competing again and see how I go,” Welborn said.

“It was a massive challenge stepping up to Opens for the first time as it gave me a wonderful chance to test myself against the best athletes in the sport. They’re very talented, very strong and I really learned a lot from that experience.”

It was in her own U17s age group where she achieved stellar success at a Branch, State and National Level. She picked up multiple medals at both State and Aussies, including gold in the board race at both events, and an impressive Aussie gold in the U17 Ironwoman.

She added to her Aussie tally with titles in the board rescue and board relay as well, and capped off her adventure with a silver medal in the Opens board race, and a fifth place in the Ironwoman in a highly competitive field.

“For me I guess the highlight was my silver in the Open Board at The Aussies. That was such a tough race and to get a medal and result like that really meant a lot,’ Welborn said.

Her representative career continued to gather momentum throughout the season with a strong performance for NSW at Interstate – finishing with two golds and a silver, and has recently earned national recognition with selection in the International Youth Team Surf Rescue Squad.

The 2015 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly presented by Stramit Building Products. Almost 350 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathered at Sydney’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel for a night of celebration.

For a full list of all the winners and to see photographs from the night please visit the SLSNSW Awards of Excellence Event Page or our social media channels

Photograph - Lizzie Welborn celebrates after being named the 2015 Young Athlete of the Year.

Mon 31 Aug 2015