Last month I reflected on the great success enjoyed by our sprint paddlers at the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships. This month, it was the turn of slalom paddlers to take centre stage, competing at their World Championships. 

Our Australian Canoe Slalom team finished second on the medal tally, with two gold medals and one bronze, among seven top-10 places. The performances of our athletes were not only rewarded with podium finishes, but three quota places secured for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

More in this edition but special congratulations to Jess Fox on securing her 10th individual World Championships. I’m out of superlatives for Jess. Also, if you watched Jess Fox, Noemie Fox and Kate Eckhardt celebrate their gold medal in the kayak team event, it was very hard not to get swept up in the emotion of it all!

An enormous thank you to the whole community that continues to support our athletes. Our hardworking support staff and coaches who, like our athletes, spend many months overseas each year, practicing and competing, the Australian Institute of Sport, State Institutes of Sport, our own State Paddle Associations and Clubs, and our many volunteers and officials. The team is so grateful for all your ongoing support which, quite simply, makes what they do possible.

Our Canoe Slalom team also received an added boost, with Federal Government funding, through the Paris 2024 Preparation Fund, to be invested in a Kayak Cross program to give our team the best chance of having as many athletes as possible on the start line in Paris next year. What a month for our Slalom team!

The recent World Championships was staged very successfully by our friends at British Canoeing at the course built for the 2012 Olympics at Lee Valley, north of London. We are excited that the next ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships will be headed down under in 2025, and will be staged in Penrith, a legacy course from the 2000 Olympic Games. The hosting of the next Championships on the green and gold runway to Brisbane 2032 is a great coup for Australia. This will be an event not to be missed. More details soon.

Our Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe team wrapped up their international season at the World Cup in Paris. It was great for our team to get a taste of the venue ahead of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The team are now back at home, finding some time to relax, before the pre-season begins in October and preparations for next year’s Games only ramp up.

The countdown to the 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships also continues to heat 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.  

As I write this, I do appreciate that my focus over the last two months has been on the performance of our teams competing in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. It would be remiss of me in finishing not to recognise the participation and performance of Australians in so many overseas competitions throughout the northern hemisphere summer. Most recently, we had a huge team in Denmark for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships. Pleasingly, I only ever hear great feedback about how welcome our paddlers are to these events and how much fun they all seem to be having! What a great sport we all share in.

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

Phil Jones

Paddle Australia CEO