Paddle Australia was pleased to host 21 of the nation’s top developing slalom paddlers at the recent Canoe Slalom Performance Pathways in-house camp.
It was the first Performance Pathways camp hosted since March 2020, before the COVID pandemic, and the four-day event invited athletes from Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia, with the team spending two nights at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, and two nights in Penrith.
Led by Performance Pathway Lead, Ros Lawrence and Performance Pathway Coach, Titouan Dupras, the camp focused on education sessions on competition and travel nutrition, recovery, skill acquisition, resilience, gym testing and team building activities whilst at the AIS.
The team then headed north for whitewater sessions and flat water testing in Penrith, where the Pathways coaches also had the opportunity to be mentored by national men’s K1 coach and Performance Pathways Technical Lead, Julien Billaut.
“This Performance Pathways camp was an occasion to reunite all the athletes from the pathways and to work on the team culture and how to get ready for the next international tour,” Performance Pathways Coach Ttouan said.
“We saw a lot of great interactions between the athletes and a lot of attention during the education sessions.
“Learning how to use different performance support services, such as psychology, nutrition, recovery and skills acquisition to become a better athlete and be more prepared to race was certainly the greatest takeaway for the athletes,” he said
Performance Pathway Lead Ros Lawrence believes the camp was a valuable learning experience for the athletes aiming to represent Australia on international teams.
“For some of the paddlers, it was their first time attending a high-performance camp so it was a valuable experience to learn about team culture,” she said.
“This will help them to know what to expect for future international tours. Our high-performance Pathways program is here to support our Australian athletes to become the world’s best paddlers and people.
“The athletes showed great commitment to their education, training, testing and received good feedback from the educators at the AIS for their engagement and knowledge. Their next step after the camp will be to take what they have learnt and put it into practice in their home training environments,” Lawrence added.
Athletes found the pathways camp not only a great learning experience, but a great opportunity to meet new people and work with new coaches within paddle.
“My biggest learning from the camp has come from the AIS talks, in particular the ones on psychology and skill acquisition,” commented paddle WA athlete Hunter Florisson.
“My favourite part of the camp has been paddling with some new people and working with new coaches, which has helped me learn from their different techniques and incorporate them into my own,” Ali Berryman (VIC) added.
The athletes will now turn their attention to the state championships over the next couple of months, before national team selection events in early 2023.