The final leg of the ICF’s 3-continent tailor-made canoe development program is underway in Los Andes, Chile.

There are 16 participants at the camp, made up of ten athletes and six coaches. The group consists of five men and five women from five different clubs among the athletes, with an average age of 17, and the coaches come from four different clubs.

The athletes, from five different clubs, will undergo a two-week training camp under the guidance of ICF expert Max Raux and talent identification program graduate, Andraz Echeverria. The coaches have a five-day educational program.

The athletes have the opportunity to train and improve techniques on both flat water and whitewater at the Los Andes venue. They were also taught how to fit slalom gates and cable systems to maximise their training program, as well as fixing boats.

The future is looking strong in Chile, with a local company now building slalom boats which will be available for local athletes.

“This is very important,” ICF slalom development co-ordinator, Pierrick Gosselin, said.

“Helping the local people to set up an efficient business plan to produce boats, and to spread the sport round the country.

“Having Andraz Echeverria involved is also a great step forward. Andraz came through our development camps, and he is now developing training programs and helping to coach athletes.”

Gosselin paid tribute to the work and dedication of Chile’s slalom director, Alex Olguin, who he said was a major driving force of the growth of canoeing in the country.

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