ICF Congress 2014

About the International Canoe Federation

ICF Structure

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is a membership organisation that is responsible for the global sport of canoeing and comprises of five Continental Associations (CA) and 163 National Federations (NF). The ICF is the recognised international body for paddle sport and has representatives for nine (9) separate disciplines on its Board.

The ICFs bi-annual congress, which is comprised of voting delegates from each of the NFs, is the supreme authority and is where rules, governance decisions and elections for the President, Vice Presidents (3), Treasurer (1) and Standing Committee Chairs (11) take place. The term for each of the ICF elected positions is four years.

The appointed President is the chairperson for the Congress, Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The Board of Directors is collectively responsible for the strategic direction of the sport, whilst the five (5) members of the Executive Committee ensure the decisions of the Congress and Board of Directors are implemented.

The five continents (Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania) are also represented on the ICF Board with each electing Continental Representatives and a President during their respective Continental Congress.

In addition to the ICF Board of Directors, the nine (9) disciplines each have technical committees responsible for rules and international competition delivery – for example world championships and world cups. There is also an Athletes' Committee and Medical and Anti-Doping Committee.  These committees are collectively referred to as Standing Committees (11).

For additional information regarding the ICF roles and responsibilities please refer to the ICF Statutes.
ICF President - José Perurena (ESP)

ICF President José Perurena (ESP) developed a passion for canoeing from a young age and has raced kayaks at every level. A fierce competitor he made his mark in the K1M, K2M, K4M events receiving the accolade of national champion in each of those categories. It was in the K2M 1000m that he excelled in claiming first place in the K2M 500m and K4M 1000m at the International Regatta Milan, Italy. The highlight of his sporting career was undoubtedly making the Spanish Olympic K4M 1000m team for the 1968 Olympic Games.

After retiring from elite sport Perurena entered the emerging market of Information Technology, however, he still maintained a strong link to the sport, often in voluntary positions within the Spanish Canoe Federation. A qualified Canoe Sprint coach; Perurena also chaired the Athletes Commission of the Spanish Olympic Committee and became the Vice President (1976-1884) and then President of the Federation (1984-2000). Following his success at the national level he gained a position on the international scene as the ICF Technical Delegate for Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom at the Atlanta and Sydney Games.

After the Sydney Games Perurena joined the ICF as Secretary General (2000-2004) and after the Beijing Games became ICF President (2008). Since taking over the ICF he has overseen several key initiatives such as the inclusion of Paracanoeing into the Rio 2016 Paraolympic Games as well as the TV and Broadcasting deals that have enabled the sport to progress globally.

Most recently, Perurena won a third term as ICF President following a vote of confidence at the XXXVI ICF Congress in Baku, Azerbijan late November 2016.

The Spaniard, who stood unopposed, spoke passionately about his vision for the future of the sport and demonstrated his ability to deliver organisational change with his proposed new governance structure gaining the backing of his peers. (read more)

In 2011 Perurena also became an International Olympic Commitee (IOC) Member and has been active on several key committees – Women and Sport (2012-2014), Entourage (2014-2015), Olympic Programme (2014-) and Member of the Board of Directors of Olympic Channel Services (2015-).  His position as one of the world’s top sports administrators was further underlined in 2014 when he was elected as President of the International World Games Association (IWGA).

– Letter of congratulations from IOC President Thomas Bach following confirmation of third-term at the 2016 ICF Congress in Baku, Azerbaijan (download)

ICF Board of Directors and Executive Comittee
  • José Perurena (ESP) President
  • Cecilia Farias (ARG) Vice President
  • Tony Estanguet (FRA) Vice President
  • Thomas Konietzko (GER) Vice President
  • Luciano Buonfiglio (ITA) Treasurer
  • Simon Toulson (GBR) Secretary General
  • Helen Brownlee (AUS) Oceania Canoe Association President
  • Joao Manual Da Costa Alegre Afonso (STP) Confederation of African Canoeing President
  • Cecilia Farias (ARG) Panamerican Canoe Federation President
  • Shoken Narita (JPN) Asian Canoe Confederation President
  • Albert Woods (GBR) European Canoe Association President
  • Frank Garner (CAN) Canoe Sprint Chair
  • Jean-Michel Prono (FRA) Canoe Slalom Chair
  • Henriette Engel Hansen (DEN) Athlete Commitee Chair

* All members of the Executive sit on the ICF Board of Directors

ICF Board Members

Asian Canoe Confederation

Confederation of African Canoeing

European Canoe Association

Oceania Canoe Association

Panamerican Canoe Federation

ICF Standing Committee Board Members

ICF Standing Committees


ICF Canoe Sprint Committee

  • Frank Garner (CAN) Chair   
  • Dr Jens Kahl (GER) Member
  • Alison Harris (NZL) Member
  • Charles Luckman (USA) Member
  • Toshihiko Furuya (JPN) Member
  • Miroslav Haviar (SVK) Advisor
  • Narciso Suarez Amador (ESP) Advisor

ICF Paracanoe Committee

ICF Canoe Slalom Committee

ICF Wildwater Canoeing Committee

  • Tomislav Crnkovic (CRO) Chair
  • Mathias Gerard (FRA) Member
  • Peter Schofield (GBR) Member
  • Jacob Marusic (SLO) Member
  • Manuela Gawehn (GER) Member
  • Nikola Stankovic (BIH) Advisor

ICF Canoe Marathon Committee

ICF Canoe Polo Committee

  • Greg Smale (GBR) Chair
  • João Botelho (POR) Member
  • Dion Chen (HKG) Member
  • Maxime Gohier (FRA) Member
  • Eva Lindmark (SWE) Member

ICF Dragon Boat Committee         

  • Dr. Wai-hung Luk (HKG) Chair
  • Melinda Patyi (HUN) Member
  • Ulrike Schreck (GER) Member
  • Elena Iskhakova (RUS) Member
  • Dr. Howard Chen (USA) Member

ICF Canoe Freestyle Committee

  • Lluis Rabaneda I Caselles (ESP) Chair
  • Jeremy Blanchard (AUS) Member
  • Terry Best (GBR) Member
  • Magnus Karlsson (SWE) Member
  • TBC Member
  • Ned Poffenberger (USA) Advisor

ICF Ocean Racing Committee

  • Mario Santos (POR) Chair
  • Rob Jenkinson (AUS) Member
  • Colin Simpkins (RSA) Member
  • Charles Villierme (THI) Member
  • Michele Eray (USA) Member

ICF Medical and Anti Doping Committee

ICF Athletes Committee

  • Henriette Engel Hansen (DEN) Chair and Canoe Sprint Representative
  • Anders Gustafsson (SWE) Member and Canoe Sprint Representative
  • Jana Dukatova (SVK) Member and Canoe Slalom Representative
  • Vavřinec Hradilek (CZE) Member and Canoe Slalom Representative
  • Emily Jackson (USA) Member and Canoe Freestyle Representative    
    Marthon and paracanoe positions vacant    

ICF Headquater Staff