Charlotte Dolan - Sand, Surf & Skills
It is the story of an Australian junior lifesaving record holder and a highly promising Eagle prospect.
You might be wondering; how are these two possibly connected?
Well the answer is simple; both these accolades belong to the same person.
And that person is none other than Charlotte Dolan.
Now, the last time we checked; surf lifesaving and football aren’t exactly that similar.
“I guess at times it can get a bit tricky; especially when balancing schoolwork and work on top of training for both sports each week can sometimes be a little difficult.”
And it is made a bit more difficult with the amount of commitment Charlotte has for lifesaving;
“Lifesaving is all year-round training wise; pre-season begins right away, and all the competitions run from October until mid to late April this season 19/20!”
But this dedication Charlotte holds is pretty self-explanatory given how much she loves the sport;
“I absolutely love the lifestyle and being near the beach!”
“I also love the fact I get to travel around Australia with surf lifesaving. One of the best things is being able to make friends with people all over Australia and the World! Late November last year Adelaide hosted the World Lifesaving Titles where I was able to make so many new friends from places like Germany and the UK!”
And what does all this dedication and passion lead to?
Well for Charlotte; it has led to quite a considerable amount of success;
“I’ve represented the state in U13, U14, U15, U19 and this year also made pool lifesaving state team!”
“I also currently hold two Australian records in Line throw in U14 and U15’s.”
The four-year streak of representing the state in lifesaving is good enough without mentioning the Australian records that she holds.
So, we have established her impressive lifesaving background but what about the football side?
Well, Charlotte is no stranger to success in football;
“I began playing footy back in 2016 at SMOSH West lakes in their inaugural girls’ team in U15; where we won the Premiership.”
“I also played for SMOSH in 2017 for the U16 side where again we took home the flag. 2018 I played for SMOSH also!”
However, in “2019 I didn’t play for the beginning of the season as I was just going to focus on my lifesaving but being surrounded by football and watching it only made me want to come back to it”.
“This is when I signed up with Henley Sharks in their U18’s side; I played the final four games with them and a couple games in the finals.”
But given her talent; Charlotte hasn’t just been busy play at a local level.
In fact, 2019 marks her second year of playing with the Woodville-West Torrens U17s Development squad after having previously spent two years with Glenelg’s development pathway.
And for anyone who has seen her play; there are two thing that you will instantly notice.
The first, is her fact pace and ruthless courage that sees her constantly get into he thick of the action.
And the second is the iconic pink helmet that she wears; which will undoubtedly make her a cult figure in the no so distant future.
But how exactly did Charlotte go from the sandy beaches to the footy field?
“When I was younger, I participated in AusKick for two to three years. I always went out to dads’ games and I went to all the Port Adelaide games and Magpies games where I’d kick the footy with dad on the oval in the breaks.”
“I also played soccer throughout primary school; I peaked in soccer in year six, making the U12 state team; this was a huge achievement for me!”
“A couple years later it was the end of the surf season 2016 and a man named Lucas Stubing asked if I wanted to play footy for SMOSH, as they were trying to get a girls’ team up and running!”
“This is where I remember asking my dad on the beach that day to play; begging, where he said he’ll think about it; not long after that, I was playing footy for SMOSH in 2016.”
As for being a part of an inaugural side;
“It’s pretty cool to be a part of the first girls’ team! Since then women’s/girls footy has become huge!”
But this is far from being Charlotte’s only favourite memories. Considering how much she has achieved in two different sports; it is not much of a surprise either.
With her other favourite sporting memories and moments including;
“My favourite memories include winning back to back premierships with SMOSH in their first and second year of female footy!”
“Winning best on ground in the state knockout grand final whilst captaining my team to victory!”
“Breaking two Australian records at the Australian Pool Rescue Championships!”
“And I cannot forget making a B final at the World Lifesaving Championships where I ended up finishing 12th in the world in U19 age group!”
In fact, the lifesaving championships alone are an interesting story to hear;
“There was over 100 athletes in this event from all over the world having only just turning 16 and competing in the U19 age group I was not expecting anything I just gave it my best! And as you can see anything can happen.”
These go a long way in summing up who Charlotte is; which is dare I say, someone who is quite successful.
However, talking to her you quickly find something that she values more than success. Which are her teammates and those who have helped her;
“I definitely give a shout out to the country girls love them to bits! oh and a big shout out to all my friends down the coast in SA and around Australia.”
“Definitely the coaches I have had across both sports, all have impacted the way I go into each race, and the way I play once I cross that line on the footy field.”
“I also give a huge shout out to my mum! Who doesn’t like me playing footy but still comes out to support me! And to my dad for being so encouraging and always motivating me.”
“And quick shout out to the school footy team.”
And this appreciation rolls over to her beloved Eagles;
“I love being with a team and the people! For example, I love all the country girls who played with us this year for Eagles! They are the best.”
With two promising and successful careers in two very different sports; the future for Charlotte is bright regardless of which sport she continues to follow.
But for her;
“Going forwards this next season I really want to give footy a crack whilst I’m in the U18 age group.”
“Last year I did not commit myself to the state programs as I made surf lifesaving my priority. But this year I will be putting footy first for a bit whilst still doing my lifesaving just not as heavily.”
With her dedication, passion and talent; Charlotte definitely has the potential to make a mark in football.
And there may be a hidden reason why;
“I always brush my teeth either right before I leave the house or take it with me and brush my teeth when I get to the venue. I’m not sure why but I think I just play better with clean teeth.”
But football traditions and superstitions aside; there are some things that we can learn from her in regard to handling stress; especially before a big game or race;
“Thinking about it I usually focus on what I need to do in the race like how many strokes I need to take before I go underwater or how many dolphin kicks and so on.”
“I also focus on my breathing, but then again when in marshalling room waiting to start the event, I’m always happy to have a chat to the other competitors to calm the nerves a little.”
And this is something Charlotte will continue to do into the future; as her sporting career continues to get more impressive and brighter.