Published on 7 October 2016
An aspiring web designer studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast has returned from competing in a thrilling World University Waterski Championships in Japan.
USC Design and Marketing student Jessica Schmidt, 19, was one of just six water skiers to be selected for the Australian team for the event, which last month attracted student athletes from 19 countries to Akita city in northern Japan.
Competing against skiers from countries including South Korea, Mexico, the US and Sweden, Jessica recorded an 18th place in tricks and came in 23rd in the slalom event.
The Coolum Beach resident said it was a thrill to represent Australia and USC.
“There was a fantastic buzz at the event,” she said. “I couldn’t believe how many people were there to watch and cheer on all the competitors.
“There’s a lot of pressure at a competition as big as the World University Championships – you want to get the best score possible, but one mistake and it’s all over.
“I was pretty pleased with my performance, given that I was up against some really talented skiers from around the world.”
Originally from the Clare Valley in South Australia, Jessica enrolled at USC after finishing high school to make the most of water skiing opportunities on the Sunshine Coast.
She said studying a Bachelor of Design and Marketing at USC provided a good balance to the extensive physical training she undertakes each week.
“I like to push myself, and uni and water skiing are two really different challenges.
“I have at least three gym sessions each week and I’m out on the water six times a week, so it’s good to have a focus outside of that.”
Jessica is training to qualify for the Moomba Masters, an international invitational carnival to be held in Melbourne in March 2017.
— Gen Kennedy