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Foundation News

Matayla DeBruin has been chosen as the 2021 recipient of the $2200 "Banana George" Blair Ambassador Scholarship. Matayla is a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Nursing. The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation scholarships are awarded each year to water skiers who show leadership abilities and demonstrate that involvement in the sport has helped them grow both personally and academically. "I am so thankful to receive this scholarship. George Blair had an amazing legacy, especially in waterskiing. He was so generous and always had a passion for improving and growing the sport. Water skiing has always been a huge part of my life. I want to be an ambassador for the sport carrying on George Blair’s legacy," says Matayla.




In the same spirit that made him a legend, "Banana George" Blair continued to give back to water sports and the foundation throughout his life. George's family has created this scholarship to give student-athletes an opportunity to earn a college education while pursuing their water sports dreams. This scholarship is open to all water sports disciplines. "Helping others has always been my passion. Combining caring for others and science has led me to nursing. The Banana George Blair Ambassador Scholarship will help me graduate from nursing school at UW-Madison. Becoming a nurse will afford me the opportunity to give back to the waterski community providing on-site care for injuries. Overall, using my knowledge I hope to care for injuries and prevent injuries from occurring" says Matayla. The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation is very proud of our young athletes and honored to support their future academic needs. You can help support our mission by joining or donating to the foundation HERE.





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Do you know someone in towed water sports who deserves recognition? Nominate them today for the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation's Award of Distinction or Lifetime Achievement Award! Nominations are due August 1, 2021!


The Award of Distinction was created to recognize many individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to our sport. They may include tournament skiers, innovators, industry leaders, officials, and others responsible for landmark achievements in the development of water skiing as well as those whose long periods of dedicated and generous service deserve special recognition. Even those who have later become famous outside the sport and others whose contributions have been in the form of resources or public relations are eligible for nomination for the Award of Distinction.


The Lifetime Achievement Award is to recognize the “ambassadors” of our sport that have given of themselves back to the sport and dedicated their lives to making the sport better for everyone involved, whether they are competitors or behind the scenes tireless promoters and administrators in all aspects of the sport.

Person or persons must have been actively involved in one or more of the USA Water Ski Sport Disciplines of towed water sports for a minimum of 50 years. Typically, the time would start with their first involvement with the organized sport, such as joining a ski club or participating in an event, not when they took to the water for the very first time. ​


The 39th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held March 5, 2022 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. Stay tuned for details!

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Nicholas Kerr of Forsyth, Georgia has been chosen as the 2021 recipient of the Elmer Stailing Southern Region Scholarship. Nicholas is a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in Biology.


The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation scholarships are awarded each year to water skiers who show leadership abilities and demonstrate that involvement in the sport has helped them grow both personally and academically.


"I am excited and very grateful for receiving this award. This serves as another reminder of the benefits of water skiing and investing time into the water skiing community. I hope to use my time and talents to give back to the waterskiing community as a thank you for this scholarship," says Nicholas.

The Elmer Stailing Southern Region Scholarship is for an AWSA Southern Regional Competitor and qualified student who is registered in a College or University. It has been funded by the Southern Region since 1990.


"I am thankful for this scholarship as it enables me to worry less about the financial burdens of college, and focus more of my time towards my schoolwork and growing the water skiing team at my university," says Nicholas.


The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation is very proud of our young athletes and honored to support their future academic needs. You can help support our mission by joining or donating to the foundation today.





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