2021 Award Winner – Coach of the Year

Nominated by Sydney Northern Beaches Kayak Club and PaddleNSW Sprint, the 2021 PaddleNSW Coach of the Year is CHRISTINE DUFF.

From the week after last year’s nationals when we went into Covid lock down, Duffy has every day, worked to keep the SNBKC members healthy, motivated and together.

She devised a Covid safe plan to allow the kids to train together, got them on the water using a strict timetable with paddle buddies, into a modified outdoor gym using improvised equipment, and prioritised their mental well-being as well as their physical health and fitness. SNBKC was able to keep paddling through each lockdown through Duffy’s careful planning. The kids did not feel isolated.

As restrictions lifted, Duffy brought the squad back together and made plans for all the NSW athletes who missed out on representing Australia internationally in 2020. She created a State team with Jake Michael and Sally Simons and she worked to make sure all NSW athletes were supported and motivated.

When December‘s GP1 was cancelled Duffy created an event which would keep our NSW paddlers motivated and prepare them for State and National Championships in early 2021. As Covid reared its ugly head again on the night before this event, Duffy did not hesitate to do the right thing and cancel it, despite our extreme disappointment.

With the recent floods forcing Nationals to be moved from Penrith to Adelaide three weeks out from the event. Duffy arranged for SNBKC plus all the State athletes to make it to Nationals, booking accommodation, flights, boat transport, parent support and all other requirements. Our kids well-being, enjoyment and success are her priorities, in that order, and she worked tirelessly as a volunteer to help them achieve their goals, both at club and state level.

She is the driving force behind NSW Sprint Kayaking.

Very well deserved Christine – and thank you.

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