The International Canoe Federation development camp in Pattaya, Thailand has underlined the continued growth and improvement of Canoe Slalom in Asia. 

A total of 27 athletes and 13 coaches representing 15 nations from across Asia are participating in the camp that began on February 24 and will run until March 9. 

Among the nations present include Cambodia, Myanmar, Mongolia and Philippines which are featuring for the first time. 

There is also representation from India, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, People’s Republic of China, Nepal and Republic of Korea. 

The camp is taking place alongside the Asian Canoe Slalom Championships which gets underway tomorrow. 

Athletes under the age of 23 have been split into groups based on their abilities that range from beginner to international paddler.

ICF Asian Development Camp

During the camp, paddlers have been getting on the water each day where they have been receiving expert advice. 

Mike Druce is leading the camp with the assistance of top coaches including fellow Australians Rosalyn Lawrence and Lachlan Bassett, Chinese Taipei’s Wei-Han Chen and Thailand’s Atcharaporn Duanglawa. 

As well as the athlete development camp, a workshop is being held every day to tutor the 13 national coaches. 

“It’s really exciting as the standard of the athletes has gone up and we have also been able to involve nations that had not sent athletes to previous camps,” said Mr Druce.  

“Mongolia, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines are the new nations here and then we have got countries like Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Singapore that are really building their programs which is great. 

“Some of the groups are working at the top level and performing really well, while others are on the start of their journeys of understanding the foundation skills of the sport.  

ICF Asian Development Camp

“We have been having two sessions on the water a day for each group and then we have been holding a workshop in the middle of the day which is focused on the coaches that are here and then the athletes are also invited. 

“It’s all about ensuring they take as much knowledge back to their home nation as possible. 

“This is a great investment from the ICF to help grow Canoe Slalom in Asia.” 

ICF President Thomas Konietzko added: “It is absolutely fantastic to see more countries participating in the Asian development camp. 

“It demonstrates how much Canoe Slalom is developing in Asia which is brilliant for the future of our sport. 

“This camp is part of the implementation of our new Fit for Future development strategy to conduct, with additional funds, customized projects to strengthen our continents and enable athletes to fight for medals in international competitions.  

“I would like to thank the coaching team in Pattaya for all the excellent work they are doing to improve the skills of athletes and coaches and I wish all those participating in the Asian Championships the best of luck.”

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