Josie Baff has been a successful recipient of a Tier 1 Scholarship within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program and paired with SAHOF Legend and one of Australia’s most successful swimmers, Susie O’Neill as her Mentor.
Josie is a born-and-bred Jindabyne snowboarder that is following a long lineage of proficient snowboarders and skiers. Her Father, Mother and siblings have spent their life in the Australian snow fields and are considered part of the furniture in the winter hamlet.
Josie began skiing when she was two years old and learnt how to snowboard at five years old. “Dad was a ski instructor and Mum and he were doing back-to-back seasons from Jindabyne to Saint Moritz and because they loved it so much, we were destined to follow in their footsteps” remembers Josie.
Her father ran snowboard camps and the family would go to Mammoth. Being a snowboarding camp, Josie decided she wanted to try it because she saw all the other kids doing it. In 2015 Josie began to take it more seriously as she started to secure good results.
2019 saw Josie on the podium at the Canadian Junior Nationals (first), Australian New Zealand Cup (second) and NorAm (third). 2020 had started to be another successful year for Josie as she took out the first ever Australian gold medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games and third place at her first Europa Cup.
Josie speaks of her selection within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program:
“Having this opportunity is such an honour and so exciting! It is so powerful to have access to one-on-one mentoring with Susie O’Neill who is such an incredible and knowledgeable athlete who is going to be able to guide me through not only my sporting career but my life outside of sport as well.
I feel as though it will open doors to invaluable advice and knowledge that is going to help me grow as an individual and become the best athlete I can possibly be. I am so thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to seeing what this experience will bring.”
Mentor Susie O’Neill AM said:
“Josie is such an impressive talent and I am excited to be able to support her in any way I can. It took many years for me to learn everything I did about elite sport and to be able to give even 1 per cent of that back to Josie as a Mentor will be an honour. I’m looking forward to getting to know Josie as a person and athlete and learning from her, especially more about snowboarding.”
Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO, Geoff Lipshut:
“It is great news that Josie has been awarded a Tier 1 SAHOF Scholarship. We are so pleased for Josie to have the chance to be mentored by Susie O’Neill. What an opportunity, Susie stands out as one of our greatest sportspeople, is just a super role model, and is an expert in understanding what it takes to perform at the highest level. The recognition and support from SAHOF will be a big part of helping Josie progress from her Gold medal at Youth Olympic Games to the next level in open competition, and ultimately to the 2022 and or 2026 Olympic Games.”
Snow Australia CEO, Michael Kennedy:
“It’s a huge honour for Josie to be included in the elite group of young athletes receiving the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship for 2021. Earlier this year Josie showed she is a rising star of the sport when she claimed the first ever Australian gold medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Being awarded the SAHOF Scholarship is a nod to that potential and apart from the significant financial support, it comes with a unique opportunity to be mentored by one our nation’s greatest ever athletes in Susie O’Neill. The whole Australian snow community is right behind Josie and are excited for what is coming next in her career.
We’re grateful to the SAHOF for providing such a tremendous opportunity for Josie, as she continues on her path towards the 2022 Olympics and beyond.”
Started: 2008 (5 years old)
Studying: Year 12
Pre-comp Routines: “Before every heat I do the same warm up; a random foot dance game with my nearest friend, a few squat jumps, lunges check my goggles, the strap in and stare down the course. I used to take my rubix cube up to competitions to just distract myself but it’s way too cold overseas for that!”
Sporting Heroes: Cathy Freeman and Torah Bright – both been a huge role models and inspiration.
Favourite Quote: “How we play the game/reveals something of our character;/how we lose/shows all of it.” – Anonymous
Aspirations After Sport: “My ideal career would be interesting, hands-on, challenging and rewarding. Currently my career aspirations outside of snowboarding is to run my own business that offers a waste-free alternative to the common health food stores and cafes, and to create a positive environment with access to personal trainers, gyms and other support networks, all under the same roof.”
Rankings – as at Sep 2020
Snr International: 32
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2020: Youth Olympic Games – 1st
- 2020: Europa Cup – 3rd (first Europa Cup, Senior)
- 2019: NorAm – 3rd (Senior)
- 2019: Canadian Junior Nationals – 1st (Junior)
- 2019: Australian New Zealand Cup – 2nd (Senior)
Bio picture credit: OIS
Last updated 28/09/2020