Hall Of Fame

The Paddle WA Hall of Fame consists of the highest achieving paddlers in our state.

The Hall of Fame was created by the Paddle WA Awards Committee in 2018 to recognise the most outstanding paddlers in our community.

Inductees of the Hall of Fame

  • Were superior achievers at the highest level of paddling competition for a sustained period; or
  • Are persons who have made an exceptional and continuous contribution over a sustained period to paddling in Western Australia as administrators, coaches, officials or in another capacity; and
  • Have retired from the highest level of competition for at least four (4) years

Below are the paddlers who are currently in the Hall of Fame, including Olympians, coaches, and adventurers. Have a read through of some of their incredible achievements.

Alana Nicholls OLY

Alana’s paddling career started in Surf Life Saving before she got in a kayak for the first time at the age of 21. She focused on the sprint and high-performance pathway.

Significant achievements

  • Alana is a member of 5 consecutive Canoe Sprint Teams and 10x National Champion in the Women’s K1 200m and K1 500m event.
  • Alana competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the K1 200m and K1 500m events, finishing 8th in the B Final.
Amanda Simper OLY

Amanda joined Swanbourne Nedlands SLSC in 1988 and was introduced to paddling. She started training on surf skis before competing competitively in the Sprint discipline. She became a level one sprint coach and put this to good use, developing up and coming paddlers.

Significant achievements

  • Amanda competed in her first National Championships in 1995, winning the K1 1000m and competing in the B Final of the K1 500m.
  • Amanda made her first Australian team in 1997 as one of the original WAIS athletes.
  • Amanda finished 10th at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in the K4 500m event.
Bevan Dashwood

Bevan started paddling at the age of 16 in a wooden kayak. He was one of the founding members of the Amateur Canoe Association of WA, which 51 years later became Paddle WA. He was the state slalom coach from 2001 to 2010.

Significant achievements

  • Bevan was the winner of the first marathon race organised in WA in 1965 and went onto win many other local events.
  • Bevan and friend Peter Dear were the first to paddle the length of the Avon River from Northam to Bassendean.
  • Bevan received the Australian Sports Medal for Services to Canoeing, and Sport Excellence instituted by Queen Elizabeth II and signed by the Governor General in 2000.
Daniel Bowker OLY

Danial started in Surf Ski at Sorrento SLSC before trying a kayak in 2008 after being inspired by the Beijing Olympics.

Significant achievements

  • Daniel was a part of multiple K4 crews that achieved success at an international level.
  • Daniel has won Australian Surf Ski medals at both state and national level.
  • Daniel represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the K2 200m, finishing 3rd in the B Final.
Darryl Long

Darryl started paddling as a junior. He had success across all paddling disciplines he participated in. He is a Legend of the Avon Descent.

Significant achievements

  • Darryl has won the Avon Descent 15 times and holds the race record for both Doubles Kayak (1996) and Wildwater Kayak (1983).
  • Darryl is a talented Wildwater paddler and has competed internationally 4 times.
  • In 1990, Darryl was the winner of the Ian Diffen Sports Star Award.
Ferenc Szekszardi OLY

Ferenc started paddling at the age of 13. He competed in Hungary before moving to Australia in the early 2000s. Ferenc also spent time in China as a Head Coach of the Guizhou Province.

Significant achievements

  • Racing for Hungary, Ferenc won a gold medal at the 2001 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in C1.
  • Ferenc was a member of the 2010 and 2011 Australian Canoe Sprint World Championships -Team.
  • Ferenc reached the pinnacle of his career at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where he competed in the C1 200m, and finished 2nd in the C2 1000m B Final.
Jesse Phillips OLY

Jesse started paddling in 1999 after being identified through the WAIS Talent Search Programme. This began his high-performance sprint career. Jesse was the WAIS Pathways Coach of Canoe Sprint. He is supportive and encouraging of both junior and master paddlers.

Significant achievements

  • Jesse competed at the 2019 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in K2, he finished 13th.
  • Jesse was the 200m coach at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
  • Jesse competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games in K2 200m.
Kelvin Graham OLY

Kelvin started paddling Surf Skies at Fremantle SLSC in 1978. He had a successful surf life-saving career and build on this to move into the discipline of sprint.

Significant achievements

  • Kelvin won the 1986 Open Ski title in surf live-saving.
  • Kelvin made his first Sprint Australian kayak team and competed at the World Championships in Haewinkle, Belgium the K2 1000m.
  • Kelvin won bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in the K4 1000m and won bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games in the K2 1000m
Ken Vidler OLY

Ken began paddling Surf Ski’s in 1967. He was Australia's most decorated surf life-saving representative when he retired from top-level competition, winning over 50 medals across his 23-year career. Ken showed his versatility by winning the WWK1 at the 1978 Wildwater Racing National Championships at Harvey, WA.

Significant achievements

  • Ken is a 10x Australian Surf Ski Champion.
  • Ken competed at the 1978 & 1979 World Canoeing Championships, finishing 4th in the K4 1000m and 5th in the single ski 10,000m.
  • Ken finished 8th at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games in the K4 1000m event.
Lisa Russ nèe Oldenhof OLY

Lisa began paddling in 1995. She retired from top-level competition in 2009 but remains involved in the sport through consultant coaching for WAIS and Paddle Australia.

