(Photo credit: Surfing NSW)

Congratulations to Keira Buckpitt, the 2022 DRB Group Tobin Family Award and 2021/22 BluescopeWIN Lonestar Athlete of the Year!

Surfing sensation, Keira Buckpitt has had a phenomenal twelve months, carving it up around the world. The 17 year-old is following in Sally Fitzgibbon’s footsteps, as she becomes the twenty-first winner of the DRB Group Tobin Family Award, presented to the Illawarra Academy of Sport’s Athlete of the Year. In addition, Keira is also the 2022 BluescopeWIN Lonestar Athlete of the year.

After topping the U18 Australian National rankings for 2021, Keira was selected on Australian Junior Irukandjs to compete at the 2022 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in El Salvador. Keira took it to the best in the world, putting on a gutsy performance to finish ninth out of 96 competitors, assisting the Australian Junior team to finish second overall out of 45 countries.

The Ulladulla Boardrider, took out the Australian Junior Online Surf Championships Under 18 Girls title in October 2021 after chasing waves on the South Coast in lockdown.

Keira is part of the Surfing NSW Junior High-Performance squad and finished runner-up at the State Championships in November 2021.

Not only is Keira a champion in the surf, but a champion person, giving back to her local board riders club in Ulladulla, coaching younger surfers, scoring competitions and volunteers with the Disabled Surfers program.

Keira was chosen to be part of the Phoenix Foundation Elite Sportspersons coaching and mentoring with John Steffensen, and as an ambassador to represent the sport of surfing.

“Keira has been a fantastic ambassador for the Academy over the past few years, her passion, commitment and enthusiasm to her sport has been outstanding. She has such an exciting future ahead and we eagerly look forward to watching her progress through the surfing pathway,” John Armstrong, IAS CEO said.

Congratulations Keira!

The DRB Group Tobin Family Award is given to the Academy athlete who, during the course of their scholarship, displays an exceptional level of sports performance, a commendable attitude to competition, persistent dedication to learning and strong community focus.

2022 is the 21st year the award has been presented with previous winners including Tokyo Olympians, Emma McKeon, Blake Govers, Sally Fitzgibbons, Sarah Carli, and Kieran Woolley. The recipient of the award receives a trophy and a $5000 scholarship, sponsored by the DRB Group to assist in their continued development within their chosen sport.

Congratulations goes to the Athlete of the Year winners announced during the 2022 IAS Presentation Night;

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