Today I sat with ex-World Tour Pro Amee Donohoe in a quiet café in the chilled out town of Avoca. The NSW Central Coast has always and will likely always be home to this down to earth girl. This is where Amee was born and raised. Where she learned to surf on her own accord at 8 years old. She found her own local boys to surf with as a grommet and to this day, still surfs with that same crew.
Amee started entering surf comps at about 12 years old and had success from early on. She entered into regional comps and won them. Then went on to winning State comps thereafter. Amee fell in love with competitive surfing at the first taste of success. Her talents weren’t going un-noticed either. At 14 years old she was selected by Martin Dunn to join a small team of surfers at the Australian Institute of Sport where she received the best coaching and athlete services for her surfing at that time.
At the young age of 14 Amee won her first major competition, the Australian Pro Junior Titles. She then went on to win the World Junior Titles in the same year. After high school Amee continued to pursue a career in competitive surfing . She spent 2 years competing on the World Qualifying Series before earning place on the elite World Championship Tour in 2002. Amee was a fierce competitor throughout her World Tour career, with a World ranking of 5th in 2007 and 6th in 2008. It was a chronic back injury that forced Amee’s competitive retirement in 2010.
Since retiring from the World Tour Amee has established a surf school on the NSW Central Coast, the Central Coast Surf Academy. Amee is a Level 2 accredited coach which is the highest qualification by Surfing Australia. Amee coaches a range of surfers from beginners to competitive surfers and has a strong group of up-and-comers at the academy. Only a few weeks back I paid a visit to her surf school at Avoca Beach one morning, stoked to see Amee running an intermediate class of over 15 ladies at dawn. Following that she moved down to a point break to coach two female World Qualifying Series surfers that stopped in just to work with Amee.
Amee is a much loved coach and person in these parts and I can see why. A passion for surfing and for community is one of the first things I noticed with her. It’s these qualities that prompted me to think, why don’t we do some all-girls surf camps with Amee? And there you have it. Amy is now on board with GSN as a contributor and a surf coach. Stay tuned for upcoming events we’re running with Amee.
Kim Eulenstein/ Girl Surf Network
Founder || Athlete Manager || Frother