Paddle Australia and their six State Paddle Associations have worked together to introduce a Paddle Support Package aimed at helping Clubs and Members during the COVID-19 crisis.
Launched under the new ‘Paddle Australia – With You On The Water’ branding, the package includes four key elements to help paddlers and provide real support for Clubs:
- 25% discount on 2020/21 State and Paddle Australia fees for club members on renewal and new memberships to help retain current members and help attract new ones;
- Establishment of The Paddle On Foundation to help those impacted most severely by COVID-19 to remain or become members of their Club and continue paddling;
- Free Club member access to a new, online ‘Introduction to Coaching’ course so that members can upskill while they have time and can help coach new members when Clubs reopen. Members who complete all course elements by 30 September 2020 will receive 12 months free registration as an Introductory Coach;
- A three-month extension for all current Paddle Australia qualification holders given they haven’t been able to use their qualifications for a while. Qualification end dates will be automatically extended.
Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones said the Paddle Support Package was developed in recognition of the unprecedented situation COVID-19 has had on the sport.
“Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations are very aware of the impact COVID-19 is having on Clubs and paddlers and we recognised very quickly we needed to find ways to help our united paddling community,” Jones said.
“This important initiative is focused on providing real value for our members and assisting Clubs to get through this time and be well positioned on the other side of lockdown.
“Some elements of the Paddle Support Package are available immediately and the benefit of other elements will be felt in the coming months as members join or renew for the 2020/21 season.”
Jones welcomed the three step plan announced by the Federal Government on Friday and said “it was very pleasing paddlers could still get out on the water to exercise so long as they respected physical distancing rules and other important regulations currently in place”.
“We’re delighted to have played our part, with our State Paddle Associations, in ensuring paddlers were able to spend some time on the water to help maintain physical and mental wellbeing over the last few weeks and it’s crucial all paddlers continue to do the right thing to ensure safety for everyone,” Jones said.
“Just as we want to keep everyone healthy, we want our Clubs and paddling communities to get through this and thrive on the other side.”
“The Paddle On Foundation has been set up to support the costs of Club memberships for those paddlers who are struggling as a result of COVID19, helping them to keep their heads above water.”
“We’re aware there are people who’ve been affected quite seriously by this pandemic and the stress of financial issues in particular can have real emotional and mental health impacts – we want those people to be able to stay connected to their Clubs, their sport and the benefits of paddling.”
“We also want to keep the younger generation of paddlers in the sport and in their Clubs – these Paddle Support Package benefits and The Paddle On Foundation can help keep young people paddling now and into the future.”
“If you’ve fared OK during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an opportunity to support those paddlers and their families less fortunate. Never has it been more important for everyone to contribute to our united paddling community.”
Joy Robinson, Registrar and Social Secretary at Manly Warringah Kayak Club in NSW, welcomed the Paddle Support Package and, in particular, The Paddle On Foundation.
“The establishment of the Paddle On Foundation is a wonderful initiative as it will help clubs to retain members who may otherwise struggle to continue their memberships if they’re experiencing real hardships,” Robinson said.
“It will also help attract and retain juniors whose families may be facing serious choices about how to spend their reduced finances at the moment.”
“We want to keep the younger generation of paddlers in the sport and in their clubs – these Paddle Support Package benefits and The Paddle On Foundation can help keep young people paddling now and into the future.”
Details of the initiative are outlined for members in this short video, which features everyday paddlers:
To donate to The Paddle On Foundation click here.
For further details please view the below: