Brendon Smith is a swimmer and surf life saver who was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Brendon was born in Figtree, NSW, in 2000, and has achieved success in the pool and in the surf. He started competing in 2007 and reached the pinnacle of sport when he was selected for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
After victories at junior level, Brendon broke through on the international stage in 2018. He won a sliver and bronze at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and was Australia’s most successful male swimmer at the meet, and qualified for the Youth Olympic Games. He then broke junior world records and won five medals at the Lifesaving World Championships. The same year, he was named the Victorian Junior Lifesaver of the Year, and won the Rob Woodhouse Award for the highest FINA ranked Medley swimmer of the season, an award he would also win in 2019.
In 2019, Brendon broke the national U/18 record in the 400m individual medley by 1.5 seconds and achieved an Olympic qualifier, before he won bronze as part of the Australian team at the World University Games. This sustained success saw him selected for the New York Breakers team in the International Swimming League, where he will race against the best pool swimmers in the world.
Brendon was ranked number 2 in the world at the end of 2020 at junior level, and competed in the Tokyo Olympic Games bringing home a bronze medal in the 400m IM.
“I am extremely honoured to receive the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship because it means I become a part of a very select group of extremely talented athletes across many sports to be honoured by such a prestigious award. This scholarship makes me feel like I am getting recognised for the hard work and dedication to both my swimming and lifesaving sports, it will assist me to continue to focus on improving myself in and out of the water. I believe that this is just the start of a promising sporting career. Thank you for this opportunity.” – Brendon Smith on being selected as a 2021 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2017: Commonwealth Championships: Overall Individual Champion for Development Team
- 2018: Junior Pan Pacific Championships – Representative
- 2018: Victorian Junior Lifesaver of the Year
- 2018: World Life Saving Championships, Australian Junior Team – Broke 2 World Junior Records
- 2019: Australian Open Swimming Championships: Silver (400m IM)
- 2019 & 2018: Victorian Rob Woodhouse Award for the highest Fina ranked Medley Swimmer Male or Female for the Season
- 2019: World University Games, Italy – Bronze
- 2019: USA Open Swimming Championships – Gold
- 2019 & 2020: New York Breakers – Selected (Swimming)
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Olympic Games – Debut, 400m IM, bronze
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Olympic Games – Debut, 200m IM, participant
- 2021: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder – Tier 3
“I would like to congratulate Col, Katja and Brendon on this terrific achievement, we are incredibly proud to have three swimmers selected in the program for 2021.
Both Col and Katja are already valued members of our Dolphins swim team and Brendon is a young swimmer that has shown great potential and they should be thrilled they have been chosen for this honour.
It is fantastic these athletes will also have the opportunity to be mentored by a Sport Australia Hall of Fame member, that sort of guidance from someone who has been at the pinnacle of their sport is priceless.” – Swimming Australia CEO, Leigh Russell