Lake Illawarra High School

A Positive Future for Every Student

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David Smith

Attended from 1999 to 2005

David Smith


  • During this time he represented the school, in swimming, at the CHS level every year. In fact in Year 7 he was judged to be Competitor of the Meet.


  • In 2002 he represented at the Pacific School Games.


  • It was quite obvious, from very early on, that he was a great sporting talent. So much so, that when he was in Year 8, at the Parent – Teacher interviews, his English teacher told his mother that maybe it was best that he stick to sport rather than school work.


  • The school was very supportive of David's sporting commitments and as he entered the senior years he needed to juggle schoolwork with the demands of training and competition. As a result, he chose Pathways, which allowed him to finish his HSC over an extended period whilst pursuing his sporting goals.


  • David became a professional competitor in the Nutri-Grain Iron Man series and its youngest contestant.


  • He also competed in numerous Australian Surf Life Saving championships picking up many gold medals. It was at this time that he decided to specialise in the kayak rather than the multi-discipline of the iron man.


  • In 2004 and 2005 David was a member of the Junior Australian Kayak team. In fact in 2005 whilst his school friends were sitting for the Trial HSC he was competing in Belgium and Germany. Later that year, back in Australia, David finished third in the junior World Marathon Championships, over 21 kms, and then sat for his HSC English exam the next day. If only his old English teacher could have seen him then.


  • He was selected in the Australian senior kayak team in 2006, the youngest member, and competed in the K2 event over 1000metres in the World Cup and then in the K4 at the World Championships finishing 13th.


  • In 2007, with the Olympics Games just a year away, David needed to cement his position as a member of the K4. Again he competed in the World Cup and at the World Championships where Australia qualified for the Olympics finishing 11th.


  • In 2008 David competed at the Australian Sprint Kayak Championships, which were the selection trials for the Olympic Games. He qualified for the K4 team over 1000metres and was the last man standing from the team that had qualified in 2007.


  • To compete at the Olympic Games is the goal of all athletes. To make it this far a person has to sacrifice a lot. An elite athlete, such as David, spends an incredible amount of time training to get this far and they deny themselves the easy social existence that we enjoy to ensure that their dream is realised. David's dream was realised and he became the first student from this school to compete at the world's biggest sporting event.


  • The K4 team finished in 10thposition at the Olympics but given his age and the fact that one of his teammates was well into his thirties, it is reasonable to expect that David will compete at the next Games.


  • At the London Olympics 2012 David was a member of the victorious K4 kayaking team which one the Gold medal.