Significant achievements

  • Lisa has been on the Australian senior sprint kayak team seven times, winning medals at the 2002, 2006 and 2007 World Cups.
  • Lisa competed at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the K4 500m where she finished 6th in the final.
  • Lisa won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the K4 500m.
Ramon Andersson OLY

Ramon started paddling in 1980. He has represented Australia on many occasions in varying disciplines, all with great success. He has contributed immensely to the development of the sport, especially through his role as WAIS Head Sprint Coach. In 2018 he was awarded Services to Paddling by Paddle Australia.

Significant achievements

  • Ramon won silver at the 1991 Sprint World Championships in the K4 10,000m event in Paris.
  • In 1992, Ramon won bronze at the Barcelona Olympic Games in K4 500m and two months later became the K2 World Marathon Champion.
  • Ramon finished 9th at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in the K4 1000m event.
  • Ramon was 1992 WAIS Athlete of the Year, 1992 & 1993 WA Sports Star of the Year and 2011 WA Sports Federation Coach of the Year.
Robin Bell OLY

Robin was born in South Africa and began paddling in Australia in 1992. Along with his World Championship and Olympic successes, he achieved 13 Slalom World Cup medals from 2001-2008. He is Western Australia’s most successful Slalom kayaker of all time.

Significant achievements

  • Robin won silver in C1 at the 1999 Slalom World Championship and won silver again in C1 at the 2001 Freestyle World Championships.
  • Robin became C1 World Champion in 2005, won bronze in 2007 and again was World Champion in 2008 at the Slalom World Championships.
  • Robin won bronze in C1 at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
  • Robin was awarded AIS Athlete of the Year, Australian Canoeist of the Year, and the WA Sports Star of the Year.
Robin Jeffery OLY

Robin started paddling in 1995 at the age of eight. After a successful career in slalom, Robin became Paddle Australia’s National Canoe Slalom Coach. He supported Australian athletes ranging from junior development to Olympic representatives. After stepping down from his role at Paddle Australia, he continues to contribute to the sport.

Significant achievements

  • Robin made his first Australian Junior Slalom Team in 2002.
  • Robin qualified for the Senior World Championship team from 2009 to 2016 in C1 and C2.
  • Robin competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games in C2 finishing 10th.
  • Sandy Robson

    Sandy started paddling in the 90s and studied kayaking and canoeing as part of her outdoor education degree in Bendigo. This led to her passion of sea kayaking and contribution as a sea leader and instructor to the Sea Kayak Club of WA. Her adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors has allowed her to achieve some incredible personal goals.

    Significant achievements

    • In 2007, Sandy paddled 6500km of the Australian coastline as part of her SLAP expedition (Sandy's Long Australian Paddle).
    • Sandy retraced the expedition of Oskar Speck from 2011-2016, travelling 23,000km from Germany to Australia by kayak.
    • Sandy holds numerous Guinness World Records for her expeditions and is the recipient of many awards, including the 2017 Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
    Stephen Bird OLY

    Stephen began paddling in 1996 in his home country of South Africa. He is a very diverse paddler, having participated in events across Sprint, Marathon, Ocean Racing, Wildwater, Canoe Polo and Slalom. Since retiring from top level competition in 2018, he continues to paddle across disciplines and works with junior development.

    Significant achievements

  • Stephen represented South Africa as a junior at both the 2005 and 2006 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships. He finished in the top 10 on both occasions.
  • Stephen qualified for 11 consecutive Australian Canoe Sprint Teams.
  • Stephan competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games, finishing 6th in the K2 200m A Final.
  • Stephan competed at 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finishing 8th in the K1 200m A Final.
  • Terry Bolland

    Terry started paddling in the 1970's and has paddled all over Australia and the rest of the world. Terry is a life member of both Paddle WA and Ascot Kayak Club and has mentored and supported many people into paddling. He has generously sponsored and donated prizes to events and aspiring athletes.

    Significant achievements

    • Terry has totalled over 80,000km worth of expeditions by foot, bike and kayak across Australia, North America, Canada and parts of Asia.
    • Terry is the author of six adventure books, including the popular Avon River Guide.
    • Terry is a Legend of the Avon and has competed in a record number of Avon Descents.
    • In his 70th year, Terry paddled over 14,000km raising more than $17,000 for Prostate Cancer.
    Zlatan Imbrahimbegovic OLY

    Zlatan began paddling in the 1960's in Bosnia and Herzegovina before moving to Australia. He has coached slalom in Slovenia and Australia, including athletes from Canada, Croatia, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Lebanon and Hong Kong. In his later years, Zlatan has coached junior developing slalom athletes in Western Australia.

    Significant achievements

    • Zlatan competed in five Slalom World Championships.
    • Zlatan competed in three Wildwater World Championships.
    • Zlatan represented Yugoslavia in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games finishing 29th in K1 slalom.