While most athletes enjoy the rare opportunity to kick up their feet after a long campaign, there is no such thing as an off-season for Chelsea Jones.
The Bulli teenager continues to excel in both surf lifesaving and swimming, which means she is busy competing and training all-year around. Jones has some lofty goals as she looks towards 2024 - including potentially booking a spot in the Dolphins squad for the Paris Olympics.
The 18-year-old has received a timely boost in her helping her achieve that milestone after receiving a Sport Australia Hall of Fame tier two scholarship.
Jones was among 11 promising athletes across a wide range of sports - including archery and sailing - to receive the scholarship at a presentation on Monday night in Sydney. Each recipient will receive a $5000 grant plus support from SAHOF's member base.
At the same presentation, fellow Bulli Surf Life Saving Club member and champion Australian rowing coach Tim McLaren was elevated into the SAHOF Hall of Fame.
"It's a big opportunity and reward for some hard work that I've done in the last season. It was great to be able to rub shoulders with some big names (in Australian sport) and get inspired," Jones told the Mercury.
"It (the grant) has to be spent towards all of my sporting expenses which in a year, between my swimming and surf lifesaving, there's definitely quite a few expenses that pop up. So I'm sure it will be used very well - and very quickly - next year."
The SAHOF opportunity continues a superb 2023 for Jones.
Highlights have included representing the Australian Royal Life Saving Society at the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships in Canada, where she was named female swimmer of the meet, and winning seven gold medals at the New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships.
And Jones - who won the Illawarra Academy of Sport's highest honour in 2021, the Tobin Family Award - has no plans of slowing down yet.
"I'm now training up for another international competition later on this year and then it's back into the pool swimming season with Olympic trials next year," she said.
"I love surf lifesaving and I also love swimming in the pool, and pool rescue is a mix of that as well, so I balance my swimming and surf lifesaving stuff together. But they all help each other out so it keeps me busy pretty much throughout the whole year.
"I don't really have an off-season," Jones added with a laugh.
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.