CEO Blog – September 2021

We know lockdown continues to be tough for many, but as we welcome in spring, it is great to see so many of you getting back out on the water. Don’t forget to renew your membership to unlock all the great benefits and ensure you are protected on the water. Thanks as always for your continued support for Paddle Australia and your State Paddle Association.

Our thanks too for sticking together and doing the right thing, protecting yourselves and others. We look forward to seeing club, state and national events resume soon for everyone. We are confident that we will emerge from the disruption of the last two years stronger as a paddling community. For those who are doing it tough right now, the Paddle On Foundation is here to help lighten the load – click here to find out more.

It has been another great month for our performance athletes, with the Paracanoe team rounding out what was a memorable 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Curtis McGrath had a golden 24 hours at the Paralympic Games, writing his name in the history books as he became the first para-canoe athlete to win two gold medals at a single Paralympic Games. After successfully defending his KL2 Paralympic title, McGrath backed it up with a win in the newly introduced Va’a discipline.

Teammate Susan Seipel added to Australia’s medal haul in Tokyo, winning a silver medal in her pet event, the VL2.

The great success of our athletes in Tokyo gives them all great credit. Medals aside, not only did they deliver some outstanding performances, but just as impressive was the way they inspired so many back at home at a time when we were all looking for something positive to celebrate. 

A special mention to Sue Natoli, Graeme Caudry and Laura White, three Australians that were selected to officiate at the Tokyo Games. It is great to see our hard-working volunteers recognised in this way.

Jess Fox continued to impress as she returned to the World Cup circuit, capped off by the World Championships in Slovakia last weekend.

Jess has had what can only be described as a golden season, winning C1 gold at the Prague, La Seu World Cups, and Tokyo Olympic Games, K1 gold in Markkleeberg, La Seu, Pau and the overall World Cup title. At the World Championship last weekend, which didn’t go to plan in the C1 and K1 events, it was only fitting that her season was rounded out with a gold in the new Olympic discipline of Extreme Slalom.

As the weather continues to warm up, we look forward to seeing more of you back on the water and making the most of Australia’s great waterways. 

Yours in paddling,

Phil Jones

Paddle Australia CEO

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