Sailor Clare Southwell and tennis coach Gemma Eaton have won Australia Day sporting achievement awards around the region this year.
Clare ‘is one of only two female sailors to sail the powerful 18-foot skiffs in Australia and one of only three in the world. She recently won the 18-foot skiff State Titles in Queensland as part of a three person crew,’ according to the Ballina Shire Council.
‘Clare also competed in the prestigious Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 2019. Her ethos is that you don’t have to be the best to get to the top, just the most determined’.
‘I cannot even believe I was awarded the Australia Day Sporting Achievement Award for our little region. I really did not expect that at all, which is probably why I cried like a baby when I tried to say thank you,’ Clare wrote on social media. ‘Feeling even luckier than ever to have sailing in my life and to live in this incredible country’.
The Tweed Shire Council gave their 2020 Sporting Achievement Award to tennis coach Gemma Eaton for ‘her outstanding work particularly with disadvantaged young players and children with a disability’.
The Byron Shire Council didn’t make an award for sportsperson at this year’s ceremony due to lack of nominations.