October was a month of celebration for Paddle Australia, and it was fantastic to see our community back together for the first in-person Annual Awards since 2019.
As is the case every year, the Annual Awards gave us a chance to reflect on the last 12 months, recognise and celebrate our athletes and coaches, and honour the service of our volunteers, officials and educators who continue to give so much to our sport.
A massive congratulations to all of our award winners and thank you to everyone who was in attendance celebrating with us.
Whilst we celebrate the achievements of our own, paddling has also been recognised by the broader sport community. Canoe Sprint was named a finalist for the NSW Institute of Sport Awards Program of the Year, after taking out the category in 2021. Myriam Fox was one of five finalists for the Coach of the Year, and Jess Fox was also shortlisted as a finalist for the Female Athlete of the Year award, both accolades a fantastic recognition of Jess’ successful World Cup and World Championships season.
This month marked the end of the international season for our Aussies abroad, rounded out with the 2022 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Portugal. Congratulations to our very own Jemma Smith who took out the senior women’s title. Special mention must also go to Mackenzie Hynard and Jasmine Rayward who won bronze medals in their respective categories. Australia’s masters athletes also impressed on the world stage, bringing home four gold and one bronze medal. Congratulations Mitchell Coffey, Jonathan Crowe, Todd Boreland, Shaun Rice and Don Marsh,
The end of the international season brings with it the start of the domestic season, and it has been great to see paddlers across the country preparing for the busy season that lies ahead. With Australia finally returning to some form of normality, it is with excitement that we look forward to the 2022/23 season getting underway.
This month we also welcomed two new members to our high performance unit, as we continue to build on the green and gold runway to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sharlene Kelly joined the team in the role of QAS Sprint Coach – Sunshine Coast and Kilian Foulon was appointed to the role of Canoe Slalom Senior Coach.
As the weather continues to warm up, and summer fast approaches, we look forward to seeing more of you back on the water and making the most of Australia’s great waterways.
Yours in paddling,
Paddle Australia CEO