After another successful year on the river, the Canoe Slalom program claimed the coveted NSWIS Program of the Year Award at the NSWIS Awards night at Randwick Racecourse.
Jessica Fox added to the honour haul for the the sport picking up the NSWIS Female Athlete of the Year and the ACPE award for Academic Excellence. Fox’s triple World Championship gold in the women’s C1 category and historic double gold in C1 and K1 at the ICF World Cup in Slovenia this year while scoring disctinctions in her undergraduate degree at Swinbourne University clearly impressed the NSWIS panel.
“TIme management is always a challenge for athletes and I switched to study online through Swinbourne University so I could keep up the study while overseas for three months on the World Cup and World Championship tour”, said Fox.
“The Athlete Careeer and Education team at NSWIS has done an amazing job and the ACE staff have been lifesavers at times helping athletes find solutions”.
NSWIS and Australian Canoeing Coach, new recruit Julien Billaut of France, also thanked the NSWIS for its support of the canoe slalom progam which runs as a partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Canoeing under the banner of the National Centre of Excellence.
“We remind ourselves every day how lucky we are to have a world class facility to train on in Penrith and the support of the service teams from NSWIS and the AIS”
“We have a small pool of athletes to work with in Australia, so we have to work very hard and build on their strengths. There is still a lot to do but we are making good progress and it is great to have a strong team around us supporting the program and helping with the sports science and access to the world class venue”, said the former European and world champion kayaker.
Canoe Slalom featured in nominations for 6 awards with Will Forsythe twice in the running for his achievements as a budding Paramedic and for a courageous comeback from shoulder surgery earlier this year which saw him earn a spot at the world championships where he finished 16th and 7th in the K1 men’s team. Australian Youth Olympic Festival champion and junior C1W team world champion, Noemie Fox was a finalist in the junior athlete of the year category.
Other standout performances from the Canoe Salom Team this year came from Lucien Delfour who improved his world ranking from 22nd to 11th with a silver medal in the ICF World Cup in Spain and 3 top 10 finishes in World Cups and Rosalyn Lawrence who achieved a personal best to finish 7th in the K1 event at the world championship following a gold in the C1 team with Jess Fox and Alison Borrows.
Australian Canoeing National Performance Director, Richard Fox, said “the investment we made earlier this year with NSWIS in new coaching talent is paying off and having a strong impact on our program and performance. We are seeing good indivdual improvements in technique, strength and delivery across the board which is making us more compettiive internationally in the men’s K1, women’s K1 and women’s C1 categories.
“We are very proud to win the Program of the Year Award and this reflects the strength of our partnership with NSWIS, which has always been a natural one since Sydney 2000 because of the proximity of the Institute to the Olympic venue and the natural gravitation of athletes to develop and train here” Fox said.