Umina Surf Life Saving Club’s Jemma Smith was featured in a national campaign by Surf Life Saving Australia.
As part of its 2019 International Women’s Day celebrations, Surf Life Saving Australia has been profiling inspiring women within the surf lifesaving family.
Jemma was one of two women profiled for the 2019 campaign.
Jemma spoke to Surf Life Saving Australia about how she got started with her Umina club as well as her thoughts on the role of women in surf lifesaving.
“I first joined the surf lifesaving movement when I was a Nipper in the Under 6’s at Umina.
“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,” said Jemma.
“Currently, I do all of my patrols at Umina 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,” Jemma said.
She said she enjoyed how the movement embraced women at all levels.
“I think surf lifesaving 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 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, like the Bronze Medallion and so on, as well as, various administrative roles that are vital in helping the surf lifesaving movement run seamlessly.
“It is also a great organisation 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,” Jemma said.
She said her own mother had always been a source of inspiration and support.
“Mum has been involved in surf lifesaving since she was five years old and has taken on a variety of roles within the movement,” Jemma said.
Media release, 8 Mar 2019
Graham Ford, SLS Australia