Australian snowsports athletes of the year announced at SSA Awards

jakara anthony lake placid
Jakara Anthony wins gold at Lake Placid FIS. She also Won Athlete Achievement Award at SSA Awards. Pic by NSW ACT Freestyle

Australia’s top ski and snowboard athletes for 2019 were announced last night at the Ski and Snowboard Australia awards. 

With an unbeaten season, triple Olympian Scotty James was awarded the Athlete of the Year (Olympic disciplines), with triple Paralympian Melissa Perrine becoming 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.”

Ski and Snowboard Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said that across the season Australia’s elite ski and snowboard athletes showed outstanding skills on the world stage.

“It is never easy backing up from an Olympic season but to our athletes credit they not only maintained their performances but, in many cases, took their sport to the next level. Scotty James is a worthy winner tonight. He is without doubt the best Snowboard Halfpipe rider in the world and his unbeaten season confirms this.”


Athlete of the Year (Olympic Disciplines) – Scotty James

It was an unprecedented season for triple Olympian Scotty James who completed the perfect season winning every event he entered. As part of his incredible achievements, Scotty notched up his third consecutive FIS World Championship title at Copper Mountain, USA, the first person to achieve such a feat.

On top of entering the World Championships record books, he also finished the season with wins at The Dew Tour, X Games, US Grand Prix, Laax Open and the US Burton Open.


Athlete of the Year (Paralympic Disciplines) – Melissa Perrine and sighted guide Bobbi Kelly

Triple Paralympian Melisa Perrine teamed up with Bobbi Kelly during the 2018-2019
season with the duo delivering a stand out international performance. Together they delivered 12 medals on the Para Alpine World Cup Circuit, finishing second on the Overall Para Alpine Standings for the 2018-2019 competition year.

At the 2019 Para Alpine World Championships, Mel and Bobbi won a total of 4
medals (1 gold Super Combined, 2 silver Giant Slalom and Super G and 1 bronze

Junior Athlete of the Year – Doug Crawford and Emily Boyce

Doug Crawford was in fine form at his Junior World Championships, taking a podium finish with a bronze medal in the Ski Cross at Reiteralm, Austria. His impressive form in the lead up to the Worlds as well as outclassing a stellar field has put Doug on the radar as one to watch.

Continuing Australia’s strong reputation on the snowboard cross international stage,
Emily Boyce represented Australia well at the Junior World Championships in
Reiteralm taking home a bronze medal. In her first season on the Europa Cup tour the rising star claimed five top ten finishes against many of the top World Cup riders from across the globe.

Coach of the Year (Olympic Disciplines) – Peter McNiel

Freestyle Moguls coach Peter McNiel has been the long time coach of Jakara Anthony and in that time has helped develop her into a world class athlete where in season 2018-19 she achieved second place in the Ladies Overall Moguls World Cup standings.

Coach of the Year (Paralympic Disciplines) – Ryan Pearl and Christian Geiger

Together Ryan and Christian coached the Para Alpine team through the 2018-2019 season during a time which saw the team achieve a total of 14 World Cup Medals and five World Championships medals.

Development Coach of the Year – Jason Clauscen

Jason Clausen coached various junior snowboard athletes to outstanding results throughout the season including a third and fifth place to Emily Boyce and Christina Taylor at the Junior World Championships, as well as guiding young Finn Sadler to a bronze medal at a Europa Cup.

Outstanding Achievement Award – Matt Graham and Jakara Anthony

Australian Olympians Matt Graham and Jakara Anthony won Men’s and Women’s Moguls World Championships silver medals in Deer Valley, Utah.

On the one-year anniversary of the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony, it marked the first World Championships podiums for both athletes, after the pair were the top placed Aussies at last year’s Olympic Winter Games.

Dual Olympian Graham has 15 World Cup podiums and an Olympic silver medal to his name, but was finally able to add a World Championships medal to his collection. While Anthony’s run of 78.99 in Final 2 sealed the silver medal for Australia, only 0.15 off the winner.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.