A comprehensive roadmap outlining the future direction for the international paddling community has been unanimously endorsed by the ICF Congress in Pattaya, Thailand.

The Fit For Future strategy identifies eight pillars which are integral to the future growth of canoe sports around the world, drawn together after several months of consultations with outside experts, national federations and other key stakeholders.

In presenting the strategy to Congress, ICF vice-president Cecilia Farias emphasized the FFF plan was not a finished product, but a living document that could be constantly updated to adapt to changes within paddle sports and also globally.

“We cannot succeed without support from everyone across our sport,” Dr Farias said.

“This is a full team process. We have compiled this with a 360 degree view of all elements of our sport. We are looking to build relationships outside the canoeing community.”

The pillars identified in the FFF document are athlete safety and wellbeing, governance, maximizing synergies, global development, sustainability, brand marketing and communication, competitions and revenue generation.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko told Congress standing still is not an option for the ICF. He said the global sporting landscape is constantly changing, and athletes, the IOC and other stakeholders are demanding greater accountability for sporting federations.

A panel discussion on the FFF on Friday afternoon discussed how to make the ICF more relevant to the recreational paddling community, should the ICF be re-branded, and ideas how to make paddle sports more environmentally sustainable.