Olympic gold medalist Jessica Fox has provided International Canoe Federation (ICF) Vice President Lluis Rabaneda Caselles with a behind the scenes tour of the upgraded Penrith Whitewater Stadium, as the countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games continues.
A legacy venue of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Penrith Whitewater Stadium will play host to the World Canoe Slalom Championships in 2025 which will mark the 25th anniversary since the Sydney Games.
Fox, who trains at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium alongside Paddle Australia’s full Canoe Slalom Olympic squad, was recently named to her fourth Australian Olympic Team for the Paris Games. For Fox, the Penrith venue is the ideal facility for training ahead of Paris 2024, where she will look to defend her Olympic gold medal.
“We’re in preseason training at the moment which is always a bit challenging, but to have the Penrith Whitewater Stadium as our base and be able to train on such good quality whitewater is really beneficial,” said Fox.
“Along with the other improvements that have been made to the venue, we’re also getting a new, international standard start ramp for the kayak cross, which will make a huge difference to our preparation for the newest Olympic paddle event.”
With the 2025 World Canoe Slalom Championships set to take place not long after the Olympics, Fox is excited for the world’s best paddlers to descend upon western Sydney.
“It will be really special to welcome the world to Penrith in Sydney for the World Championships in 2025. The last few world championships we’ve been to have been incredible with packed crowds and a great atmosphere, so I’m sure it will be a super memorable event not just for the athletes but also the Penrith and western Sydney community,” Fox said.
“I remember being a six year old in the stands for Sydney 2000 and an 11 year old in the stands when the World Championships were here in 2005, so to have that legacy 20, 25 years on, for me it means so much.”
Vice President of the ICF, Rabaneda Caselles is thrilled to bring another major event to Australia.
“We love Australia, it’s as simple as that. Penrith has been consistently improving the venue, getting it ready for 2025 as well as the next 25 years, so we’re very excited to return,” he said.
Venues need to have several elements in order to make them sustainable. The number one factor is high performance, and this venue proves that, Jess is a clear example of that point. Another point is recreational sustainability, and we will continue working with Paddle Australia on maintenance and safety to ensure that the venue is sustainable in a recreational sense as well,” he finished.
The Penrith Whitewater Stadium will play host to the World Canoe Slalom Championships in October 2025. For more information on the Australian Canoe Slalom Team, visit the Paddle Australia website here.