Thomas Konietzko, President International Canoe Federation, Alister Henskens, NSW Minister for Sport; Jess Fox; Stuart Ayres, Member for Penrith; Matt Carroll, CEO Australian Olympic Committee; Phil Jones, CEO Paddle Australia

Penrith Whitewater Stadium and Sydney International Regatta Centre will receive $6.7 million from the NSW Government to upgrade the facilities ahead of the International Canoe Federation’s Canoe Slalom World Championships.

“Penrith is the national home of paddle sports and will now host a world championship,” said State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres. “These funds will not only ensure a wonderful event but will breathe new life into a critical Olympic venue.

“It’s produced one Olympic Gold Medallist in Jessica Fox and I hope it produces many more as we charge towards the next Australian Olympics in 2032.

“The $3.1 million upgrade to Penrith Whitewater Stadium will ensure the facility is not just ready to host the Canoe Slalom World Championships in 2025 but guarantee it is the best World Championships ever.”

The works will see upgrades to the whitewater course and stadium infrastructure including new course gates and obstacles, a new timing system, lighting and stadium pathways improvements and canoe conveyor system upgrades.

The NSW Office of Sport will take over management of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium on 1 July 2023.

NSW Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said the upgrades to Penrith Whitewater Stadium come on top of $3.6 million in the 2022/23 Sport Budget to improve the competition timing system at Sydney International Regatta Centre.

“We are proud of our Penrith sporting venues and enjoy hosting, not only our local community and Australia, but the global paddling family,” Mr Henskens said.

Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones welcomed the NSW Government’s infrastructure upgrades to the Penrith Whitewater Stadium and Sydney International Regatta Centre.

“The upgrades enable us to meet international specifications for hosting the 2025 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Penrith, continuing the legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games for our sport and the local community,” Mr Jones said.

“This essential work will boost the preparation of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes for the Paris 2024 Games, while making the venue more adaptable for other uses like recreational rafting, kayaking and swift water rescue training.”

International Canoe Federation’s President Thomas Konietzko said he was thrilled to bring international competition back to Penrith Whitewater Stadium.

“To see such strong support from not only the local community but also the generous commitments of the NSW Government,” Mr Konietzko said.

“This upgrade, and the hosting of the 2025 ICF World Championships, will cement NSW and Australia as a world leader in paddle sports.”

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