NEW CANOE SLALOM PATHWAYS COACH LAUNCHES IN TASMANIA

With a proud history in Canoe Slalom, Tasmania is continuing to establish itself as a high performance hub in the discipline after the first paid state coach in Australia was appointed in the southern state.

Co-funded by Paddle Australia, Paddle Tasmania, Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Derwent Canoe Club, the new and specialised role of Canoe Slalom Coach Tasmania is already contributing to the strength and expanse of the Canoe Slalom community in Australia’s south.

Having previously paddled at both a national and international level before switching her focus to coaching, Zoe Lau was appointed to the role late last year, and has since been delivering high quality technical support to the community.

“Tassie has a lot of natural white water and we’re very lucky to have a great relationship with Hydro Tasmania who provide us with water releases at Bradys Lake, Mersey River and River Forth, so the state really is a great little hub for Canoe Slalom training,” said Lau.

“The premise of my role is to really develop the high performance space in relation to Canoe Slalom so we can make the most of the natural resources we have down here. We’re looking at how we can enhance what’s already happening to get the next generation of high performance athletes through.”

 

Since moving from Melbourne to Hobart for the role, Lau has worked closely with national coaches as well as the local community to enhance practice.

“Working closely with some of the national canoe slalom coaches has also been incredible,” she said. 

“The ability to pick the brains of coaches such as Ros Lawrence, Mike Druce and Myriam Fox has enhanced the support I’m able to provide in Tasmania, so that collaboration and support has been very beneficial.

“As well as engaging with the performance pathways athletes based in Tasmania who I will travel to Europe with later this year, I also work closely with the five National Development Squad athletes we have down here.

“On a more local level, I support the coaches in the local clubs and do a lot of coach development work as well as run a variety of local and State camps that we host. 

“We mostly have volunteer parents who coach our local groups, a lot of whom paddle recreationally, so where possible it’s my role to enhance their skills and understanding with more slalom specific technique.

For Lau, ensuring athletes throughout all stages of their competitive development receive support is a high priority.

“Adding to the existing culture of high performance accountability that’s already set up here is a goal of mine for sure,” she said.

“We’re working hard to make the transition between the National Development Squad, the Junior team, Under 23’s and then Senior team as smooth as possible for all our athletes, and I’m excited to utilise this new role as much as possible to see our work continue into the future.”

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