Emma Sheers at her new water ski facility at Coolum Beach ahead of the water ski state championships a few years ago. Inset: The world champion in action in the water.
Emma Sheers at her new water ski facility at Coolum Beach ahead of the water ski state championships a few years ago. Inset: The world champion in action in the water. Iain Curry

A GREAT HONOUR: Habermann recognised for her success

WATERSKIING: One of Bundaberg's best ever international athletes has received one of the highest honours in her sport.

Bundaberg's Emma Habermann (nee Sheers) will be inducted into the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation Hall of Fame that will be handed out later this year in August in Malaysia.

The 44-year-old is one of Australia's best ever water skiers, winning four world titles in jump and slalom water skiing.

She claimed her first in the jump in 1999 before winning the slalom event in 2001.

Habermann then did both in 2003, becoming the first person in 30 years at the time to win the double.

Four-times world champion Emma Sheers in slalom-skiing action.
Four-times world champion Emma Sheers in slalom-skiing action. Contributed

No one has done it since with the Bundy athlete winning 90 times as well in her professional career.

"It is the highest honour to be inducted into the Waterski hall of fame,” she told the NewsMail.

"Only the best of the best, over all the disciplines, are inducted so to be recognised by fellow athletes and officials to be inducted is very humbling.”

Habermann was born in Bendigo and lived in Victoria until she was 18 when she moved to the Rum City.

She moved to Bundaberg with her coach Ray Stokes because the area allowed her to train in the sport all year round with the warm conditions.

Bundaberg set up her up to be the world's best.

Looking back at her career, one moment stands out for her.

"Winning the world championships in slalom and jump in 2003, was my greatest achievement,” she said.

"No one has done it since.”

Habermann said the feat was rare because both disciplines require different skills and sizes from the successful athletes.

But through her hard work and determination, she was able to do both.

"Slalomers are usually quite tall and lean and jumpers are usually shorter,” she said.

"I am probably somewhere in the middle with my height at 165cm but I have a long reach which was really helpful in Slalom.

"I was always a good jumper when I was a junior and I just really enjoyed the challenge of Slalom and worked very hard at it.

"In the end that hard work paid off.”

Habermann's career has been recognised not just by the IWWF but by others as well.

She was inducted in the Queensland sport hall of fame in 2017.

The world champion was also listed in the top 20 in both the NewsMail and Sunshine Coast Daily's list of top sporting athletes last year.

She was voted in at number 12 and 14 respectively.

Habermann now resides on the Sunshine Coast with her husband Ricky and her two children as the family run the Oz Ski Resort in Coolum.

She also isn't lost to the sport.

"I took a few years off competing but have started skiing again in recent times,” she said.

"This last season I broke the over 35 Australian slalom record.”

She is also helping the next generation to get to the top, assisting three Queensland girls last year to compete at the world junior titles in Spain.

Habermann conceded that without the help of Bundaberg, most of her success would never have come.

"I have lifelong friends in Bundaberg who helped me ski,” she said.

Habermann will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 16.



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