Fox family reap the awards at Paddle Australia Awards Night

Myriam Fox, Jess Fox OAM, Noemie Fox, Richard Fox MBE.  Photos courtesy of Paddle Australia.

Saturday night proved to be an extraordinary occasion for the local Fox family, who were all awarded ‘gongs’ on the biggest night of the year for paddling in Australia.

Richard Fox MBE and Myriam Fox were both inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame, Myriam was announced as the Coach of the Year, Jess Fox OAM and Noemie Fox were both members of the Women’s Kayak team which won the Team of the Year award, and Jess finished off the night in style, sharing the Paddler of the Year award with Paralympian Curtis McGrath.

The 2023 Paddle Australia Awards were held at a a gala event on the Gold Coast, QLD, celebrating the achievements of the paddling community over the past 12 months.

With six Olympic/Paralympic medals and 21 world championship titles between them, Jess and Curtis were recognised as joint winners of the Paddler of the Year (Olympic/Paralympic Disciplines) Award.

Jess Fox OAM – Joint Paddler of the Year.

Jess was recognised for an outstanding season, in which she achieved her 10th individual World Championship win, along with multiple World Cup medals.

“It’s always special to be in that room celebrating everyone, their successes, their stories, anywhere from grassroots and community clubs through to high performance, so to win this award was really special,” Jess said

“To share it with Curtis is really special, he’s an athlete that I look up to and admire and is a good friend. I am honoured to win this award.

“This season as a whole was a great success because of the races where I’ve performed well, and that resulted in a gold medal, silver or bronze, which are all special. But it’s those moments and those experiences, like racing on the Paris Olympic course, imagining what that could be like next year. It was standing on the podium with Noemie (Fox) and Kate (Eckhardt) in that Teams event at the World Championships, doing something that had never been done before.

“You know, those emotions are what I’m carrying, and it’s been an amazing year and I am glad I get a bit of a break now and I can digest that and look forward to next year.”

Jess Fox OAM, Kate Eckhardt, Noemie Fox.

Jess was also named in the 2023 Team of the Year Award alongside teammates Noemie Fox and Kate Eckhardt, for the trio’s history-making Kayak Team gold at the 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Lee Valley, London.

Noemie said it was special to relive the excitement of the team’s win with the broader paddling community.

“For us it was such a special part of our World Championships and great to be able to share that with our family and friends who were on the ground, and to come back now and relive those moments and emotions and reunite as a team is really great. I’m so super grateful to be able to share this moment with the girls.”

World Champions Aly Bull and Jemma Smith took out the Paddler of the Year (Non-Olympic/Paralympic Disciplines) category for their international achievements across events or disciplines not contested at the Olympic/Paralympic Games.

Whilst they couldn’t be there to celebrate, Paralympian Dylan Littlehales and world champion Ben Sainsbury were named Paracanoeists of the Year, after both recording winning results during the 2022-23 season.

Other winners on the night included canoe sprint rising star Claudia Bailey and Todd Boreland (Canoe Marathon) who were named Paddler of the Year (Junior) and Paddler of the Year (Master) respectively.

Myriam Fox – Coach of the Year.

Outgoing Paddle Australia President and newly awarded Paddle Australia Life Member Andrea McQuitty said it was a great celebration of the Australian paddling community.

“One of the great things about paddling is the diversity within the community and within the sport. A night like this celebrates that, and allows us to bring all those different groups and disciplines together,” McQuitty sai.

“It’s not only a good night in terms of recognising their achievements but also in bringing everyone together socially. The fact that it only happens once a year makes it even more special.”


Paddler of the Year (Olympic/Paralympic Disciplines) – Jessica Fox OAM (NSW); Paddler of the Year (Paracanoe) – Dylan Littlehales (NSW); Paddler of the Year (Non-Olympic/Paralympic Disciplines) – Jemma Smith (NSW); Team of the Year – Senior Women’s Canoe Slalom Kayak Team – (Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox, Kate Eckhardt); Coach of the Year – Myriam Fox (NSW); President’s Award – Far North Coast Canoe Club (NSW); Volunteer of the Year – Darren Forbes (NSW); Olegas Truchanas Award – Richard Barnes (NSW); Award of Merit – Jonathan Crowe (NSW); Services to Paddling – Dean Gardiner (NSW); Hall of Fame – Myriam Fox (NSW) and Richard Fox MBE (NSW)