Australia’s top snowsport athletes converged on Melbourne, Victoria, for the 2019 Australian Ski and Snowboard Awards to celebrate their outstanding achievements during the last year.
Triple Paralympian Melissa Perrine became the first female athlete, along with her sighted guide Bobbi Kelly, to win Athlete of the Year (Paralympic disciplines).
“It’s really cool, we were up against Benny [Tudhope] and the rest of the Para crew and to come away with it is a pretty cool feeling and rounds up our year nicely,” said Perrine.
“I think this season I put together a bit more consistency in my performances, I’m a relatively consistent trainer but my performances have always been a bit up and down. This year with Bobbi we were able to put together a bit more consistency and that got us some excellent results.
“SSA [Ski and Snowboard Australia] put together such an awesome program. The Para program is so lucky with what we get and thank you to Paralympics Australia for helping out with that and coaches and teammates. We have a great team and are a massive family on the road.”
Kelly echoed Perrine’s feelings.
“We’re a super close family, we’re just really blessed and lucky that we have them,” she said.
Ski and Snowboard Australia Chief Executive Officer Michael Kennedy said that across the season Australia’s elite ski and snowboard athletes showed outstanding skills on the world stage.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners, as well as their family and friends who helped them on their journey,” said Kennedy.
2019 Australian Ski and Snowboard Award Winners
Athlete of the Year (Paralympic Disciplines) – Melissa Perrine and Bobbi Kelly (sighted guide)
Perrine teamed up with Kelly for the first time during the 2018-2019 season, with the duo delivering a standout international performance. Together they achieved 12 medals on the World Para-alpine Skiing World Cup circuit, finishing second on the overall standings for the 2018-2019 competition year.
At the 2019 World Para-alpine Skiing Championships, Perrine and Kelly won a total of four medals – gold in the women’s super combined Vision Impaired, silver in the women’s giant slalom Vision Impaired and women’s super-G Vision Impaired, and bronze in the women’s slalom Vision Impaired.
Coach of the Year (Paralympic Disciplines) – Ryan Pearl and Christian Geiger
Together Pearl and Geiger coached the Para-alpine skiing team through the 2018-2019 season. The team achieved a total of 14 World Cup Medals and five World Championship medals.
By Ski and Snowboard Australia