2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships – Newsletter 5


26 April 2021

Dear Canoe Sprint Community,

Last Thursday, 22 April we advised there had been some significant water quality issues at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) in Penrith NSW caused by toxic algae from the recent floods. SIRC was the venue scheduled to host the 2021 Paddle Australia (PA) Canoe Sprint Championships (Sprint Championships) from 19 to 23 May.

PA has continued to monitor the water quality test results and unfortunately the these have shown no signs of improvement. The management at SIRC staff have confirmed today there is still no access allowed for on-water activities on the competition or warm-up lakes. They can give no indication of when the situation will improve.

Given the uncertainty, we have taken the difficult decision to change the venue for the Sprint Championships from SIRC to West Lakes in Adelaide SA. We are fortunate that West Lakes is an excellent canoe sprint facility. For the Sprint Championships, the venue will be further enhanced through the use of the timing and start gate system which we are shipping from SIRC especially for the Sprint Championships. We are very grateful to SIRC for their support in providing the system. This, together with a team in South Australia very experienced in running sprint canoeing, will ensure the highest standard of racing.

We appreciate that this decision will be inconvenient and may impact the ability for some paddlers to travel and compete. However, we do know that people are keen to race and relocating the event at this stage is our only viable option. Should it be necessary for you to withdraw from events there will be no cost to do so. However, we hope that as many people as possible are able to attend the first National Level Competition in the Sprint discipline in more than twelve months.

This Wednesday 28 April is the three weeks to go count down and PA are very excited to welcome everyone to the 2021 Sprint Championships in West Lakes in Adelaide. We are committed to provide opportunities for everyone from those relatively new to paddling to the elite Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic athletes to compete and have fun at the 2021 Sprint Championships.

There is an event specific web page on the PA website with all the relevant information about the 2021 Sprint Championships including previous newsletters, the race program, accommodation options etc. To view please click HERE


Entries are now open. To enter please click HERE


For the latest draft program please click HERE


We need YOU!! PA needs as many hands on deck as possible, especially with the relocation of the event, so that we can provide the best Sprint Championships to date at West Lakes in Adelaide SA.

Registrations will be in 3 teams of volunteers including:

    1. Spectator,
    2. Event and
    3. Paddle Specific -Officials.

Everyone must complete registration to be a volunteer/official at the event.

To register your interest please click HERE

We have a new volunteer event shirt supplied by 776BC which will be provided to those people who volunteer for one or more days of the event. In addition event volunteers will be provided with food and drinks when working.

It is also National Volunteer Week in Australia from 17-23 May. We will have a function to say thank you to our PA volunteers during the event. Further details to come.

PA has also catered for the fact some people who wish to volunteer may be attending the Sprint Championships because they have a family member or friend participating. If this is the case you can detail this in your registration and we will ensure we do not schedule you with a role at the time you need to be watching a race.

Please see the guide below for reference in taking out volunteer registration in GoMembership.


If you wish to be considered for national team or squad selection at the 2021 Sprint Championships at West Lakes you must indicate your interest by ticking the box when doing your online entry. Selections include;

    • National Development Squad (born 2004-2006),
    • Junior Team (born 2003-2006),
    • U23 Team (born 1998-2006), and
    • World Cup/Championship Team (including Olympic reserves)

For further information on selection policies click HERE


Sports Integrity Australia (SIA) is likely to conduct drug testing at the 2021 Sprint Championships. It is the responsibility of each competitor to know and understand their responsibility in regard to anti-doping.

Competitors and coaches are urged to take note of the current SIA regulations in respect of banned substances for therapeutic use and act accordingly in achieving exemptions as required – Sport Integrity Australia – Check your Substances on Global DRO

Athletes and Coaches are advised that WADA has recently released the 2021 Prohibited List, which came into effect on 1 January 2021. The new list can be viewed here – World Anti-Doping Agency – What is Prohibited

Finally, SIA have updated their online education platform for anti-doping. We strongly encourage coaches, athletes, parents and support staff to undertake the online courses available. They can be found here – Sport Integrity Australia – Education

Note the ‘Sport Integrity App’ is free to download from your app store on your phone.


