How surf sports shaped swimming sensation, Lani Pallister.


    With a list of achievements longer than the document would allow me to type, I decided to steer clear of the podiums, the medals, and the records.

    I wanted to share with you all, Lani Pallister, behind goggles, without a swim cap.

    A daring 21-year-old whose surf sports path shaped the successful, and graciously humble woman that she is today.

    Under the black and yellow cap of her home club, Alexandra Headland SLSC, Lani began her Surf Lifesaving career.  Her Dad, a legacy within the club, initially had Lani and her brother participating in nippers for beach safety and water awareness, but as the years passed and Lani became competitive, she found a passion for pushing herself to the limit, in any capacity that she could.

    “I don’t like being compared to other people with results or skill/ability,” she said.

    “So, sport for me is seeing what physically and mentally I am able to put myself through, and how often I can put myself in an uncomfortable position to get the best result out of myself when it comes time to race.”

    Performing 12-14 races back-to-back at junior surf carnivals, inevitably working under fatigue and backing up in uncomfortable situations, unbeknown to Lani at the time, her junior Surf Lifesaving career had begun shaping her into the athlete, but more importantly, the woman, she is today.

    “I never realized in my younger years that the surf race was 400ish meters, so really, I set myself up to be a distance swimmer from such a young age.

    “I also think learning how to deal with adversity when it comes to people jagging, and being disappointed with the result when it comes to things you can’t control has taught me so many lessons in being gracious and humble in victory and defeat.”

    Despite making the decision to focus predominantly on her pool swimming at just 16, Lani has continued to balance her life, and overall happiness, with both the black line and sandy toes.

    “The community and friends I’ve grown up with in Surf Lifesaving are second to none,” she said.

    “I adore the people, the opportunities, and the unpredictability throughout the race weekends. Swimming is such a high-pressure environment so coming to the beach to race is relaxing in a way!”

    Lining up at the upcoming Shaw and Partners Hayden Kenny Classic, Lani will pull out her racing cap, join her teammates under the Alex Headland tent and fill her personal cup, keeping things, a little jazzy!

    “It’s important to jazz it up with a bit of sand every now and then,” she said.

    At the beginning of this article, I stated that I wanted to share with you Lani Pallister, behind the goggles and without a swim cap, but the reality is, that can’t be done.

    Lani with her goggles, swim cap and ongoing Surf Lifesaving career, together have shaped the woman that she is today.

    Gracious and humble in victory, gracious and humble in defeat.

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