The International Canoe Federation is thrilled to announce it has joined forces with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ergometers, KayakPro, in a partnership which will make paddling more accessible to athletes around the globe.

KayakPro is owned by five-time British Olympic Kayaker, Grayson Bourne, and is the official supplier of ergometers to the past five Olympic Games, as well as NASA. It is also a world-leader in embracing new technology to develop paddling online.

The two-year deal between the ICF and KayakPro will not only open the door for world-class ergometers to be provided to developing countries around the planet, but will also allow the ICF to take the next step to staging a virtual internet-connected indoor paddling competition.

Harnassing Bluetooth technology, KayakPro has been able to bring together paddlers from every corner of the globe, using high definition virtual internet-connected videos, to train and race in real time.

The company is also launching an affordable internet-upgradeable Ergometer XEON, which it hopes will open the door for any paddler who wants to access the very best at low cost.

International Canoe Federation Marketing Manager, Catherine Wieser, said paddling communities around the world will benefit from the partnership with KayakPro.

“One of the challenges always facing our sport is getting access to the best equipment and the best training advice to athletes and coaches in countries where paddling as a sport is still developing,” Ms Wieser said.

“KayakPro will make that endeavour much easier. We are very impressed by the work they have done to promote the growth of canoe sports, and we know that working together, we can really make a difference.

“As an Olympic and world champion athlete we know Grayson always puts the needs of the competitor first, which is why we have confidence this partnership will be a major benefit for our sport.

Grayson Bourne said the partnership with the ICF was a natural fit.

“To be honest, it probably should have happened a long time ago,” he said.

“At KayakPro we are impressed by the vision of the ICF, so if we can help achieve those goals then it will be a partnership worth having. We share the dream of wanting to grow the sport globally, and to make it easier and more affordable to access the best equipment and training advice.

“Our super technological developments are game changers in the world of virtual indoor paddling, giving people the opportunity to race and train from their own home.”

The two-year deal starts this month, with the first of the world-class KayakPro ergometers delivered to developing countries later this year.