Paddle Australia is excited to announce the appointment of Shaun Caven to the position of National Paracanoe Coach.
The position will be responsible for leading and driving all National Paracanoe coaching in Australia and preparing Australia’s paddling athletes for the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 and beyond. The position will be based at the National Centre of Excellence on the Gold Coast.
Shaun Caven’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Australia’s paracanoe athletes, who won three medals at this year’s ICF Paracanoe World Championships, including two World Champion titles for Curtis McGrath (QLD). It was the eigth World Championships gold medal for McGrath.
With just under two years to go the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Caven brings extensive experience as an international level canoe coach and will add to the already highly successful Paddle Australia Paracanoe Program.
“Shaun is a highly credentialed and recognised coach within the International canoeing community and we are very excited and fortunate to attract the calibre and experience that he will bring to our already successful paracanoe program”, Shaun Stephens, Paddle Australia National Performance Director, said about the new appointment.
Scotsman Caven comes to Australia following his role as Paracanoe High Performance Manager for the American Canoe Association and Coach for the USA Rio 2016 Paralympic Team.
Prior to that he served Team USA in the London Olympics as sprint team manager and coach. He previously worked as Head Coach of British Canoeing from 2002 through to 2008 before heading to the USA. Caven also guided the Scottish national team from 1997-2001 and the British junior team from 2001-05.
“I’m delighted and excited to have been appointed to the National Paracanoe team and my aim is to help the current team of athletes achieve their goals in Tokyo 2020 and to develop new talent for the future.
“I look forward to working with all the athletes, coaches and support staff to continue Australia’s success at the highest level in the sport”, Caven said.
Shaun Caven follows in the footsteps of highly successful National Paracanoe Coach and 2017 Paddle Australia Coach of the Year Andrea King (nee Wood), who build a world leading paracanoe program from scratch and won three Paralympic medals at Rio 2016 when Paracanoe premiered at the Paralympic Games.
“We would like to thank Andrea for the enormous contribution to the Paracanoe program in Australia. Her consistent hard work and drive led to the creation of a world leading paracanoe program and we are very fortunate to be able to build on this as we prepare for Tokyo 2020.
“Paddle Australia wish Andrea well with her family commitments in the future,” Shaun Stephens said.
Guy Power (WA), who joined the Paracanoe coaching team in 2017 as Paracanoe Assistant Coach and Gold Coast Performance Pathways Coach, will continue in the role as acting Paracanoe Coach until Caven starts his role later this year.
Power will remain with the team in his role as Paracanoe Assistant Coach and Pathways Coach once Caven has joined the team.
About the Paddle Australia Paracanoe Team
Paddle Australia’s Paracanoe program has been highly successful with the team’s athletes winning three Paralympic medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games where the sport made its Paralympic debut.
At Rio 2016 Curtis McGrath (QLD) won gold in the men’s kayak KL2 200, Amanda Reynolds (VIC) silver in the women’s kayak KL3 200 and Susan Seipel (QLD) bronze in the women’s kayak KL2 200.
Most recently Curtis McGrath won two gold medals at the 2018 Paracanoe World Championships in August. He won gold in the men’s KL2 200 as well as in the men’s VL3 200 with the Va-boat class to premier on the Paralympic program in Tokyo 2020. It was the eighth World Championships gold medal of his career.
Fellow Rio 2016 Paralympians Amanda Reynolds won silver in the women’s KL3 200, while Susan Seipel finished the women’s VL2 in fourth. Seipel also finished sixth in the KL2 200.
The youngest current team member is 18-year old Rio 2016 Paralympian Dylan Littlehales (NSW) who finished fifth in the men’s KL2 500 at the 2018 Paracanoe World Championships.