A successful talent camp for the next generation of international canoe sprint athletes and coaches has laid the foundations for a stronger global presence at the 2028 LA Olympics.

The camp was held in conjunction with the 2023 ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Auronzo, Italy, and attracted athletes from Africa, South America and Asia. A total of 21 athletes from 11 countries took part in ten days of training, including competition days.

Six national federation coaches, along with two invited Talent Identification Program (TIP) coaches, took part in six days of lectures. Among the topics covered were training and biomechanics, and anti-doping. The program was overseen by the ICF’s TIP head coach, Csaba Szanto.

The countries represented were Algeria, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Tunisia, Armenia, Egypt, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Morocco, Uganda and Singapore.

“It was exciting to see so many coaches and young athletes from all over the world taking part in this development camp,” Szanto said.

“These are the athletes and coaches who have got their eyes firmly on Los Angeles in 2028, Brisbane in 2032, and beyond. And they will take what they learned in Auronzo back to their countries to share with teammates.

“Canoe sprint is already a truly global sport, judging by the number of countries that win Olympic medals. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will see even more national federations sharing among the spoils.”

The ICF thanks the Auronzo host organising committee for providing full board, and Nelo, Plastex and Sport Camps for providing boats. Braca and Jantex also generously donated paddles to African federations.

ICF vice-president Cecilia Farias said it was particularly encouraging having several women taking part in the coaching training.

“This is a key plank of our goal of increasing the number of female coaches at all levels of our sport,” Dr Farias said.

“We are striving to ensure that in all our programs we have equal gender numbers, across athletes, coaches and experts. Some of our coaches in Auronzo have already benefited from the IOC WISH program, so they have an exciting future as top-level coaches.

“Auronzo was the first time we had more women than male coaches at a TIP camp. This is part of our Fit For Future goals, and is an important aspect of the IOC’s 2020+5 agenda. We are confident the success of this camp will see more women coming forward to take on coaching positions.”

Canoe Sprint
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