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It was a night to celebrate for some of the state’s top surf lifesavers with NSW scooping three awards at the 2017 Australian Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence held in Sydney last weekend.

Phil Traves & Tony Worton Camden Haven SLSC with Graham Ford
Phil Traves & Tony Worton Camden Haven SLSC with Graham Ford

“On behalf of the membership I would like to offer congratulations to all of our finalists at the 2017 Awards of Excellence,” said SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce.

“To be acknowledged by their peers is a fantastic achievement and one that they whole-heartedly deserve. It was a special night to celebrate all that is wonderful about our iconic movement.”

Jake Lynch (Athlete of the Year), Jemma Smith (Young Athlete of the Year), and Jock Campbell (Coach of the Year) dominated the surf sports category after earlier being crowned the state’s best at the NSW Awards of Excellence in August.

Australian Surf Sports Athlete of the Year

Newport’s Jake Lynch made history far from home last September when he became the first Australian to win the Sprint/Flag double at the World Life Saving Championships, and was also a member of the Beach Sprint Relay team that took out silver.

His successful Dutch odyssey continued as he claimed the gold medal in the World Interclub Challenge wearing the familiar cap of Newport.

During the domestic summer Jake managed to combine both disciplines achieving outstanding results in both.

In the Summer of Surf Series he won the point-score in the Sprints and finished second in the flags. At Blacksmiths for the State Championships he scorched home to win the Open Sprint and was also part of the Newport Relay team that beat all comers in the final.

In the Australian titles he walked away with a bronze in the Flags and was a finalist in the Sprints before an untimely muscle strain ended his day.

Away from the track, Jake spends a lot of time giving back to the sport by coaching both junior and senior athletes.

Generous with his knowledge he has also volunteered his time at development programs so that other beach athletes can benefit from his experiences.

Australian Young Athlete of the Year

It’s been another outstanding summer season for Umina’s Jemma Smith.

In a season full of highlights Jemma competed at all levels and co-captained the Australian Youth Lifesaving team to an overall win at the World Championships. She also began to make her mark on the senior circuit with some incredible results.

Jemma’s medal tally includes three gold medals at the World Titles, 16 gold at Branch Championships, 12 at the State Champs, and three medals at The Aussies.

She was also a finalist in the Nutri-Grain Iron Series and won a fiercely contested Open Iron Woman in the North Wollongong leg of the Summer of Surf Series.

Jemma was named Junior Athlete of the Year at the 2017 NSW Sports Federation Awards, and has been away with the Australian Junior Kayaking team where she competed at the World Championships.

Australian Surf Sports Coach of the Year

Wanda’s Jock Campbell is taking the sport of distance beach running to new heights creating a culture of success at his beloved Bate Bay club. In the 2016/17 season his 2km beach runners came home with some incredible results.

Always keen to improve his own knowledge so he can help his athletes improve he undertook and completed two high level qualifications last year.

Jock became the first ever beach coach to complete the Surf Life Saving Australia Performance Coaching Certificate; the highest Coaching Award in the country, while in December he completed the IAAF Level 4 Athletics Coaching Course.

Jock’s greatest strength is to develop his athletes not just as runners, but as people, and this is reflected by the high esteem in which he is held by those he has coached.

Although Jock is not one to seek accolades, his athletes all universally respect and admire him often looking to him as a mentor, friend as well as a coach.

Testament to the depth of talent in the lifesaving ranks NSW entered a finalist in every award.

Additionally NSW lifesavers were honoured by their peers for meritorious rescues; receiving 9 of the 19 on the night highlighting the fantastic efforts and skills of the lifesavers involved, while long-term member Terry Boardman was elevated to SLSA Life Membership.

2017 SLSA Awards of Excellence – NSW Winners

Athlete of the Year Jake Lynch, Newport SLSC, NSW

Surf Sports Coach of the Year Jock Campbell, Wanda SLSC, NSW

Youth Athlete of the Year Jemma Smith, Umina SLSC

Meritorious Awards

North Wollongong SLSC, NSW

Group Certificate of Merit

Matt Goddard, Broulee Surfers SLSC, NSW

Individual Certificate of Merit

Phil Traves & Tony Worton, Camden Haven SLSC, NSW

Individual Certificate of Merit

Jennifer Webb, Killcare SLSC, NSW

Individual Certificate of Merit

Kaye Norris & Doug Hockey, Windang SLSC, NSW

Individual Certificate of Merit

Bronte SLSC, NSW

Individual Certificate of Merit with Bronze Insert

Lauren Pryor & Cale Callaghan, Australian Lifeguard Service, NSW

Individual Certificate of Merit with Bronze Insert

Bronte SLSC, NSW (2003)

Group Certificate of Merit with Bronze Insert

Nicholas Lowe & Lochleigh Thomson, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC, NSW Individual Certificate of Merit with Bronze Insert


Monday 6 November 2017