Roman Andersson – Hall of Fame Inductee 2021

WAIS coach and Olympic bronze medallist Ramon Andersson is taking on the 2018 Avon Descent as a paddleboarder. Pictured is Ramon on the river in Bassendean. Picture – Justin Benson-Cooper / The Sunday Times

Ramon grew up along the river in Midland watching the Avon Descent, and developed an affinity for canoeing at high school. At university, it wasn’t long before his passion for paddling surpassed his other love, football. At 20, he gave away state league football to become a full time paddler.

During his long and illustrious career, Ramon has excelled as a coach and an athlete. A dual Olympian, Ramon won a bronze medal in the K4 1000 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and two months later won a gold medal in the K2 at the World Marathon Canoeing Championships.

Between 1988 and 2000, Ramon won 29 Australian Championships, a silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships, and 14 World Cup medals.

In 1992 and 1993, Ramon was named the WA Sports Federation Sportsman of the Year, becoming the first male to win the award two years in a row. He was also the WAIS Athlete of the Year for 1992/93, and runner-up Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year in 1992.

In 1995, he overcame chronic fatigue syndrome to be selected for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, where he again competed in the K4 1000.

Since retiring from elite paddling, Ramon has gone on to pave a successful career in coaching. Ramon’s influence and impact at the grassroots levels has significantly helped to raise the profile of paddling in Western Australia.

Ramon works tirelessly to not only help young paddlers pursue their own Olympic dreams, but to upskill and help develop coaches within Western Australia. The quality of paddlers is a direct reflection of the coaching they receive, and Ramon has been a massive influence in ensuring coaches have access to the latest, and best information on coaching.

At a state level, Ramon has been the Head Coach of the Western Australia Institute of Sport (WAIS) Sprint Canoeing Program since 2003, taking the program from a small part-time program, to one of the most successful programs at WAIS, where it won Program of the Year three times between 2007 and 2012, and more recently in 2021.

Ramon has coached many Olympic and National team athletes including dual Olympian and 2008 bronze medalist Lisa Russ, World Cup winner and 2012 Olympian Alana Nicholls as well as London 2012 Olympians Jesse Phillips and Steve Bird. His most recent success is both Shannon Reynolds and Jaime Roberts representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Ramon is an incredible role model for all paddlers, young and old, and for up-and-coming coaches.

Paddle Australia would like to congratulate Ramon on being inducted to the Hall of Fame.