Paddle Australia is pleased to be a beneficiary of the Australian Government’s Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Preparation Fund that was announced today.

The funding is designed to significantly enhance the medal potential and improve the performance of our Australian athletes in the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

This additional funding into Paddle Australia’s high performance program will directly assist in supporting our senior national teams attending international and domestic competitions and camps, which will improve our competitive opportunities and foster the sport’s ‘one team’ culture. 

Paddle Australia’s CEO, Phil Jones, said on the eve of the 1 Year to Go until the Paris Olympics, this funding announcement is welcomed news. 

“We would like to thank the Australian Government and Minister Anika Wells, including our principal partner the Australian Institute of Sport, in providing this much needed funding to support our Olympic and Paralympic programs on the road to the Paris 2024 Games,” Jones said.  

“This is a real energy uplift and sign of confidence from the Australian Government in our High Performance Sport System, who’ve collectively worked together during this cycle to unite in a clear vision to win well to inspire all Australians,” he said.    

Paddle Australia’s National High Performance Director, Kim Crane said: “There’s a clear understanding about the pressure sports across the system are under with the rising costs of living, specifically with increases incurred to prepare our athletes with international travel to required competition. 

“We are fully focused on next year’s Games and with our World Championships over the next couple of months we will look to gain our first quota spots. It is a huge relief today to receive this news. This gives us a much-needed momentum push, knowing the commitment our athletes and coaches are making to be physically, mentally and emotionally ready to proudly represent Australia is being seen and that the Government is behind us.

“The funding will go a long way in directly helping us deliver the necessary training and competition required to be ready to compete at the biggest sporting event in the world. It gives us a greater chance to achieve our sport’s high performance program purpose, which is to support our Australian athletes to become the world’s best paddlers and people; which helps create a healthier, happier, united community both on and off the water,” she said. 

With just over 12 months until the Games, Minister Wells said the Paris 2024 Olympic and  Paralympic Preparation Fund was a timely investment in our athletes.

“Our Olympic and Paralympic sports have been telling us that getting their athletes to key  preparation and qualification events has been a challenge and we’ve listened,” Minister Wells said. 

“Through the Australian Sports Commission, we’re proud to be able to invest further in our athletes that inspire millions of Australians when they represent us on the world stage. 

“It is the ultimate honour to represent your country and now more Australians will have more  chances to become Olympic medallists. I’m proud the Albanese Government can assist our hard working athletes to live their Olympic dreams,” she said.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said the Fund would enable sports to ensure the crucial final 12 months before the Games count. 

“Our athletes make extraordinary sacrifices to be ready physically, mentally and emotionally to  proudly represent Australia every four years on the world’s biggest sporting stage, the Olympic and  Paralympic Games,” Mr Perkins said. 

“Sport hasn’t been immune from the rising cost of living pressures we are all facing. I would like to  thank the Australian Government and Minister Wells for acknowledging this and allowing the Australian Sports Commission to allocate extra funds to our Olympic and Paralympic sports. 

“The majority of Australians believe our Olympians and Paralympians are the best role models, especially for kids, and a source of inspiration. I am proud to work with the Government to ensure our athletes have the best platform to achieve their best in Paris.” 

AOC President Ian Chesterman said the news is a huge relief for athletes and their sports who have to travel considerable distances to events around the world to qualify for the Games amid escalating costs.

“We are enormously grateful for the Federal Government’s support of our sports and athletes as they seek to qualify for Paris,” he said.

“Every Australian athlete who wants to represent our country in Paris has to travel to qualify. Travel costs are through the roof. So, this additional support from the Federal Government will help athletes pursue their dream of representing us all at the 2024 Olympics.

“We think an Australia with more Olympians is a better Australia. We know everyone on the team will inspire their clubs, their communities and our country. We now expect Australia again will have one of the five biggest teams next year.

“This new funding is vital. Paris is the first stop on the road to Brisbane and if we want home Games success that has to start now,” Mr Chesterman said.

Next articleTeam Behind the Team – Rene Olsen, Women’s Sprint Kayak Coach