Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Update 9th April

Dear Canoe Slalom Community,

Following on from our previous update earlier this week, we are able to provide you with further details regarding the water quality at PWS and the Australian Canoe Slalom Team Selection Event.

Following the water quality test results from last week, the warm up lake is currently at an ‘Amber’ alert which does allow for primary contact (i.e. whitewater) to go ahead.  We are expecting to receive further test results tomorrow.  We have been informed that whilst it is currently ‘Amber’ the water quality is unstable and there is a strong likelihood that it could fluctuate between ‘Amber’ and ‘Red’ for some time.  ‘Red’ prohibits any whitewater paddling.

Therefore due to the unstable nature of the water quality and the uncertainty of running the Whitewater channel in the coming days, Paddle Australia have made the difficult decision to cancel the Australian Team Canoe Slalom Selection Event scheduled for the 15th – 18th April at PWS.

Whilst we understand cancellation of the selection event is disappointing and creates a lot of uncertainty, another postponement of the selection event creates even more uncertainty and provides further challenges for interstate athletes, officials and volunteers, particularly when it comes to the limited access to whitewater that they have had access to over the past 12months.

As previously communicated, we have always intended to select teams for junior, U23 and seniors, regardless of whether teams are travelling internationally or not.  We will proceed to do this according to the ‘Event Cancellation and Selection Contingency’ clause outlined in each of the selection policies.  We understand this will not be a particularly easy task and each of the respective selection panels will meet and discuss how this can be achieved in the fairest way possible under these challenging and unprecedented circumstances.

With less than three months until the commencement of the 2021 Junior & U23 World Championships, Paddle Australia has also made the difficult decision that it will not be sending a team to compete at the JNR & U23 World Championships scheduled for July in Tacen, Slovenia, due to the current international travel ban in place by the Australian Government, and all of the all associated travel risks and uncertainties surrounding international travel.

With the lack of international travel opportunities, we do intend on providing domestic development training camps and competitions, throughout the remainder of 2021 and 2022, where there will be access to Whitewater training, coaching, educational activities, external presenters, presentations and off water activities.

We will keep you updated on the progress at PWS regarding the water quality as further testing is completed and results come through. Meanwhile for the remainder of the Easter school holidays, we have been working with the states on what local paddling opportunities are available in both Tasmania & Victoria and we can confirm that the following paddling opportunities are available and if you wish to attend please contact the states directly:

 Tasmania: – please confirm your attendance by 5pm on Sunday 11th April

Dates:                   15th – 18th April

Location:              Mersey River

Contact:               Peter Eckhardt


Dates:                   15th – 18th April

Location:              Brady’s Slalom Course

Contact:               Peter Eckhardt



Dates:                   14th – 18th April

Location:              Goulburn River, Eildon

Contact:               Leanne Nicholls

We thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time and we hope this gives you some clarity on the current situation and assist with your planning for the coming weeks.

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