The International Canoe Federation is delighted by the development of Canoe Marathon in South America following a visit to the region. 

Ruud Heijselaar, Chair of the ICF Canoe Marathon Committee, travelled to Argentina and Uruguay to learn more about what the South American countries were doing to grow the discipline. 

ICF Vice President Cecilia Farias joined Mr Heijselaar in her native country of Argentina where they held a seminar in Spanish for continental technical officials and all passed their examination. 

A total of 11 officials from Argentina and Venezuela attended the seminar thanks to the help with the translation of the seminar and exams of Dr Farias and Delia Merayo. 

Mr Heijselaar also visited the Argentinian Marathon Championship where he met Mauricio Caffa, the Canoe Marathon technical delegate for the Pan American Canoe Federation and new Argentina Canoe Federation President Jorge Serpi. 

ICF seminar for Canoe Marathon officials

After his visit to Argentina, Mr Heijselaar made the trip to Uruguay where he watched the Treinta y Tres Marathon. 

It was the 50th edition of the event which was held over four days, with each stage contested at different distances, ranging from 10 kilometres (as lap course) to 40km. 

Mr Heijselaar also met with Juan Manuel Feliz, the head of the famous Spanish marathon “International Sella River Descent,” and Uruguay Canoe Federation Vice President Fredy de los Santos. 

“The main reason for this trip was to see how Canoe Marathon is developing in a continent that is very important to the ICF,” said Mr Heijselaar. 

“I was able to talk directly to Canoe Marathon people in this part of South America. 

“In both Argentina and Uruguay, the hospitality was great and the way the races were held there bodes well for the future. 

“We really hope we can host a World Cup or even a World Championships in this part of the world in the near future. Both countries have the potential to host such an event, with several areas where a World Cup is possible, at least Uruguay has shown interest. 

“A global competition will give more paddlers the opportunity to showcase themselves internationally.”

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