News From the Boardroom and Office

The PNSW Annual General Meeting was conducted online on Thursday, 14th September, with 44 members in attendance. Highlight of the evening was conferring Life Membership upon Bob Turner. Bob has made a massive contribution to the paddling community since 2006, especially in marathon racing. His outstanding service spans across all levels from club to state to national. Bob was also a PNSW Board Director for eight years, including five years as Chair. The organisation’s 28th Life Member since 1949 continues to raise his hand on behalf of the paddling community – being recently elected to the Board of Paddle Australia. Thanks for all you do Bob.

Due to a constitutional ceiling-tenure of eight years, both Bob and past-Chair Kiaran Lomas stood down from the PNSW Board. Their input and selfless contributions over that significant period have been amazing. On behalf of all members and the paddling industry, we pay tribute to them both. Thanks also to Joy Robinson for her brief experience on the Board. In their place we welcome new PNSW Directors Mark BretagJeff Cottrell and Andrew Pearce. At the first Board meeting after the AGM, the Board appointed Annette Mathews as Chair and Laura White as Vice-Chair. This is historically-significant as the first all-female leadership team in our sport for either PaddleNSW or any other paddle SSO. Congratulations Annette and Laura.

You may have seen in our social media channels the enormous success of PNSW athletes, coaches, volunteers and clubs at the recent PA Annual Awards. Pinnacle highlight was Far North Coast Canoe Club receiving the President’s Award for resilience and overcoming numerous flood onslaughts. FNCCC President Christine Porter was amazing in her acceptance speech, touching the hearts of 200+ people at the function.

Other PaddleNSW award winners were:

Coach of the Year – Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi

Team of the Year – Kate Eckhardt, Jess & Noemie Fox

Hall of Fame – Myriam and Richard Fox

Volunteer of the Year – Darren Forbes

Olegas Truchanas Award – Richard Barnes

Service to Paddling – Dean Gardiner

Athlete of the Year – Jessica Fox OAM

Parathlete of the Year – Dylan Littlehales

Congratulations to all winners, and indeed all finalists for deserved recognition.

JessDylan and Myriam have since been named as Finalists at the upcoming 2023 NSW Sports Awards. We wish them all best of luck on the state’s highest sporting platform competing with 100+ other sports.

After the PA National Forum in Tweed Heads, I grabbed the opportunity to hire a car and visit our Northern NSW affiliated clubs en route to Sydney. Thanks to all five clubs for your warm hospitality. I paddled with FNCCC prior to their AGM, at which I presented their Life Membership to Vince Cross. An outstanding gentleman with a marvelous story which we’ll share in a future PNSW e-newsletter. Congratulations Vince. I also presented the Sport NSW Distinguished Long Service Award to Bonville Creek Kayak Club’s President Mike Mackney. Another thoroughly deserved award.

NSW Canoe Association was formed on 8th September 1949. We’ll celebrate the SSO’s 75th birthday throughout 2024 with regular social media articles remembering the good times that have built our sport and recreation to where we are today. To those that have been around for a while, please send articles and photos to the office so we can all celebrate the 75-year journey.

Members will be aware of the National Integrity Framework information that has been released by Paddle Australia recently, and the responsibility by us all to contribute to a safe, fair, and inclusive paddling environment. Integrity, disciplinary and grievance policies are available through PA Integrity Manager Liam Bourke. A canoe polo player was recently suspended for contacting the head of an opponent and disputing referee decisions. We have zero tolerance for anti-social or harmful behaviour – whether it be during competition, training or any recreational activity. Quite simply, treat others with the same respect you would wish to be treated yourself.

This month’s newsletter is full of wonderful articles highlighting the many events and PNSW Series held throughout NSW and ACT in recent months. I thank the contributors, and just as importantly I thank the host clubs and organising committees for conducting such fantastic events for our members. Participation is slowly increasing since Covid, and the tremendous work by our volunteers cannot be under-estimated. You are all greatly valued.

Thanks also to Ros Lawrence – our newsletter editor. Another great edition Ros. This is the final newsletter before Christmas, so on behalf of the PNSW Board, we wish all members a safe and joyful festive season, and remember to enjoy yourselves on the water.

Peter Tate
Chief Executive Officer

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