2017 Sports Professional of the Year - Jenn Suffield

2017 Sports Professional of the Year - Jenn Suffield

We are very proud that our Training Centre Principal, Jenn Suffield as been selected as 'Sports Professional of the Year. 

Jenn’s enthusiasm and tireless dedication to the sport of sailing is nothing short of inspiring. Jenn’s many accomplishments belie her age.

Her roles are widespread and include instructing, coaching, umpiring, junior Club arbitrator, management and administration. Jenn excels in her role as the RFBYC Training Centre Principal and Jenn’s passion for providing opportunities for kids in sailing extend far beyond the reaches of the Club. Jenn can always be found at the various Clubs offering assistance whenever needed, helping with event results or just bringing training boats out of the water to help the Little Tackers training programmes!

Jenn started sailing a laser out of Hillary’s Yacht Club in 2006 and began assistant instructing the same year. Jenn started working at RFBYC as the bronze fleet coach in 2012 and then as the Dinghy Administrator for the Club in 2014.

Jenn qualified as a State umpire in 2014 and is currently working towards her National accreditation. She has umpired for a number of regattas in WA including the 2016 World University Championships, the 2014 Australian Women’s Match Racing Championships and the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta on numerous occasions.

Since qualifying as a senior dinghy instructor in May 2016 Jenn has been involved with training and mentoring over 60 new instructors and assistant instructors. The importance of the ongoing development of instructor’s skills and the ability to be flexible and accommodating are the reason the RFBYC instructors are so highly regarded. This is all due to the tireless work and passion Jenn has dedicated to them.

Jenn was invited by Australian Sailing to speak at the Australian Sailing WA Regional Club Conference in August this year on female participation in sailing. Jenn’s skills as a public speaker have been further utilised at the RFBYC AGM, where she reported on the progress of the Training Centre, and at regular Training Centre presentations. This is a wonderful asset to have.

Under Jenn’s leadership the Training Centre has been reinvigorated and it is continuing to grow and develop with the total number of participants doubling in the past two years.

Jenn’s passion lies in the ‘Learn to sail’ and junior development areas. She finds it rewarding to see young sailors develop their skills, confidence and enjoyment in the sport. This has led to the development of the RFBYC Adventure Sailing programme which aims to provide a fun experience on the water. This includes picnics and fun adventures for kids who do not wish to race and for sailors to introduce their friends and family to the sport. The introduction of the Orange Fleet has attracted a number of older kids who wish to train and sail but not compete and are too old to join in the Bronze Fleet programme. Orange Fleet is run in a number of boats and is an important part of the RFBYC pathway.

RFBYC is honoured to have Jenn as part of the Club and firmly believe she is an asset to sailing in Western Australia due to her willingness and ability to share her knowledge with others. 


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