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Paddle Australia announces leadership change at the end 2024

Paddle Australia has announced Phil Jones will step down as Chief Executive Officer in 12 months’ time, at the end of 2024. Current National Performance Director Kim Crane will step into the role of CEO following the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Jones and Crane will work closely over the next 11 months to ensure a smooth transition, with Crane remaining committed to her role as National Performance Director (NPD), focused on the preparation and performance of the paddling athletes, coaches and support team that will represent Australia at Olympic and Paralympic at Paris 2024.

Kim Crane and Phil Jones

Paddle Australia President Andrew Trim OLY, said the Board was delighted to have such a terrific opportunity to ensure a seamless transition between two of the sports leaders.

“It is rare to be able to put such a positive succession plan in place for a CEO role. This will offer our sport a great start leading into the next Olympic and Paralympic cycle but will also allow us to deliver on our other key priorities.

“On behalf of the Board and Paddle Australia, I would like to thank Phil for his service to Paddle Australia since he started in 2017, and particularly his commitment to this transition. Phil’s contribution to sport more broadly across Australia is a credit to him, delivering real impact and change during his CEO roles with Paddle Australia, Athletics Australia, and Australian Sailing over the decades.

“The Board are so pleased that Kim Crane will take on the CEO role, working with Phil over the next 12 months around key strategic priorities. Phil has also indicated he is keen to continue to work with Paddle Australia after stepping aside as CEO. I am sure Kim will want to take him up on this.

“Kim has played a truly impactful role as National Performance Director since joining our sport after the Tokyo Games. She also brings a wealth of experience having worked across other National Sporting Organisations, the AIS, NSWIS and QAS.

“While Kim’s focus and energy over the next 12 months will be on ensuring our Olympic and Paralympic teams are as well prepared as possible for the Paris 2024 Games, she and Phil will continue to work closely together to continue the work towards our key priorities,” he said.

Jones said he has enjoyed his time with Paddle Australia and is really happy to have the opportunity to work with Crane as part of the transition.

“It is a great privilege to lead the team at Paddle Australia. I am delighted with the changes we have been able to bring about. The organisation is in a very strong position, due to the efforts of the hard working and committed Board, committees, staff team and volunteers. That said, we have to look forward.

“Identifying Kim as the incoming CEO at this early stage allows us to really set ourselves up for future success. Critically, we can lock in some of the key roles now, well ahead of Paris 2024, enabling us to hit the ground running ahead of LA 2028 and in anticipation of a home Games in Brisbane 2032.

“Also, this means that Kim can also provide input to the strategic plan and priorities that she will be asked by the Board and broader paddling community to deliver on.

“Paddle Australia values and works closely with our State Paddle Associations (SPA) and other stakeholders. Obviously, these relationships will be a priority for Kim once she takes up her new role. I would like to thank the SPA Presidents, boards, and staff and of course all of our stakeholders, for their support and commitment. I am sure that this will be extended to Kim as CEO,” he said.

Crane has been instrumental in the development of the High Performance Program Strategic Plan and will be key in PA’s strategic planning moving forward, working collaboratively with Jones and the Executive Management Team.

“I am so honoured and privileged to be appointed the CEO of Paddle Australia starting in November 2024.

“Personally, I would like to thank Phil Jones for his support and leadership during my current role as National Performance Director but also in his ongoing support during my transition into the CEO role.

“Since starting with Paddle Australia, my passion for the sport has only grown and I am excited to look at the opportunities that the green and gold runway will present for all levels of our sport, across all disciplines.

“Right now, my focus will be on preparing our athletes, coaches, and support staff for the Paris 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games, as we look to build on the great success achieved in 2023 on the international stage.

“This is an exciting time for sport in Australia and I’m looking forward to working with our PA Board and all our stakeholders including our State Paddle Associations, the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia the National Institutes Network, as well as the International Federation and global networks,” she said.

Paddle Australia will commence a worldwide search March 2024 for a new National Performance Director, to work closely with Crane in her new role as CEO in preparation for the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.