A gathering of some of the world’s best flatwater and whitewater canoe trainers, together with a group of coaches just beginning their journey, are gathering in Spain this week for the International Congress of Canoeing Trainers. 

The three-day congress at Pontevedra is designed to better equip coaches and future professionals for the challenges of coaching athletes at all levels. A big increase in the number of canoeing clubs, and in many cases the outdated training programs for coaches and the lack of specialised personnel makes the timing of this course crucial. 

Among the speakers will be ICF President Thomas Konietzko, Olympic champion Tim Brabants from the UK, a long list of Olympic and world championship coaches, and top-level dietitians, health professionals and academics. 

For the first time the International Canoe Federation has identified a group of emerging coaches who will take part in the congress through the Talent Identification Program (TIP). Coaches from both flatwater and whitewater disciplines will attend. 

The ICF canoe slalom committee will also chair a workshop during the conference. 

The congress aims to marry the knowledge of leading international coaches with emerging scientific knowledge to help attendees understand both technical and fundamental aspects of coaching. 

This congress makes it possible to cover a gap in the training of many coaches and/or students who, for various reasons, do not have access to this particular information and thus improve their training methods and systems with their athletes,” organisers say. 

The congress is being organised by the Faculty of Education and Sport at the University of Vigo, the Royal Spanish Canoe Federation (RCEP), the City Council of Catoira and the Galician Federation of Canoeing. The congress is supported by the International Canoe Federation (ICF). 

The congress begins on Friday and will run through until Sunday. More information can be found on the official event website