Paddle Australia turns to surf life saving roots to identify next generation of Olympians

Paddle Australia (PA) is looking to identify Brisbane 2032 Olympic prospects, through a dedicated talent identification program.

PA is putting the call out to surf lifesavers born 2004 – 2008 to undertake a talent identification program through their relevant state institute.

Athletes do not need to have prior experience in a kayak, but demonstrate their athletic potential in other surf lifesaving disciplines, such as swimming and board paddling.

Paddle Australia National Performance Director Shaun Stephens hopes that the performances of Australia’s sprint kayakers at the Tokyo Olympic Games will inspire the next generation of stars.

“Our sprint kayakers are bringing home not just one gold medal, but a wealth of exceptional performances from the Tokyo Olympics,” Stephens said.

“With new Olympic records set, and personal bests broken, it was great to see the athletes representing their country with pride.

“The special thing about this team is the connection that they share with surf lifesaving, having all come from or been a part of a surf life saving club.

“With the Paris, Los Angeles and Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games on the horizon, it’s important that we look to find the next generation of kayaking Olympians,” he said.

Stephens also noted that the current National Team are still involved with their surf clubs, pursuing a ‘dual pathway’ in their chosen sports.

“We are very keen to support the activities that our athletes currently participate in, in surf life saving,” Stephens said.

“It is important that we create a dual pathway for athletes, so they can chase their Olympic dreams while still maintaining their surf life saving competition,” he said.

For any children born 2004 – 2008 please click here to fill out the form and a member of PA staff will be in touch. Applications close Friday 10 September, 5pm AEST.

For more information on Sprint Kayaking  – click here

This is a new initiative, designed to attack athletes to the sport who are not currently in the system. Any athletes already paddling in our system (PA Members) will be picked up in State and National Development programs if they show talent.

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