The International Canoe Federation has officially inaugurated a new satellite office in Hangzhou, China to support the growth of paddle sports in Asia and across the world. 

The ICF’s Hangzhou office will provide additional support and capacity to the headquarters team in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne, Switzerland and represents another huge step forward in the delivery of the federation's ambitious ‘Fit for Future’ strategic plan.

Located in the cental business district of Hangzhou the new satellite office will focus on sustainability, digital engagement leveraging its partnership with Alibaba and significantly enhancing the federations capacity to support the growth of the sport across the Asian region.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko and Secretary General Richard Pettit met with officials in Hangzhou during the opening ceremony as well as a host of partners who helped welcome in a new era for the federation.

ICF Hangzhou satellite office opening

“I am delighted to officially inaugurate our new Asian office in Hangzhou,” said Mr Konietzko.

“This office will play an important role in supporting the development of paddle sports in Asia and across the world.

“Hangzhou is a modern city with a great passion for paddle sports. 

“It is the perfect location for this office which will help to strengthen our organisation and develop our disciplines in a continent that is seeing great growth.”

Mr Konietzko unveiled a plaque, presented a certificate to Jin Chenglong, Chief Representative of the ICF Hangzhou Office, and delivered a speech during a special ceremony.  

Mr Konietzko and Mr Pettit were joined by Li Lingwei, International Olympic Committee Member, Chinese Olympic Committee Vice President, and Chairwoman of the Samaranch Sports Development Foundation, and Tong Lixin, Party Secretary and Director of the Water Sports Administration Center of the General Administration of Sport of China and President of the Chinese Canoe Association. 

As a legacy of last year’s Asian Games, the arrival of the ICF in Hangzhou represents a significant step towards making the Chinese city renowned for international sports events and conferences.  

ICF Hangzhou satellite office opening

It follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the ICF and Hangzhou in October 2023. 

This year will also see Hangzhou stage the first-ever multi-discipline ICF Super Cup. 

Canoe Sprint, Canoe Slalom, Canoe Polo and Canoe Marathon will form part of the event that will run from October 10 to 13. 

Hundreds of athletes from across the world are poised to compete for almost USD $400,000 in prize money at the Fuyang Water Sports Center. 

The event will be jointly organised by China Media Group, the General Administration of Sport of China, the ICF, and the Hangzhou Municipal Government. 

Li Xin, Vice President of the Asian Canoe Confederation, Jin Zhi, Party Secretary and Director of the Zhejiang Provincial Sports Bureau and Yao Gaoyuan, Deputy Secretary of the Hangzhou Municipal Committee and Mayor of Hangzhou, were also present at the opening ceremony. 

Other key officials in attendance were Chen Weiqiang, Deputy Mayor of the Hangzhou Municipal Government, Yang Yingying, Party Secretary and Director of the Hangzhou Sports Bureau, and Kim Seung-yong, Chief Representative of the ICF Hangzhou Office. 

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