The safety of our Sprint Community is our highest priority. Therefore, PA recommend you continue to make yourself aware of information in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The following links go to information provided by the Australian Government, Sports bodies and State and Territory governments.

Please click HERE for general COVID-19 information.


Q – What impact will Domestic Border Closures have on the 2021 Sprint Championships?

A – PA will continue to monitor all border closures and evaluate the ability to access the Championships for all involved. The decision has now been made to proceed with the staging of the event in SA, with consideration given to Federal and State Government guidance around the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Q – If my State/Territory is identified as a hot spot within 14 days of the Sprint Championships and SA closes its borders to us, will the Sprint Championships proceed?

A – The event will proceed however, PA believes that all States and Territories must be able to participate to hold National Championships status. This means that if one State or Territory is restricted from participating, whether due to travel or other local restrictions, then National Championship status will be removed.

Q – If you have been within an identified hot spot, at the time of possible transmission, will I be permitted to attend the Sprint Championships?

A – Based on current advice, any person identified from a hot spot in Australia, within 14 days of the 2021 Sprint Championships and advised by their relevant State Government to self-isolate, will not be permitted to travel/attend. This will include any hots spots that are identified within SA during the days of competition. It should also be noted, that while a person’s home State/Territory Government may not require them to self-isolate, the SA Government may identify your location as a hotspot and therefore you may not be able to travel to the event.

Q – If I make an entry for the 2021 Sprint Championships and I am unable to attend due to travel restrictions, will I get a refund?

A – Yes, upon providing supporting documentation (if required).

Q – What is the advice on booking travel?

A – PA strongly advises all attendees to only book refundable travel arrangements where possible.

Q – Will PA cover my costs if I am forced to quarantine upon arrival into SA for the event or upon my return to my home State or Territory after the 2021 Sprint Championships?

A – PA will not cover any costs incurred by any individual in relation to quarantine or self-isolation that is required in relation to attendance at the Sprint Championships.


For the very first time, you can not only support our Paddle Australia Olympic Team (AOT) athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020(1) Olympics, but you can become part of our Olympic family.

The Australian Olympic Committee in conjunction with Paddle Australia is offering a range of Tokyo supporter merchandise specific to the disciplines of sprint and slalom paddling. To view and/or purchase the AOT merchandise please go to the website www.aoccanoeastore.com.

If you would like to have your AOT official merchandise sent to the Sprint Championships for collection you will need to order by no later than Monday 3 May. For collection at the Sprint Championships all you need to do is when your items are in the shopping cart, please enter the delivery address as follows:

Paddle Australia
C/O Mr Ian Hume
Roof Rack City
37 Gilbert Street
Adelaide, SA 5000

Alternatively, you can have your AOT official merchandise sent to your home and orders will be taken up to Friday 9 July only 2 weeks prior to the start of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday 23 July 2021. Order now so you don’t miss out.


There will be space at the West Lakes venue to set up marquees for your teams. A site map will be included in next week’s newsletter. If you are sending containers to Adelaide for the 2021 Sprint Championships PA encourage you to put such equipment in the container for transport to the venue. There may be opportunity to hire locally. More information to come in the next newsletter.


Beyond the Break (BTB) Consulting will be managing the media and communications for this event. Have you got any good stories? Please contact BTB staff on email phoebe.maher@btbconsulting.com.au


As mentioned in previous Newsletters if you have any ideas on how to do the Canoe Sprint Championships event better, please let me know. Feedback can be emailed to sprint@paddle.org.au


Lucy Warhurst

Event Director
2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships

Previous article2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships – Newsletter 4
Next articlePress Release – Adelaide Confirmed as New Location for 2021 Canoe Sprint Championships