CEO BLOG – MAY 2024

With Paris 2024 fast approaching and a number of international events taking place in the lead up, it has been full steam ahead for Paddle Australia this month.

The recent 2024 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup and Paracanoe World Championships in Hungary saw our Australian paddlers again shining on the world stage, setting the scene for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. On behalf of Paddle Australia, I extend my sincere congratulations to the athletes that ended their campaigns on the podium, including Curtis McGrath who won his 12th World Championship title, this time in the Men’s KL2 200. My thanks also to the coaches and support staff that do so much to ensure our athletes are ready to deliver whenever they hit the water at key events. CLICK HERE for the full wrap.

The month of May also saw the talent of our next generation of athletes on display at the 2024 Asia Pacific Sprint Cup. A vital development regatta for Paddle Australia’s pathway athletes, the event saw our up-and-coming sprint paddlers win more than 70 medals – including 30 gold – to take home the title of 2024 Asia Pacific Sprint Cup champions. Paddle Australia is exceptionally proud of these talented young paddlers and I am sure we are all excited to be able follow their progress over the coming years.

The Asia Pacific Sprint Cup not only presented a challenge to the athletes this year!  It was our turn to welcome over 100 athletes from Japan, New Zealand and Singapore to Australia for the competition. Learning just 10 days before teams were due to arrive that the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) was closed due to serious pollution following flooding in the area, the organising team was left struggling to find an alternate venue. 

With an enormous effort from members of the Canoe Sprint Technical Committee, some amazing volunteers and the PA staff, the event, including all the boats and relevant technical equipment was moved to Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, proving an enormous success. Special thanks to all involved but especially Rowing ACT, the AIS, the local authorities and all the teams for their flexibility and support. More of this in the event report.

National Volunteer Week took place last week and as part of Paddle Australia’s week-long celebrations, we were excited to release the Paddle Australia National Volunteering Action Plan (PANVAP). Guided by the Paddle Australia vision, the plan intends to elevate our sport by supporting new, existing, and returning volunteers across the country in their diverse capacities and roles. We look forward to utilising the plan in order to pave the way for a positive future for volunteers within our sport.

Paddle Australia is proud to support Canoe Slalom athlete Sarah Crosbee in her new role as an Australian Institute of Sport, Thrive with Pride ambassador. Now in its third year, the program will support athletes who are striving to make sport more inclusive for LGBTIQA+ people. 

Paddle Australia were also thrilled to launch our official partnership with Zhik, leading innovator in the world of water sports apparel, this month. Zhik will provide the team uniform for all Senior National teams, as well as Junior and U23 Australian teams, and all Paddle Australia staff and officials. The relationship will also see benefits flow to State Associations, Clubs and the broader paddling community.

 

As always, stay safe out on the water!

Phil Jones

Paddle Australia CEO

Previous articleNational Canoe Polo Season Concludes in Adelaide
Next articleEXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR BOARD COMMITTEES