Paddle Australia has welcomed today’s announcement from the Federal Government that they will invest $50.6 million over the next two years in high-performance sport (see announcement HERE). This will ensure that current funding levels can be maintained as athletes and coaches continue their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, rescheduled to the second half of 2021.
The announcement comes at an ideal time as Paddle Australia has recently confirmed its high performance strategic plan to ensure it remains internationally competitive through Tokyo 202one, Paris 2024 and beyond.
“Like all athletes, coaches and those involved in supporting them, our paddlers have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Phil Jones,CEO of Paddle Australia, said.
“The announcement today is very welcome news as our athletes get back to training. Whilst it is uncertain when we will be able to return to international competition, athletes and coaches can now plan and prepare for the various scenarios knowing that funding is secure.”
“We are grateful for the work done by the AIS during this difficult time. They have understood the challenges that we face and the importance of providing funding certainty for the next two years as we all work through the complexities of the changes brought about by COVD-19.
“We also appreciate the support our athletes have received from the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia who have supported this bid for funding security.”
Paddle Australia also warmly welcomed confirmation from the Federal Government of initial funding for a new high-performance centre at Penrith Whitewater Stadium.
Aerial Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Paddle Australia
The Sydney 2000 legacy venue is home of Australia’s highly-successful canoe slalom team, including dual Olympic medallist and most successful individual slalom paddler of all time, Jessica Fox.
“Our slalom paddlers have enjoyed international success for many years and since 2000 the Penrith Whitewater Stadium has been the home of our program. To remain competitive and to continue to attract the world’s best paddlers to Australia every year, the stadium requires significant investment.”
“Today’s confirmation of investment into the development of the high-performance centre will be extremely beneficial for our high performance team and will be the first phase of the work,” Phil Jones explained.
Jessica Fox – 2020 AUS Open – Photo Col Boyd
“Importantly, the facility offers great opportunities for the local community. We want to see participation in sport and paddling grow and to see a centre that is a visitor destination accessed by the whole community for active recreation, both on and off the water.
“In addition to the investment into a high performance centre and an upgrade of the existing facility, built originally for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the proposed larger project will involve the building of a second, easier whitewater channel and the development of the surrounding parklands as active spaces connecting to the Nepean River and Penrith.
“We will continue to work with Penrith City Council, the NSW State government, the federal government and other stakeholders to make this a reality and to create a new exciting future for Western Sydney’s iconic sporting venue,” Phil Jones added.
Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Photo JGRImages
See AIS media release here: https://www.sportaus.gov.au/media-centre/news/australian-athletes-receive-over-$50m-in-funding
See AOC media release here: https://www.olympics.com.au/news/aoc-welcomes-new-high-performance-funding-by-the-federal-government/