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recognized as SLSA’s Official of the Year at the 2018 SLSA Awards of Excellence in October. She is one of SLSA’s most senior surf sport officials and was appointed in the lead role of carnival referee at both the 2019 SLSA Interstate Championships and the 2019 SLS NSW Age State Championships.

Jenny Kenny

When did you first join the surf lifesaving movement?

I joined Surf Life Saving in Hobart in 1980. Lots of my male friends who I played water polo with were members of Carlton Park SLSC. We found out we could do our Bronze in 1980 so some of my polo friends and I put a squad together and got training.

What is your current involvement?

I am a senior surf sports official for both Cudgen Headland SLSC in NSW and Currumbin SLSC in QLD. I also hold the Advanced Resuscitation award and patrol for Cudgen Headland, I am a qualified drone pilot for Kingscliff SLSC and a training assessor.

Why do you think Surf Life Saving is a good organisation for women to be a part of?

SLSA is a great organisation for young female athletes and for patrolling members, and many of our club administrators are women because we can choose the type of activities we want to get involved in whilst carrying on with all our other responsibilities. I love seeing the dedication and commitment of the women in our organization. We can still improve on the number of women holding senior roles, something I am working enthusiastically to realise. I think I was the first female director at state level when I became Director of Lifesaving in Tasmania and although there have been some since then, we need to get more.

Who is a female SLSA member that has inspired you?

Many female members inspire me: those who I see going on patrol with babies and young children in tow, the many female athletes, coaches, team managers and officials I work with on beaches all around Australia, not to mention those sitting at computers at home at night doing club entries, accounts and newsletters! Many are doing it tough but they still generously give whatever they can.

Seeing some of the great young competitors out in the surf at Swansea Belmont at last weekend’s SLS NSW Age Championships filled me with admiration and I hope we can keep most of them with us and see them take on leadership roles.

Jemma Smith is the current and three-time winner of SLSA’s Youth Athlete of the Year and was also recognized as the overall female competitor of The Australian Surf Live Saving Championships in 2018.

Jemma Smith

When did you first join the Surf Lifesaving movement?

I first joined the surf lifesaving movement when I was a Nipper in the U6’s at Umina SLSC, however I had always been around the surf club since I was a toddler as my family was already heavily involved with my pop and mum being life members of the club.

What is your current involvement?

Currently, I do all of my patrols at Umina SLSC, and spend each afternoon down the beach training. I race most weekends, following surf lifesaving competitions around the country.

I love competing, not just in surf sports but also in the traditional lifesaving events such as the champion lifesaver competition.

Why do you think SLS is a good organisation for women to be a part of?

I think SLS is a great organisation for women to be a part of because there is something for everyone and there are amazing opportunities for women to empower each other. The surf lifesaving movement is extraordinarily unique in that it encompasses a wide array of activities that women can explore such as patrolling the beaches, training and competing in surf sports or traditional lifesaving events, being involved with Nippers, upskilling themselves through undertaking a variety of different courses (eg. the Bronze Medallion) as well as various administrative roles that are vital in helping the surf lifesaving movement run seamlessly. It is also a great organization for women to be a part of because it provides an amazing platform for women to empower each other. When women lead in the surf lifesaving movement, it helps to inspire the next generation of young women to follow in their footsteps.

Who is a female SLSA member that has inspired you?

I’d have to say my mum. She has been involved in surf lifesaving since she was five years old, and has taken on a variety of roles within the movement.

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