The ICF Athletes Committee has been in discussions recently about issues relating to the Coronavirus, with the main areas of concern including the rescheduling of competitions and the welfare of athletes across the globe.

As a committee we felt that we wanted to help the lines of communication between the athletes and the ICF at this difficult time, to ensure that we can support making the right decisions on behalf of athletes across all disciplines. 

There have been many changes to the training and competition environment and we wanted to give feedback to the ICF so all relevant information from the athletes across the world was accounted for. 

The ICF Athletes Committee and ICF President Jose Perurena held a video conference to discuss the current position of the ICF and also discuss how to build on current lines of communication. 

Representing the athletes were Tim Lodge from paracanoe, Jess Fox from slalom, Amanda Reynolds from paracanoe, Hayley Nixon from ocean racing and marathon, Krisztina Fazekas from sprint racing, Claire O’Hara from freestyle and Alexander Slafkovsky from slalom.  

The President made clear athlete welfare was at the forefront of the ICF’s decision making process, pointing out there are many changes the ICF has to make this year due to the virus. The President said the ICF has to be realistic about what can and can’t happen now, and that meetings are happening daily as the situation changes across the world.

"For me one of the most important measures is that it must be safe for our athletes to compete, and they must have the same opportunities to prepare," Mr Perurena said.

"We are working on a calendar that we hope will make it possible for all our athletes to compete against each other on an even footing."

Each of the athletes on the committee was given a chance to share their views and and those of the athletes they represent on the changes that are occurring. It was felt that communication between athletes at this difficult time is key and more important than ever.  

The training environments for athletes across the world varies dramatically and the ICF is committed to ensure that there is an even playing field when competitions start up again.  The AC also felt that the general wellbeing of the athletes is of concern, because they are encountering changes that are new to everyone, so communicating and helping each through this difficult time is important.  

Each of the disciplines, Olympic and non, are run by their respective technical committees and the AC will continue to assist in the decision making process to ensure that we are there to help give the athletes’ views when they make their decisions. 

The AC will now work to improve the outward communication to the athletes from the meetings that are coming up. The AC will work with the ICF to present a survey to the athlete community to ensure an even spread of views from all athletes to present to the next board meeting.  

“I am really pleased with the recent way in which our feelings have been heard by the president and I will do all I can as chair to ensure that this continues through the difficult time that we are all faced with,” Athlete Committee chair, Tim Lodge, said.  

“We also want to let the athlete community know that we are here to help with anything that we can. If you’d like to get in touch with me then you can contact me on and we will do all we can to help.”