Writer | Nicolaas Harding
The premier event in paddlesports and first of its kind, the World Paddle Awards (WPA) for the 2014 season will take place on Saturday 9 May 2015 in Augsburg.
Celebrating excellence in paddlesports by athletes and those involved in the sport.
Three milestones in the development of the WPA are confirmed:
- Format: The 2015 WPA will be a ceremony where the 7 winners will be invited to attend to receive the Golden Paddle.
- Location: The Bavarian city of Augsburg in southern Germany has been chosen as 2015 host.
- Venue: The Golden Hall (Goldener Saal) in Augsburg Town Hall, the action starts at 8pm on Saturday 9 May 2015.
With a rich history in paddlesports, Ausburg is the perfect location for the first WPA.
It is home to the oldest whitewater course in the world, built to host canoeing at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Unrivalled by any club anywhere in the world, Augsburg has produced an incredible 4 Olympic gold medallists in kayak singles (K1) slalom over the years!
Academy Member Elisabeth Micheler-Jones, 1992 Olympic Champion in K1 women's slalom and Augsburg City Counsellor for Sport has been instrumental in campaigning to bring the ceremony to her home-town.
The evening will feature presentations in each of the 7 award categories, followed by live music and a buffet.
Nominations in all categories can be submitted until 15 November: www.worldpaddleawards.com/nominate CLOSED
For Broadcast and Sponsor opportunities click here.
A diversion of the River Lech, the Eiskanal is the oldest artificial whitewater course worldwide. As well as the 1972 Summer Olympic Games it has hosted 3 canoe slalom World Championships (1957, 1985 and 2003) plus 2 Europeans (1996; the first, and 2012). Year in year out, it continues to boast World Cups, international and domestic competitions.
The Eiskanal has also been a training venue for the German Canoe Federation (Deutsche Kanu-Verband). It is home to 2 canoe clubs: 'Augsburger Kayak Club' and 'Kanu Schwaben Augsburg'. The 308-metre long linear flow has been a benchmark design for numerous competition and training whitewater courses across the globe including 6 Olympic ones so far.
With an impressive resume, the whitewater course has produced 4 Olympic champions in kayak slalom: Elisabeth Micheler Jones (K1W gold 1992), Oliver Fix (K1M gold 1996) Thomas Schmidt (K1M gold 2000) and Alexander Grimm (K1M gold 2008) plus 5 silver and 5 bronze across the 4 Olympic categories (K1M, C1M, C2M, K1W). At London 2012 Augsburg's Sideris Tasiadis narrowly took home the C1M silver 2012 behind three-time Champion Tony Estanguet and Hannes Aigner earned bronze in K1M.
Germany and paddlesports:
Germany is one of the most successful nations ever in historic canoeing medal haul: across 6 paddlesports (sprint, slalom, marathon, wildwater, freestyle and ocean) including the Olympics, World and European Championships, combined East and West Germany have won a staggering 415 golds, 414 silvers and 361 bronzes! In terms of the Olympics since the introduction of canoeing in 1936, Germany's total is 29 golds, add 10 more with West German golds (slalom and sprint). Germany also topped the canoeing medal table at the London 2012 Olympics with 3 golds, 2 silvers and 3 bronzes. [Statistics from: canoeresults.eu, 05/10/14]
Ausburg Town Hall; The Golden Hall:
A collaboration between Augsburg Sport, Augsburg City Council and local/international sponsors, the Award ceremony will be held in The Golden Hall, Augsburg Town Hall's ceremonial room – it has a 14-metre high ceiling and was built in 1643 as one of the most important cultural artefacts of the late German renaissance period. The room's grandeur matches the prestige of the Awards as does the WPA's ambition to unite all paddlesports communities worldwide.
- 2011 Women's Football World Cup: Augsburg's then-called 'Impuls Arena' hosted 4 games including a quarter final
- 2010 U-20 Women's Football World Cup: Augsburg hosted 7 games
- FC Augsburg was promoted to the Bundesliga in 2011 where it remains today – they play at the now-called 30,660-seater 'SGL Arena'