ICF congress voice support for stand up paddling campaign

The congress of the International Canoe Federation has voted unanimously to continue to fight for the right to oversee stand up paddling following a successful meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

Congress was told several countries had expressed a strong desire to host an ICF SUP World Championships in 2019, and that the legal argument for canoeing’s right to run its own events is strong.

ICF vice-president Thomas Konietzko told congress there was a lot of disappointment in the SUP community after the ICF was forced to cancel the 2018 World Championships, following a court challenge by the Portuguese and International Surfing Association.

The biennial ICF congress agreed several rule changes, and endorsed a proposal to extend compulsory anti-doping education courses to all senior international athletes across all canoeing disciplines.

Currently only junior and U23 athletes are required to undergo anti-doping education training.

ICF Secretary-General Simon Toulson also told congress a deal has been struck with Eurosport which will guarantee live television coverage of every canoe sprint and canoe slalom World Cup event over the next two years.

“This is a great endorsement of our sport, and very exciting for the continued growth of both Olympic disciplines in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020,” Mr Toulson said.

“2019 and 2020 will be full of anticipation and emotion. Fans will be able to follow the euphoria and the heartbreak of the world’s best athletes as they endeavor to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.”

The television coverage will include extreme canoe slalom, a new discipline added to World Cup programs since 2016.

The Budapest gathering was told the canoe competition at this year’s Youth Olympic Games had been a tremendous success. Planning is underway for a World Championships of the unique slalom/sprint YOG format, possible held every senior summer Olympic year.

The ICF also agreed several statute changes which will improve governance and transparency and further strengthen canoeing’s standing in the international community.

Workshops were also held involving all ten ICF disciplines where common strategies for the future were discussed. The meetings agreed the strength of the ICF comes from its diversity, with canoeing disciplines covering both flatwater and whitewater competitions.

But the forums agreed having so many diverse disciplines presented challenges, including limited resources and a packed calendar.

Congress voted to hold the 2020 gathering in the Philippines, when voting will be conducted for the positions of ICF President and board members.

Rafting
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Canoe Marathon
Canoe Polo
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Stand Up Paddling
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