Paddle Australia would like to welcome the national paddling community to a new year in 2021. 
While many of us would simply like to rule a line under 2020 and start afresh, it is clear that the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will continue into 2021 and likely beyond. Paddle Australia is committed to supporting people to paddle in a safe and enjoyable manner and we would love to hear how your local community is adapting to changed circumstances to get people out on the water. Share your experience at
In this month’s Paddle Pulse, we provide an update on the status of the National Level Competitions and also details on how you can paddle in the Australian Masters Games in Perth this October.  Plus we bring you the inspiring story of Sam Bloom, who suffered a spinal injury in 2013 and whose journey is now the subject of a movie starring Naomi Watts (and a magpie named Penguin).  Sam Bloom went on to be selected in the Australian ParaCanoe team for the ICF World Championships in Milan in 2015.
With you on the water,  
Paddle Australia
National Level Competitions
A highlight of the annual paddling calendar is the National Championships held across the paddle disciplines.  The scheduling and running of these competitions has been hampered by a constantly changing COVID-19 situation, in particular around the ability of participants to travel both locally and interstate.

Paddle Australia has created a centralised webpage where participants can keep track of the status of the various National Level Competitions, to be found here. This page will be updated whenever the status of a competition changes, so please check the site regularly.

In some cases, if a National Level Competition is postponed the local organisers will continue to run a community based event on the same dates, to provide competition opportunities for those who can attend.  Details for such events will also be included on the PA webpage.

Entries for the 2021 Australia Masters Games are now Open!

Paddle Australia is excited to share that Canoeing will be a part of the Australian Masters sports program this year, hosted in Perth. 

Canoe sprint, marathon and ocean racing athletes will have the opportunity to compete in some of Perth’s most spectacular waterways, including the outstanding turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean between Port and Sorrento Beaches. 

2021 is going to be all about getting back into sport, reuniting with old friends and establishing new ones, and exploring the beauty of one’s own backyard. So get ready for #playtime in Perth and prepare to paddle over that finish line!

Click here for more Information

Penguin Bloom: An Inspiring True Australian Story
Penguin Bloom is an inspiring true Aussie film about overcoming physical disabilities and unlikely friendships. The film tells the story of Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts), a mother whose life was forever changed after a near-fatal accident that left her unable to walk. In the film Sam’s husband, (Andrew Lincoln), her three young boys and her mother (Jackie Weaver), struggle to adjust to their new situation, however, Sam and her family find hope and solace in an injured magpie chick called Penguin.

The movie also shines light on Western Australia’s Paracanoe program. Paddle Australia hopes this film will introduce the sport to more para-athletes in Australia. 

For information on the movie, paracanoe program, and Sam Click Here >>>

Paddle Australia Support for Improved Boat Storage
The Strategic Plan for Paddling in Australia recognises that improving options for boat storage is a key priority for our sport.

Paddle Australia was pleased to support a recent application to Northern Beaches Council in NSW for an improved storage facility to be developed at the Manly Boatshed.  The proposal included provision for storage of 40 kayaks, in an area where the waiting list to access Council’s boat storage is currently 10 years! With PA’s support, this application was successful. 
If your community is seeking to improve local storage of craft, please get in contact at
Image: Artist impression of new facility.
United Paddling Management
In June 2019 Paddle Australia and the six State Paddle Associations, supported by Sport Australia, embarked on a mission to better align paddling in Australia. The aim has been a more efficient management of our sport, in particular across strategy, financial systems and workforce. How are we going? Check out the video below or for more information visit the PA website.
Paddle Australia Announce New Board Members
The staff and current board of Paddle Australia are happy to welcome four new board members Sue Eaves, Rob Pickering, Simon Traynor and Andrew Trim.

Sue Eaves has a background in change management and people and culture, working in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and the United States.

Rob Pickering brings a background in digital and technology, having led large scale digital transformations across various industries to his role as a director of PA.

Simon Traynor brings to Paddle Australia more than 25 years of experience in building and managing high profile international sports, lifestyle, fashion, and outdoor brands, including Nike Europe and Quiksilver Asia Pacific.

Andrew Trim has extensive experience in paddling at a high level, having competed in nine World Championships between 1985 and 2000 in canoe sprint, being a multiple medal winner and World Champion in 1997.
Read More
The New BOM Marine Weather App!
Bureau of Meteorology has just deployed a new marine update to the BOM Weather app. Now when yo are heading out on the water, you can plan your activities with confidence. Read More 
2020 Queensland Canoe PaddleFest
The first weekend of December saw more than 600 paddlers converge on the Gold Coast for the 2020 edition of the Paddle QLD PaddleFest.  The event was a celebration of flatwater paddling, with participants using canoes, kayaks, ocean skis, sit on tops, SUPs and outriggers across a variety of races, discovery sessions and demonstrations. 
There was a focus on educating participants through Q&A sessions, not just in paddlecraft but also in where to paddle in some of the great local waterways.  It was also great to see schools competitions in both the Sprint and Marathon disciplines!  Check out the photos on the PQ Facebook page here and here.
AOC Supporter Gear
Click on the image below to check out the AOC official supporter merchandise for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which will now be held in 2021, with a range available for both canoe sprint and canoe slalom.
Click Here to See & Subscribe to the "Paddle To Tokyo" Newsletter
What an awesome photo from the Hydro Tasmania Cataract Gorge Extreme Race!

So... How Did We Go?
What do you think of this newsletter? What would you like to see in future editions?

All comments and feedback are welcome and will help us to make sure that we're providing the updates that you care about most!

We would also love to hear about what paddlers are getting up to! Send in your photos, videos or stories to be featured in Paddle Pulse.

Please contact us at

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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 6805
Silverwater NSW 2128