The International Canoe Federation leadership team has had an encouraging first meeting with Brisbane 2032 Olympic organisers during a visit to Australia.

President Thomas Konietzko, vice-president Lluis Rabaneda and secretary general, Richard Pettit, met Brisbane 2032 CEO Cindy Hook during a three-day visit to Queensland. It was the first meeting with an International Federation since being officially announced to the important Olympic position.

The ICF trio also visited proposed sites for canoe slalom and canoe sprint competitions during the visit.

“We were really grateful to have the opportunity to meet the Brisbane 2032 leadership team and to share our vision for how canoe sports can be a successful part of the Games program,” Mr Konietzko said.

“Even though the Brisbane Games are still nine years away, it is obvious Cindy Hook and her team have hit the ground running. Their enthusiasm and vision are infectious and I am sure we are in for a fantastic Olympic Games.

“Of course much work is still to be done, including on sport line-ups, schedules and venues. We wanted to deliver the message personally that we are ready and willing to do whatever is needed to help the organisers prepare for a memorable Games.”

Mr Konietzko said canoe slalom and canoe sprint will have an important role to play in helping Brisbane 2032 achieve its goal of being fully sustainable. He emphasised in the meeting how canoe sports are connected and reliant on a clean environment, and are making important inroads into decreasing the sport’s carbon footprint.

Vice-president Lluis Rabaneda said he was impressed by all the key stakeholders and their commitment to the next nine years and beyond.

“We met so many people who will work together to ensure the Brisbane Olympics will provide fantastic opportunities in the lead-up, during, and after 2032,” Mr Rabaneda said.

“Paddle Australia, local Queensland councils, the Queensland Government and Brisbane 2032 are all working closely together and sharing their vision for how the Games will look, and most importantly for us, how our sports will fit in.

“We have now had those important face-to-face meetings, and have a better idea what needs to be done from all sides. It sets the important groundwork for what will be an exciting time for Brisbane and canoe sports globally.”

The ICF and Paddle Australia are already looking at potential events which can be held in Queensland ahead of the 2032 Olympics, and at how best to create a legacy which will benefit all stakeholders for years to come.

Mr Pettit said Oceania and the Asia-Pacific region are two of the fastest growing regions for canoe sports, and the ICF will continue to work hard to help the continents increase their role. This year the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships will be held in Western Australia, while the 2025 canoe slalom world titles will be in Sydney.