2014 Australian Canoeing Award Winners

Featured / General / Oct 25, 2014

Canoeist of the Year – Non-Olympic Discipline or Class – Sponsored by the Australian Institute of Sport:

Winner – Ken Wallace

Ken Wallace

Ken’s performances in the Canoe Sprint K1 5000m stood out this year. He won all 3 World Cups and the World Championships. It was a wonderful effort to win all four races over the demanding 5km distance.

Canoeist of the Year – Olympic Discipline or Class – Sponsored by the Australian Institute of Sport

Winner – Jessica Fox

Jessica Fox K1W Gold Celebration Deep Creek

In Women’s K1 class, Jess had a stellar year. Victory at both the Under 23 and Senior World Championship were the highlights of a year that also included winning the Oceania Championship and Australian Open. There were also four top 10 finishes in the World Cup Series.

Coach of the Year

Winner – Myriam Fox


Myriam’s coaching highlights for the season include coaching Jess Fox to her historic double gold at the World Championshps, helping Kate Eckhardt to win silver at the U18 World Championship, as well as multiple other medal winning athletes including Noemie Fox, Alison Borrows, Georgia Rankin and Alexandra Broome.

Instructor and Guide of the Year – Sponsored by Yak

Winner – Adrian (Conal) Gain

Conal has been a senior guide and instructor for the past 10 years. Conal usually guides and teaches 2 – 3 sessions per week. During his time on the water he has introduced kayaking to many thousands of people. He has lead over 400 tours during his time on the Sydney Harbour Kayaks pro team. He is an inspiration to the thousands of people that have been guided or taught by him. He has been a mentor to many guides and instructors that have wanted to make kayaking a career.

Junior Canoeist of the Year – Non-Olympic Discipline or Class

Winner – Alexandra Broome

Alexandra Broome

Alex finished 8th in the C1W at the Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships, 3rd in the Under 18 C1W at both the Australian Open and Oceania Championship.

Junior Canoeist of the Year – Olympic Discipline or Class

Winner – Kate Eckhardt


Kate finished 2nd in K1W at the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships. She also won the Under 18 category at the Oceania Championships and placed 3rd in U18 at the Australian Open.

Paracanoeist of the Year

Winner – Curtis McGrath

Curtis McGrath Paracanoe

In Curtis’ first year paddling, only 2 years after a traumatic accident, Curtis took down records and defeated the rest of the World for a Gold medal performance in Men’s K1 TA at the Paracanoe World Championships.

Team of the Year – Sponsored by Sportscene

Winner – Open Mens K2 1000m (Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame)

Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame combined to claim silver in K2 1000m at the 2014 Canoe Sprint World Championships.

Service to Canoeing

Anton Holmes

Anton is the previous Chairperson of the Australian Canoe Polo Technical Committee, a position to which he committed much time from 2008 to 2013, after years of member level involvement. Up to 2013 Anton had played in more canoe polo World Championships, World Games and Oceania events than any other Australian.

Anton has given long years of team support and commitment along with dedicated administrative support in the background, in roles associated funding, sponsorship, uniforms and hospitality. He is married with one small child and relinquished his involvements with the Technical Committee in 2013 to put essential time into family and work priorities.

David Gibbs

David has 20+ years commitment to the Ivanhoe grammar school kayak team and introducing new paddlers to the sport and providing them the experience to become the best or just help grow the sport. He has lead our school though many nationals and state school championships and due to him we have only ever lost one boys trophy. He is constantly encouraging kids like me to push over selves in kayaking and to do our best. He is one of the last truly determined people who are willing to push the sport to grow and involve everyone.

Steve Vegh

Steve coaches athletes in outrigger, marathon and sprint from beginner to World Championship level. One of Steve’s athletes, Amanda Jane Reynolds finished 3rd in the K1 200 LTA at the ICF Paracanoe World Championships. Steve has a unique ability to encourage and inspire people of all levels of ability, in his expertise and enthusiasm for many paddling disciplines outrigger, canoe, kayak, marathon and sprint. His disciples show the breadth of his ability from 11 year old youngsters to international performing athletes.

Award Of Merit

Junior Australian K4 team (Sean Lohse, Jayden Ellis, Jy Duffy and Riley Fitzsimmons)

The crew finished 3rd in the K4 1000m at the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint Junior World Championships. Their medal was the first ever junior K4 medal for Australia and the first junior team boat to medal for Australia in 29 years.

LOC of the 2014 Canoe Slalom Junior & U23 World Championships

The Organising committee of the 2014 Canoe Slalom Junior & Under 23 World Championships did a fantastic job in organising the biggest canoeing event in Australia since 2005.

Technical Official Of the Year

Sue Natoli

Sue played an integral role in bringing the Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships to Australia and running a successful, enjoyable event for all involved. Sue is also a member of the Australian Canoe Slalom Technical Committee, and is on the Competition committees for all events.

Ian Hume

Ian has had a significant impact on the way Sprint events have run in Australia, ensuring we are up to date with technology. Ian has invested his own personal time, energy and equipment to ensure sprint events are run more efficiently. Ian is also a member of the competition committees for all sprint events held in Australia.


Photo of the Year – Sponsored by Roof Rack City, Adelaide


Ash Hobbs & Tristan Carter at 2014 Australian Championships

Ash Hobbs & Tristan Carter at 2014 Australian Championships – Photo by Dean Tonkin

People’s Choice Award

Curtis McGrath

This year we had over 700 votes with 24 different athletes from 6 different disciplines in the running to win. The support for Curtis was overwhelming, gaining almost a quarter of all votes cast.

In Curtis’ first year paddling, only 2 years after a traumatic accident, Curtis took down records and defeated the rest of the World for a Gold medal performance in Men’s K1 TA at the Paracanoe World Championships.

President’s Award

Hydro Tasmania

Hydro Tasmania is a major partner of canoeing in Tasmania. Their support over many years for both white-water and flat-water competition, education and recreation generally has made canoeing possible in Tasmania.This year is the Centenary year for Hydro Tasmania and Australian Canoeing President, Danielle Woodward has decided to award this year’s President’s Award in recognition of Hydro Tasmania’s contribution.