August was a historic month for Paddle Australia’s High Performance program, as our Sprint Kayak and Paracanoe team topped the medal tally at the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships. It was the most successful World Championships campaign by the Australian team to date, with four gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Not only was the campaign highlighted by the medal haul, but also five women’s, six men’s and three paracanoe quotas were secured for next years’ Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

I extend my congratulations not only to all the athletes who competed, but also to our very hard-working management team, coaches and support staff. In the same way ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, it takes a whole community to achieve results like this! 

I would like to acknowledge our National Network Partners at the AIS and the State Institutes of Sport, our own State Paddle Associations and Clubs, as well as our many volunteers and officials. You are all a part of this success and, having had the great privilege of being in Germany at the World Championship, I know how grateful the team is for your enormous and ongoing support. 

Finally a huge thanks to the families, friends and loved ones of our extended team of athletes, coaches and staff. Your ongoing commitment to this journey, the support you provide and the sacrifice that you make, with the team often spending months away every year, is enormous. We recognise it and thank you for it.

Monday 28 August marked one year to go to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Our very own Curtis McGrath, who contributes to the sport in many ways, including as the Chair of the PA Athletes Commission, was announced as the co-captain of the 2024 Paralympic team. Congratulations Curtis on what is well-deserved recognition of the leadership you provide and the contribution that you continue to make.

Earlier in the month, our developing Canoe Slalom team competed at the Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Krakow, Poland. The team recorded a number of strong performances, highlighted by 16-year-old Codie Davidson winning Kayak Cross bronze.

In further exciting news, our Canoe Marathon World Championships teams are in Denmark for the Senior, U23, Junior and Masters World Championships. I wish them the very best of luck as they proudly represent the Green and Gold.

Back at home, the 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships are edging closer, and we’re seeing entries ramping up. We look forward to welcoming the world’s best ocean paddlers to Perth in November, and encourage all participants, or those interested in the event to join the Facebook event to keep across all the latest information. Click here to register.  

Until next month, and as always, stay safe when exploring our beautiful waterways!

Phil Jones
Paddle Australia CEO

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