The biggest canoe sprint coaching course ever to be held in Africa is underway in Abuja, Nigeria, featuring coaches from all over the continent.

A total of 27 coaches from 11 different African national federations are taking part in the six day-course, which is part of the International Canoe Federation’s educational project, designed to develop canoeing in Africa.

The coaches are hosted in a hotel and receiving full support to focus on eight hours a day of learning, discussing, and sharing their experiences and ideas to develop their teams to be in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The course is being run in collaboration with the Confederation of African Canoeing and will be overseen by canoe sprint lecturer Isaac Villa Santos, while Jean Christophe Gonneaud will be in charge of paracanoe coaching. Including two disciplines in one single course is part of the new initiatives to combine efforts and offers a better qualification to the coaches.

The course began on November 27 and will run through to December 2, and follows the conclusion of the 9th African Canoe Sprint Championships.

“We believe this course demonstrates our commitment to fostering excellence in canoeing across the African continent,” ICF President Thomas Konietzko said.

"The ICF is supporting the development of African nations using the coaches’ knowledge transfer as an important tool to. This is part of the new vision and investment focus of the ICF for the coming years in Africa and in other continents, providing the best experts to support the development of coaches."

"The African Continental Association -CAC- continues with a sustainable development programme project mainly focused on education for coaches of all the Federations," ICF vice-president, Cecilia Farias, said.

"Special care is taken in ensuring female participation. The improvement on the coaches will result in athletes being better prepared to compete for positions at the Continental, World, and Olympic podiums.

“We believe that this initiative will significantly contribute to the growth of our sport and the enhancement of coaching expertise within our National Federations.”

Among the topics covered are basic canoeing technique, general training methods, physical conditioning, exercise proposals, advanced methods of building a canoe/kayak training program, physiology, anatomy, and nutrition of performance athletes.

Countries taking part include Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, São Tomé & Principe, Togo, Tunisia, Sheychelles and for the first time, Benin, to encourage them to create a canoeing National Federation soon.

Canoe Sprint
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