CEO Blog – January 24

A warm welcome to 2024! I hope everyone was able to enjoy a break with family and friends and managed to spend some quality time out on the water over the busy festive season.

After a short break, the competition season is already ramping up as we begin what is sure to be a very busy and exciting year, including a full program of National Championships, with selected teams in the various disciplines heading overseas to World Championships and other international competitions.

The Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games will no doubt be a highlight of 2024 and excitement is already building. Paddle Australia is excited to be supporting the best high-performance paddlers from our community on their journeys to Paris. Once again, I acknowledge the funding from the Federal Government, through the Australian Sport Commission, that supports this program. For Olympic and Paralympic updates and the latest news, be sure to keep an eye on our website and social media channels.

It was fantastic to start the year off with the 2024 Whitewater Age Championships, which saw talented paddlers from around Australia converge on the Goulburn River in Victoria for a long weekend of camaraderie and competition. Taking place from January 5-7, an array of races saw Age Group Champions crowned across Canoe Slalom, Canoe Freestyle and Canoe Wildwater disciplines, and we wish to congratulate all those who took part on an incredible start to the season.

Selection races for the 2024 Australian Wildwater Team were also held at the famous Sharks Tooth rapid on the Mitta Mitta River from the 12-14 January, with talented paddlers from around Australia giving it their all.

It was wonderful to be back in Penrith over the weekend for the 2024 Canoe Slalom Oceania Championships. After a few years’ absence, it was great to host some of the world’s best paddlers alongside our Australian paddlers for a weekend of world class Canoe Slalom. For those who didn’t get a chance to come along last weekend, the 2024 Canoe Slalom AUS Open will take place this coming weekend at Penrith Whitewater Stadium, and is free to attend. For the schedule and more about the event, click here.

Queensland will play host to Level 3 Para Canoe Classifier and Coach Workshops next month, with the courses set to take place on 20-23 February on the Gold Coast. Offered by the ICF with the support of Paddle Australia, the workshops will be held at the Mermaid Waters Hotel, and I encourage anyone interested to contact Shaun Caven here.

We are enjoying seeing the #MyPaddleOz content from the Australian paddle community, and welcome everyone to share your paddling videos, photos and stories across social media, tagging #MyPaddleOz and @paddle_australia. Keep them coming!

Enjoy the summer season and as always, stay safe on our waterways.

Phil Jones
Paddle Australia CEO