Australia's top competitive lifesaver on success in study and on the sand

by frank-stuart

Internationally one of the fastest men on the sand, Jake Lynch has recently been named Surf Life Saving Australia’s Athlete of the Year after having just finished his ACPE Health and Movement (Sport) Degree.

His event – the beach sprint and flags – might be fast and furious, but Jake’s approach to his professional career is calm. “I took four years to do the three-year degree. It gave me enough time to fit in training, competing, travel, study and a social life,” he said. “ACPE’s teachers are so willing to help you study and succeed at sport.”

In 2016, Jake was the first Australian to win the sprint/beach flag double at the World Championships in the Netherlands. He returned home with three gold medals – two for his country and one for his club, Newport. As well as being an individual champion, Jake successfully competes as part of a team. This November, he’ll be on the Australian team at the International Surf Rescue in New Zealand.


“I started competing as a Nipper but it wasn’t until I was 15 years old that I realised if I trained, I’d get better results,” Jake said. “I’m fortunate to train with my Dad, who’s been a sprint coach for 30 years and trains a 20-athlete squad. I’ve been surrounded by some great coaches, including several Olympic champions, and they’ve really helped me to develop in my sport.”

While Jake started coaching before his study at ACPE, he said his degree gave him a better knowledge of how to coach. He chose to study Health & Movement because it’s a well-rounded degree. “It can lead to different avenues for work. I really enjoyed science and movement,” Jake said. “It really triggered my interest in different aspects of coaching.”

Jake is currently coaching Nippers in sprints and flags at various surf clubs and doing junior and senior strength and conditioning for athletes in different sports. “I’m gathering experience and gradually forming my own coaching style. It takes a long time to build your skills and reputation,” he said.

On his career bucket list is a specialist role in strength and conditioning coaching for elite athletes. As for his sports bucket list, it is to win the National Surf Lifesaving sprint and flag double in Perth next year. He would be the first person to win both events at the same competition. Given Jake’s commitment and work ethic, it seems his career and sports goals are well within his grasp.

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