The Penrith White Water stadium hosted over 50 paddlers from across the country in September for another weekend of technique development, white water experience and access to leading national coaches at the Canoe Slalom All-States camp.
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.
With athletes in attendance ranging from ages 11 up to 67 years, Slalom development sessions were designed to maximise learning opportunities for all levels of paddlers, with a focus on the whitewater fundamentals and gate sequence skills.
The program is run through volunteers from slalom clubs across Australia, with the support of Paddle Australia’s Canoe Slalom Technical Committee (PACSLTC).
With such a diverse age range attending the camp and through the help of volunteers, the camp promotes a strong sense of community cohesion, with off-water bonding activities as well as the on-water sessions.
Event organisers Brian Cork and Peter Eckhardt said they received a lot of positive feedback from participants.
“To me, the camp is a success when I see paddlers training and gaining technical skills while laughing and enjoying themselves,” Cork said.
“The weekend felt like a huge club event but with paddlers from all over the country.”
Photo Credit: Living Moment Studio
PA’s Performance Pathway Coach, Titouan Dupras highlighted the inclusivity of the camp as a highlight.
“My favourite thing is that it’s super inclusive. We had 53 paddlers out there, so it’s pretty nice to see all the slalom community coming together and getting a good experience on the water, paddling, and having fun. That’s what All-States is all about,” Dupras said.
With athletes varying in skill levels, the camp worked hard to ensure everyone was supported and enjoying themselves throughout the camp.
Twelve-year-old Kate Dealaney from Northern NSW also highlighted how exciting it was to see the world’s best paddler Jess Fox training over the weekend.
“All States Camp was a fun and enjoyable weekend of training with lots of awesome coaching, which helped to improve my confidence and slalom skills,” Delaney said.
“It was great to meet other paddlers, especially Jess Fox, and it had a really cool vibe. I can’t wait for the next one!”