Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada (WSWC) is thrilled to announce Simon Sickinger as the recipient of the 2023 Junior Barefoot Athlete of the Year award. Simon’s journey into the world of watersports began at a young age and eventually led him to excel in barefoot skiing and represent Canada on the international stage. 

Growing up in Muskoka, Simon Sickinger was no stranger to the allure of sport. From hockey to downhill skiing, and mountain biking, Simon embraced a variety of sports with enthusiasm. However, it was his introduction to water skiing at the age of 5 that sparked his passion for the water. By the age of 8, Simon was already barefooting alongside his siblings on Lake of Bays, Muskoka. 

Simon’s journey in barefooting took a significant turn at the age of 14 when he began working at Lake of Bays Marina, where he was fortunate to meet Liam Alrich, a professional water skier and the owner of the marina. Under Liam’s guidance, Simon honed his barefoot skills, dedicating countless hours of training. Liman’s unwavering commitment to the sport and his tireless efforts to mentor Simon and other enthusiasts left an indelible mark on Simon’s journey. From here, Simon ventured into competitive barefoot skiing, participating in competitions locally and internationally. His journey reached new heights in February 2023 when he was a member of the Junior Team representing Canada at the World Barefoot Waterski Championships in Australia. 

Along the way, Simon has made many great friendships from around the world. The camaraderie within the barefoot community serves as a testament to the sport’s inclusive and supportive nature. 

Congratulations to Simon on this well deserved award!