Jamie Ann Perkins is a multi-sport athlete who specialises in swimming and surf lifesaving. She was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2023 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Born in 2005 on the Sunshine Coast, Jamie was competing competitively at the Mountain Creek Swim Club and the Alex Surf Club by the time she was 8 years old.
2019 was a career-defining year for Jamie, however, it wasn’t always positive. She had an underwhelming start to the year as she finished 50th overall in the 100m freestyle at the National Championships, before she bounced back in spectacular fashion at the QLD State Swimming Championships in December where, as the underdog, she claimed gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events.
Unfortunately, after finishing 2019 so well, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted her 2020 season and she was devastated that the Junior World Championships were cancelled, especially having such a good State Championships put her in contention to be a part of the national team. Another set-back came just two weeks before the 2020 State Championships when Jamie was informed that her coach and training partner were both moving on. Despite these obstacles, Jamie went on to defend her QLD State title in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events.
In 2021, she developed as an independent athlete and did a lot of one-on-one training with former Olympian, Chris Wright and, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued disrupting her preparations and any opportunities for international competition, Jamie continued to work hard and focus on the long term.
In her first year competing in the U17 Aussie Surf Life Saving competition, Jamie had quite an extensive program. She competed in, and won, the 2km ocean swim, as well as the surf race, board race, ironwoman competition, the Taplin relay, belt race, surf teams and, Open surf teams BMD Northcliffe Surf Club. In all, she collected an incredible eight gold medals – the second most ever won at these Championships.
She soon realised that if she wanted to continue to pursue her swimming career, she would need to move to a bigger swim program, and so, she joined the swim program at St Peter’s Western. St Peter’s Western had always fostered an environment that athletes want to join, and Jamie decided it was the right move for her; with her own talent, plus the work ethic of other athletes and the Program’s coaches, it was a great fit.
16-year-old Jamie went to the 2021 State Championships excited to swim under SPW. She added two extra events to her program and came away with a clean sweep of all the freestyle events in her age group: the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m.
Returning to the Aussies in 2022, defending champion Jamie had a target on her back. However, she dealt with the pressure and added motivation of her competitors to win another six U17 gold medals – she won the surf race, board race, board rescue, board relay and Taplin relay, and placed second in ironwoman. After another successful Aussies, Jamie was selected for the Surf Life Saving Junior World Championships Team, however, decided to withdraw and focus on Swimming and finishing Year 12.
Jamie competed against open-age women at the Australian Swimming Championships and performed well, swimming PB’s in every event. She is currently ranked #1 as a junior in the 200m, 400m, 800m, and #2 in the 1500m freestyle.
“It is an honour and a pleasure to receive the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship. With the support and financial assistance, I will be able to continue my journey towards success. I feel incredibly honoured to be recognised alongside several other top athletes across Australia from a variety of sports. Receiving this scholarship will help me on my path towards success and allow me to continue to grow and develop as an athlete.” – Jamie Perkins on being selected as a 2023 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
Honours & Achievements
- 2021: Junior World Championships – Representative (Covid19 cancelled)
- 2021: Australian Surf Life Saving Championships – 8 x golds
- 2022: Australian Surf Life Saving Championships – 6 x golds
- 2022 Swimming Australian Championships – Freestyle 200m, 1st
- 2022: Swimming Australian Championships – Freestyle 400m, 6th
- 2022: Swimming Australian Championships – Freestyle 800m, 4th
- 2023: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder