URGENT – Member’s Forum with Australian Canoeing and The Australian Sports Commission


Informal meeting to be held this Friday night 15 December 2006 from 6.00 pm at the South Aust Rowing Assoc function room adjacent to the finish tower on the canoeing/rowing course on Military Road, West Lakes to discuss the future of canoeing in South Australia and Australia. It is critical that representatives from canoe polo attend and understand what is been proposed as changes could have significant impact on their sport. Peter Heeley Chair of AC Interim Board and Dr Robert Kidston from Australian Sports Commission will be present.



For about the last 18 months Australia Canoeing Inc (AC) has been suffering severe financial problems brought about by poor financial management of the 2005 World Slalom Championships and 2005 World Canoe Marathon Championships both held in Australia and cost over-runs with the flatwater kayak and slalom high performance programs in recent years. As a result AC has had to borrow money from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to stay viable. Also, the ASC undertook a review of canoeing in Australia. Report is titled – Review of the delivery of the sport of canoeing in Australia and was prepared by Dr Robert Kidston. His report and appendices are available for download form the link below.


Dr Kidston's review focused mainly on the kayak and slalom high performance programs and he made 72 recommendations some of which will have considerable impact on canoeing including in South Australia. Earlier this year the former Board of AC resigned and a three person interim Board of AC was appointed. This Board appears to want all state canoe boards, all canoe clubs and all canoe members to accept and embrace these recommendations.


The Board of Canoe South Australia have carefully read Dr Kidston's report and on behalf of SA members have responded by sending a letter to the chair of AC. (A copy of the letter is avalaible from the link below). While many of the recommendations appear appropriate there are others that are likely to have significant detrimental consequences to canoeing in this state. 


The current national situation is not tenable. Changes need to occur. However, changes have to be in the best interest of the sport now and in the long term. Your involvement at the above meeting will help guide the future direction of canoeing in this state.




Peter Schar

for and on behalf of Board of Canoe South Australia Inc