Richard Fox’s induction into the Paddle Australia Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honour for his remarkable contributions to paddling. His legacy encompasses significant achievements and unwavering dedication.
Following an outstanding career as an athlete for Great Britain, winning 5 individual and five team World Championships, one of the defining moments in Richard’s career was his pivotal role in an international campaign to safeguard the inclusion of Slalom in the Olympics. His relentless efforts ensured its continued presence and further campaigned for its permanent Olympic status.
Early in his international career, Richard competed in Australia at the National Championships, forging lasting friendships with various Australian slalom paddlers. His generosity knew no bounds as he readily provided support, advice, and encouragement to these athletes during their European competitions, particularly during unfunded stints. These friendships undoubtedly played a pivotal role in his decision to relocate to Australia in 1998. From 2000 to 2016, Richard took up roles as Head Coach, then Team Leader with the Australian Olympic Committee, attending five Olympic Games. He also served as Vice President for the International Canoe Federation from 2008-2012 and was National Performance Director for Australian Canoeing from 2005-2016.
Beyond formal roles, Richard’s passion for paddling shines through his active involvement in various championships and events, offering support, coaching, and assistance to athletes at all levels. He actively contributed to course design and construction, event scheduling, gate judging, timing, presentations, and more.
Richard’s local impact is equally commendable. His passionate advocacy for the return of Brady’s as a National Championships and National Team Selection venue revitalized the course’s significance. Despite its challenges, including its highland weather, Richard saw the course as an ideal training and race venue to test and challenge paddlers. His influence in making it a nationally recognized venue once more enabled substantial funds for repair and progressive upgrades over two decades. His support in outreaching to Hydro Tasmania further secured greater water access for both Slalom and Wildwater Racing.
Overall, Richard Fox’s influence has elevated Australia’s standing in international Slalom and Sprint, creating structures for talent development and securing essential funding. His legacy continues to inspire and shape the future of the sport.