Canoe Slalom NZ Newlsetter August 2019
MIKE DAWSON NAMED WWNZ CANOEIST OF THE YEAR
In what is proving to be an historic year for canoe slalom in New Zealand, we are delighted to share news that Mike Dawson has been named Canoeist of the Year by Whitewater New Zealand. Mike joins a clutch of slalom paddlers to be recognised in this way, including Luuka Jones in 2016 and current CSNZ selector Don Johnstone in 1988. Mike’s award is testament to the two-time Olympian’s championing of all things paddling on and off the water, and you can read the full scope of his nomination from the CSNZ Community Committee here.
The history of this year in ICF Slalom has so far included the first ever World Cup medal for a New Zealander (Luuka Jones in Bratislava), the highest ever World Cup finish for a New Zealand male (Callum Gilbert in London), and the first ever Kiwi male to make a world-level final in C1 (Jack Egan in Juniors in Krakow). With the World Cup season about to resume in Markkleeberg this weekend, we wish the Senior Team continued progress and success. (Remember, you can catch the action live on the ICF website or on Sky Sport from 10:00pm on Saturday 31 August.)
Callum Gilbert will be flying the NZ flag solo in Markkleeberg while the remainder of the Team finish training camps in La Seu d’Urgell in preparation for the World Championships (25-29 September). Luuka Jones, Hannah Thomas, Finn Butcher, Jack Dangen and Ben Gibb will join Callum in Prague for the World Cup Final (6-8 September), with Luuka, Hannah and Jack also contesting the Extreme Canoe Slalom World Championships there, in the year when the IOC are keenly observing Extreme’s attraction for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. We are also delighted to let you know that, following his shoulder injury in June, Patrick Washer has been cleared to return to racing for the World Championships, and will make a final decision on whether to rejoin his teammates next week.
Off the water, there has been a fair deal of history also, with along with Mike’s award, Kellie Bailey’s hugely deserved recognition for the second time as an Olympic judge, with a call up for the Tokyo 2020 Games. With Kellie’s travels supported by a Prime Minister’s Scholarship, HPSNZ CEO Michael Scott to the opportunity to cite Kellie as a prime example of Kiwi officials excelling on the world stage, when he addressed the PMS Awards dinner in Christchurch last month.
Also last month, the Community Committee were delighted to host an inaugural “Clubs Forum”, bringing together 12 enthusiastic groups from around the country to discuss how CSNZ can support them to support our community. As highlighted in our 2024 Strategy, Clubs are the keystone of our community engagement, and we are working to extend our reach. We are thrilled to have just been awarded a grant from KiwiSport Auckland to help the newly-formed Tamaki Paddle Sports Club to extend training and engage a coach, and look forward to helping grow the Auckland slalom community. The Forum also aired initial thoughts on adjusting CSNZ membership structure, to reach more interested paddlers and reduce barriers to entry. More of this to follow as your Board progresses the feedback.
Finally, as part of the wider canoeing community, our congratulations to Lisa Carrington for winning her 9th and 10th world titles at the recent ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships – with less than a year to go to the Tokyo Games, New Zealand’s canoe stocks really are on the rise #BeTheInspiration.