Paddle Australia is pleased to be a beneficiary of the Australian Government’s second stream of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Preparation Fund that was announced today.
The sport system’s total $5 million funding boost is part of the overall $20 million commitment from the Australian Government announced in July, designed to significantly enhance the medal potential and improve the performance of Australian athletes in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Games.
Stream Two of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Preparation Fund was a competitive grant program with high performance sports applying for additional funding to enhance their existing and/or new priority campaigns for Paris 2024.
Paddle Australia’s additional funding will directly support Canoe Slalom athletes who are targeting Olympic qualification in the new discipline of Kayak Cross, which will debut at Paris 2024.
Paddle Australia’s CEO, Phil Jones, thanked the federal government for their ongoing support.
“We extended our thanks to the Federal Government, Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport for their investment into this very specific Kayak Cross Project,” Jones said.
“We greatly appreciate the investment into Australia’s paddling athletes who dream of proudly representing the green and gold on the Olympic stage.”
Paddle Australia’s National Performance Director Kim Crane said today’s funding announcement is a significant boost for the Canoe Slalom program.
“The addition of Kayak Cross into the Olympic programme provides an exciting opportunity to potentially qualify two additional athletes for Paris,” Crane said.
“However, the Olympic qualification system is incredibly complex and our high performance athletes, coaches and staff have to think strategically to navigate both the opportunities and challenges within the guidelines, with athletes only eligible to qualify one quota place for the nation across K1, C1 and Kayak Cross.
“This Stream Two funding boost will directly support a small number of identified athletes to pursue the Kayak Cross qualification opportunity and together we will creatively design a targeted campaign for the lead up to Paris 2024. This is an exciting chance for the identified athletes to pioneer a path that in previous Olympic cycles hasn’t been required. We need to think differently and that will take courage from the athletes identified.
“For those athletes who focus their attention on Kayak Cross, this investment is impactful in their journey to qualify for Paris, and we are sincerely grateful to the AIS for their confidence in our team,” Crane concluded.
Minister for Sport, Anika Wells, announced the successful recipients while visiting the athlete’s village in Paris, less than a year out from the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“This is an important step on our path towards building the best sporting system in the world by Brisbane 2032,” Minister Wells said.
“This critical second stream of the Paris 2024 Preparation Fund sees dozens of projects brought to life including game changing initiatives.
“For many sports, the Paris 2024 Preparation Fund unlocks the one-percenters and for others, it opens the door to new Olympic and Paralympic aspirations.
“Underpinned by the Win Well pledge, it is about elevating the chances of Australians getting to the Paris starting line, achieving a personal best, or reaching the podium and, ultimately, delivering results that make Australia proud.”
Australian Sports Commission (ASC) CEO Kieren Perkins OAM expects the funding to have a significant impact.
“We are delighted to be able to support our sports and athletes with this targeted funding which is set to make a tangible difference to so many people,” Mr Perkins said.
“Our athletes have made extraordinary sacrifices to get to where they are, and hopefully this additional funding support will help take them to the next level.
“I’d like to once again thank the Australian Government and Minister Wells for allowing the Australian Sports Commission to work closely with our sports to ensure these extra funds gets to the Olympians and Paralympians who need it most as we enter the final stage of preparations before Paris.”