Canoe South Australia recently re branded to Paddle SA. This change is part of a ‘whole of sport’ strategy by our national body Paddle Australia (Australian Canoeing) to consistently promote and embrace paddling activities at all levels.
Nearly 100 people from the SA paddling fraternity gathered at the Arkaba Hotel on October 21st, for the official launch of Paddle SA.
The evening’s formalities were opened by Phil Jones, the recently appointed CEO of Paddle Australia. Phil emphasised the importance of both state and national bodies to actively engage with all members of the community who enjoy paddling.
During the night there were several panel discussions celebrating the history of paddling in SA.
The responses of the members of the panels, which consisted of elite paddlers in Canoe Polo, Sprint, Marathon and Para- canoeing, were a highlight of the evening. They emphasised the commitment required to compete at the highest level, but also acknowledged the social benefits of their involvement in the sport.
The role of volunteers and the diversity of paddling opportunities were the focus of the final panel.
Ian Heard, who is coordinating the SA sector of the online Waterways Guide resource, provided an overview of the significant progress made with that project. Please visit the website waterwaysguide.org.au for further information.
It was a great event that provided paddling enthusiasts with the opportunity to share their love of the activity in its various forms, and network with members of Paddle SA clubs, Technical Committees, trainers, instructors and elite level development coaches.
One theme mentioned consistently throughout the night was that paddling is an intergenerational activity which lends itself to the involvement of families.
In his closing remarks State President Jim Murphy emphasised that Paddle SA is a Not for Profit organisation predominantly managed by a dedicated group of volunteers. It relies on all members to support it, and to ensure the state executive is informed of any issues that may arise so that they can be addressed in an inclusive manner.