30 January 2024

The International Canoe Federation has launched a new development program in Guatemala with the aim of enhancing the level of coaches and technical officials in Canoe Sprint across Central America. 

The first phase of the program started last week with coaches and technical officials from Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and Honduras taking part. 

The week-long course was jointly run by ICF Canoe Sprint coach Isaac Villa Santos and ICF Vice President Cecilia Farias in collaboration with the National Rowing and Canoeing Federation of Guatemala. 

Participants were given lessons on how prepare a training plan before putting what they had learnt into practice in a competition at the end of the week as well as being tasked with a written examination. 

There were 34 participants in the certification of national judges including 23 from Guatemala, five from both Honduras and Belize and one from Mexico.

ICF development program in Guatemala 

Guatemala was also well represented in the certification of coaches with 10 along with five from Belice, two from Honduras and one from Mexico.

The second phase of the program is set to develop coaches and technical officials from Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica. 

“It is very important to launch this development program in Central America,” said Dr Farias. 

“The seminars are done at a very high level to give coaches and technical officials all the tools to prepare training plans.  

“We will continue to run the program in Central America and there are other countries in other parts of the world that require similar actions.” 

Dr Farias, who is the first-ever female Vice President in the history of the ICF, also stressed the importance of providing more opportunities for women to take up coaching. 

“We have had successful coaching seminars in many countries around the world but there are not enough women participating and this is something that concerns me a lot,” added Dr Farias. 

“We are committed to creating opportunities for women to come to our activities, so it is extremely important for us to continue to encourage them to participate.”

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Canoe Sprint