Lori Chaplin, from Southern Cross Swimming Club, has won the highest award for a swimming official in Australia.
Mrs Chaplin was named the Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year at the Swimming Australia Awards on February 19.
The Burpengary East resident helps at all levels of the sport, from school and club levels to state, national and international meets.
Last year, as a Technical Official representing Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, she was on a referees’ boat for the Tokyo Olympic 10km open water swim.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only swimmers were able to attend the Gold Coast awards.
Mrs Chaplin found out while standing on the pool deck at the Queensland Sprint Championships in Chandler the following day.
“The announcer started going through the winners and suddenly read out my name!” she said. “I just went … what?
“People around me were very kind saying ‘congratulations’, but I really did not expect it. I feel so privileged. It’s a pleasure doing what I do.”
“I just try to give back to the sport. I have my husband and children to thank for doing so much while I’m doing this.”
Mrs Chaplin has been officiating for more than 20 years and has a Swimming Australia pin for 10 consecutive years of national meets.
She started officiating to help at a club meet and worked up through Brisbane and state events to travelling Australia and overseas to Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Mrs Chaplin as been reappointed by the sport’s governing body FINA as an open water official for another four-year term.