The International Canoe Federation will actively pursue more opportunities for an increased presence at major international multi-sport events, President Thomas Konietzko has announced.

President Konietzko revealed the ICF has applied to be included in the next edition of the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for Victoria, Australia, in 2026, and has begun negotiations with the next Mediterranean Games host, Italy.

The ICF, working with Paddle Australia, has applied to have ocean racing added to the 2026 Commonwealth Games. 29 member federations of the ICF are also members of the Commonwealth, and many of the world’s best ocean racing paddlers are from Commonwealth countries, including South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia.

“This would be a perfect stage to present the strength of the Commonwealth Games in this canoe discipline,” ICF ocean race committee chair, Colin Simpkins, said.

“There is a lot of community support in Australia as well as in regional Victoria because ocean racing is one of the most famous recreational water sports in Australia. From the perspective of the ICF and Paddle Australia, existing competition venues could be shared with other sports like open water swimming or triathlon so that no additional costs are incurred.”

Representatives of the ICF are holding talks with the next host of the Mediterranean Games in Italy. Some canoe disciplines have been part of the Games in the past, and with the next Games in Italy, the ICF is hoping to discuss introducing a non-Olympic discipline like ocean racing, canoe polo or SUP to the Games.

“With these hopefully successful bids, we want to put our non-Olympic disciplines even more in the public eye and at the same time offer them a professional stage to present their sport,” President Konietzko said.

“We have so many exciting disciplines united in our federation that would be an enrichment for every multi-sport event organizer.”

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