Sport: Canoe – Sprint
Olympic History: Olympic debutante
Highlights: Breaking the Australian record and placing second in the K4 500metres at the 2018 Szeged World Cup
Year Born: 1990
State Born: Western Australia
With a swimming and surf lifesaving background, Jaime Roberts found kayaking an easy transition.
In 2012, Roberts was crowned WA state ski champion in surf lifesaving, and she switched to flat water paddling the following year. She was inspired to aim for the Olympics after listening to the radio call of the Australian men’s K4 1000 gold medal-winning race at London 2012. “I was driving a truck on a mine site up in the Pilbara… it was such an exciting few minutes that finished with the men crossing the line first. From that moment onwards I decided to give kayaking a crack and see if I could make it to the Olympic Games,” Roberts said.
Roberts was noticed by the Western Australian Institute of Sport Head Coach at the 2013 WA State Kayaking Championships and it put her on a path to success.
In 2014 she represented Australia at the elite level for the first time competing at World Cup and World Championships.
An Australian Surf Life Saving Championships finalist in ski events, Roberts represents the Mullaloo SLSC and has also represented Australia at the Lifesaving World Championships.
Between 2017-2019 she was named on the Australian Canoe Sprint Team racing in both the K2 and K4 events.
At the 2019 World Championships, Roberts joined forces with Olympians Aly Bull, Alyce Wood (nee Burnett) and Jo Brigden-Jones to secure Australia four quota positions for the Tokyo Olympics after qualifying the K4 with a seventh place in the final.
Roberts realised her Olympic dream after she won K2 500 silver (with Brigden-Jones) and finished sixth in the K1 500 at the 2020 Australian Canoe Sprint Championships
Roberts graduated University with a degree in mining engineering, has a graduate diploma in education and a certificate 3 & 4 in fitness teacher. When she isn’t paddling, Roberts is a casual high school teacher.
Ian Thorpe. Athens 400metres freestyle race. How relaxed and calm he is at the start, but the amount of power he produces to glide across the water. A true Australian sporting hero!
I am a full-time athlete, but I do have work outside of paddling. I work for ASADA as a presenter of the Anti-doping Education workshops, which I find very interesting. Also work as a relief teacher in the off-season.
I was actually a World Champion before I started kayaking, In Mining Games which is an International competition between Mining Universities across the world, where we compete in old-school mining techniques such as Gold panning, wood saw and mucking (digging).
I have fallen in so many times I can no longer count, so just keep trying.
There is always something to learn in our sport and that’s what makes it so unique.