From the Chair’s Chair – December2017

As the calendar year draws to a close, now is as good a time as any to reflect on the exciting and ever changing nature of our sport.
Change is a good thing, (despite what some people might say) and it’s necessary to ensure that we continue to grow, to develop, to reinvent ourselves and most importantly so that we don’t sink !!
And right now, there’s lots of change in our sport of paddling…….starting right at the very top, where the Sports Commission itself is currently going through a significant restructure.
At a national level, Australian Canoeing, soon to be known as Paddle Australia, is also undertaking a major restructure, under the guidance of a recently appointed and new CEO, Phil Jones.
A a state level, your own organisation, PaddleNSW, is similarly experiencing change, with stalwart and long time Chairman Tony Hystek standing down after many, many years leading the organisation.
Tony will remain on the Board (thankfully) and will continue to Chair the Safety Committee.
Another long time and dedicated servant to the organisation, Chris Thompson, also steps down after almost as many years, and is ably replaced by his son Zac, an experienced international paddler, and, like his father, an accomplished solicitor.
Chris will also continue to support PaddleNSW and you, the members, through his involvement with Slalom and Parra-Fest.
I know that at the October AGM we recognised and thanked these guys, but I don’t think it hurts at all to recognise them again, and to thank them once again for their years of support.
If you do see them around the water, take the time to stop and say “g’day” and “thank you” to them, …..they deserve it.
….and they step down at a time when nearly all paddlesports in NSW are experiencing renewed interest, enjoying growth, and seeing new venues and new events on their calendars, all of which is leading to exciting new opportunities for us all in 2018.
At National and International levels, in all Paddlesports, NSW paddlers are experiencing success, right through the ranks, from Juniors, through to our High Performance paddlers, and our Masters.
In the last month alone, if you were following our Facebook page, you would have seen links to some outstanding results and successes for NSW paddlers competing at events around the nation and around the world (on more than three continents!)
Congratulations to all those paddlers, and their coaches, and their support teams, ….amazing efforts all round.
What an exciting time to be involved in paddlesports !!
I for one, am certainly looking forward to 2018, more changes, and the continued growth and development of PaddleNSW, of the PaddleSports, the Clubs, and most importantly, you the paddlers.
Bring it on !!!
For now though, as we do come to the end of the year, on behalf of the PNSW Admin team, the Board, and the PaddleSport Committees, I wish you all a very Merry Xmas, and a Happy New Year.
Bob Turner
PaddleNSW Chairperson