World champion barefoot water skier Ashleigh-Kate Stebbeings was crowned Queensland Junior Sportstar of 2009 at a gala function in Brisbane on Friday night.
World champion barefoot water skier Ashleigh-Kate Stebbeings was crowned Queensland Junior Sportstar of 2009 at a gala function in Brisbane on Friday night.

Stebbeings awarded Qld's best

IT has been a big year for teenage water skier Ashleigh Kate Stebbeings, both on the water and on the stage.

And Friday night proved that the 17-year-old from Eton is one of the best young sports stars in the state.

On one of the biggest nights of the year in Queensland for the ‘who’s who in sport’, Stebbeings took home the Queensland Junior Sportstar of the Year award at an awards ceremony at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

Queensland’s best sports people were honoured at the Q Sport gala which attracted more than 1250 people. Stebbeings captivated the crowd with her confidence in her acceptance speech, thanking several people.

But, most importantly, she focused on her parents Fran and Ashley Stebbeings.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my parents and their support,” she said. “They have both played a major role in my sporting career and with them supporting me, it has made it a lot easier.

“Friday night was a massive night. It is the biggest night of nights that I have had.

“This award would be the biggest award I have ever received. I knew that I had a good chance as I was in the top eight but at the same time it was unexpected to hear my name being announced.

“I was against so many other great sporting people I didn’t really expect it.”

This year has been an outstanding year for Stebbeings. She became the junior and overall world champion at the World Barefoot Championships in New Zealand.

Stebbeings soared to a distance of 15.5m in the jump event at the Australian Barefoot Waterskiing championships to equal the current world record and was also the winner of the senior sportstar award at the Commander Centre North Queensland Sportstar Awards held earlier this year in Normanton.

She was a sportstar of show on Friday night but less than 48 hours later it was no surprise to find Stebbeings back home and on the water again on Sunday afternoon.

Mackay BMX rider Jack Buchhorn was also one of the nominees for the Junior Sportstar of Year award while Stebbeings was also a nominee for the Senior Sportstar of Year.

The Sportstar of the Year award went to Greg Inglis.



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