PEOPLE'S CHAMP: People's Choice award winner Carly Shanahan at the Clarence Valley Sports Awards.
PEOPLE'S CHAMP: People's Choice award winner Carly Shanahan at the Clarence Valley Sports Awards. Caitlan Charles

Shanahan surfs off community support

WOOLI surfing supergrom Carly Shanahan is a rising star on the waves, and she was sent to the stratosphere at the weekend after taking out the annual Grafton Shoppingworld People's Choice award.

The award, which is voted on by the Clarence Valley community, received close to 1800 votes in the lead-up to the Clarence Valley Sports Awards, with Shanahan narrowly pipping Grafton hockey's Harry Oxenbridge to the title.

The win has only increased Shanahan's confidence, with the teenager soaring off the back of the community support.

"I think it is such an honour, and it is good knowing that I have the support of the Clarence Valley behind me," Shanahan said at the awards night.

"Especially going into some of the tougher events on the surfing calendar, having that support will only make it easier for me out on the waves."

While she admitted she did a minor social media campaign to spread the word about the award, the surfer said she had no expectation to take out the gong against the 19 other athletes up for the award.

"There was such a talented field of athletes, who had all achieved such great things, and they all deserved it just as much as me, if not more," she said.

"It is so amazing to see the sporting talent pool in the Clarence Valley. I was so inspired and motivated by all the stories and success of the people here.

"It is such a great atmosphere at the awards night. This is my second time coming to the awards and I just hope I can keep coming for as many years to come."