The recent Paddle Australia All States Canoe Slalom camp has been a huge success with paddlers from all over the country participating and reconnecting with the slalom community.
Held at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium, this was the third camp for 2022 as the facility was forced into an extended closure due to the pandemic.
The All States camps are designed to rebuild slalom and strengthen the community in Australia as sadly the local level has suffered throughout the pandemic. Aimed at introductory paddlers as well as advanced paddlers, they also provide the opportunity for coaches and officials to excel and develop their skills in an environment that is not a major event.
Peter Eckhardt, who is currently looking after the All States program said they had a great turnout of athletes, as well as coaches and elite paddlers giving their time to support the next generation
”We are so happy to almost be on the other side of the pandemic and starting to be able to run events again,” Eckhardt said,
“This camp had 44 paddlers from Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, and Queensland aging from 10 to 61.”
“One paddler, Angus Gonzo, is 10 years old and traveled all the way from Cairns in North Queensland to do the camp.”
The camp ran over two days with the focus being on slalom skills development at an intermediate to advanced level. There were four white-water sessions, several forums, and a club race on the third day.
Athletes had the opportunity to learn from experienced coaches such Richard Fox, Robbie Jeffrey, and Robin Bell, while the camp also provided a coaching development opportunity for paddlers like Declan Ellis, Abby Collins, Zoe Lau, Ali Cork, and Hugh Clements.
Chris Thompson, a local slalom volunteer, captured the off-water highlight by entertaining 70 attendees with an evening of fabulous food, whilst everyone cheered on Jess Fox to K1 gold at the recent Prague World Cup.
“When you can come together at a site and run a training camp, it’s good fun, it’s good development, and it’s good community connection, so that’s really what All States is trying to do,” Eckhardt said.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone involved, especially the volunteer coaches and paddlers who generously gave their time, including Ali Borrows, Ian Borrows, Justin Boocock, Brian Cork, Georgia Rankin, and Emmie Barrett.
The next camp will be held at Penrith again during the school holidays from 30 September to 2 October.