Southern Sports Academy teenage water ski sensation Ethan McKinnon has been named Temora’s Senior Sportsman of the Year.

McKinnon was awarded the crown in front of more than 250 guests at Temora’s annual Sportsman of the Year Awards dinner last Friday night at Temora Ex-Services Memorial Club.

Wagga’s AFL legend Paul Kelly and Temora’s own Dr Brett Fritsch were well-received as guest speakers on the night.

McKinnon was named Senior Sportsman of the Year for his feats in water skiing over the past 12 months.

The 17-year-old’s pet event is the jump, ahead of trick and slalom. He got the bug as soon as he took up waterskiing six years ago.

“It’s hard to explain. Right from the start, just the feeling – it’s a pretty awesome thing to be able to spend your days standing on water and doing stuff you didn’t think was really possible on water,” he said.

“Running the slalom for the first time, a lot of people describe it as a feeling you want to just keep repeating… it’s like an addiction.”

“I guess that’s enough to get you hooked and then the people you meet travelling and competing, that just doubles the you could say.

McKinnon receives support from the Southern Sports Academy, under its individual athlete program.

“They’re really good,” he said. “I’ve got two scholarships through them and earlier in the year I did the leadership camp at Borambola with all the other athletes from various programs”.

“As an individual athlete, that’s definitely helped me understand the concepts of elite sport and the its requirements much better.”