Today marks the start of the Green & Gold Runway to Brisbane 2032, with sports across the country gearing up to make the most of this unique opportunity.
Not only will the next decade be an opportunity to unearth a new generation of talent, it will be an opportunity for sports to connect with the Australian community in an effort to encourage more people to Have A Go.
While there are celebrations being held across Queensland to mark the occasion, many of Australia’s top paddlers are overseas preparing for the upcoming Canoe Slalom, Canoe Sprint and Para Canoe World Championships, all to be held over the next three weeks.
Across Australia, fans, athletes, coaches and volunteers can start to get excited because the decade will also bring more international and high quality sporting events to the country, providing more opportunities to get involved and see the best of the best in action, including the Canoe Slalom World Championships in Penrith in 2025.
Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones said it’s an exciting time for paddlers around the country.
“It is exciting to have the Olympic & Paralympic Games returning down under in 10 years time, providing a great runway for Australian sport,” he said.
“Many Australians remember the buzz that was created when the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games arrived in Australia. Not only will another home Games provide a great opportunity to build our pathways programs for athletes, coaches, staff, officials and volunteers, but it will also see a strong injection into sporting facilities and infrastructure.
“Over the next decade we want to transform, stabilise and elevate our high performance and pathways programs that will deliver sustainable growth and success for our Olympic & Paralympic disciplines,” Jones said.
Paddle Australia’s National Performance Director, Kim Crane, said PA are looking to capitalise on opportunities brought in by hosting a home Olympic Games.
“What I am excited to hear in the wider sport system conversation, is there’s a shared commitment to ensure we build a tangible legacy 10 years into Brisbane 2032 and 10 years out,” Crane said.
Discussions are underway around the development of required paddling facilities in Australia, what opportunities there are to enhance current facilities and how to implement better overall events, programs and systems to support our athletes.
“A proposed new white water facility in Redlands for Brisbane 2032, opens up a whole new range of opportunities for us to build pathway initiatives, work with the broader community and attract new talent to our sport,” Crane said.
“A second facility in Australia would also allow our athletes to have variety in the training environment and address some of the issues we currently face with having easy access to white water.”
The Canoe Sprint and Para programs are already based at the National Centre of Excellence on the Gold Coast.
“The opportunity with our centralised program here on the Gold Coast is we have more time together to work as ‘one team’ particularly allowing us to develop our team boat skills. Our coaching and performance support workforce are embedded in the daily performance environment and are able to support our athletes effectively on a daily basis,” Crane said.
“From a Gold Coast and Queensland perspective, this gives us an opportunity to lift our eyes up and work in partnership with our City of Gold Coast, Queensland Academy of Sport, and local business partners to be part of the bigger conversation which is Brisbane 2032, simply inspiring extraordinary sporting success in us all.”
Paddle Australia is excited to see the sport grow over the next decade and beyond, as today’s young people are the athletes of tomorrow dreaming of representing Australia at a home Olympic Games.