International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) Secretary General, Simon Toulson has announced his resignation after 15 years of service in the role.

Toulson will leave his post in April 2022.

Prior to joining the ICF, he worked at the International Olympic Committee, Formula one and Manchester United F.C.

During his tenure at the ICF, Toulson spearheaded four Olympic Games, two Paralympic Games and three Youth Olympic Games for the sport as well as over 100 World Cups and World Championships.  He also steered the ICF successfully through the difficult COVID pandemic with the ICF emerging from the pandemic in a healthy financial and operational state fit for business.

As part of the ICF leadership over the last 15 years the organisation has seen unprecedented financial growth. In his role as Secretary General he has been responsible for the remarkable  increase in audiences for canoe on television and digital channels, oversaw the start of Paracanoe and its inclusion to the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 and also Extreme Canoe Slalom being added to the Olympic Games for Paris 2024. Gender equality in the canoeing programme was also achieved during his tenure.

He also strengthened the technical side of canoeing by employing dedicated expertise in flatwater, whitewater, canoe development and paracanoe positions which has greatly enhanced the sport operations over the years.

I am honoured and very proud to leave the ICF in a strong position for the future both financially and operationally.

I am confident I will be leaving it in good hands for its continued success.

I want to thank the ICF Board for their support throughout, the National Federations, the fantastic athletes of this lovely sport and particularly the ICF staff who have been truly amazing throughout my tenure. 

Over the years we have created such a legacy and showed that with limited resources you can achieve much if you work as a team.

ICF President Thomas Konietzo said:

We want to thank Simon wholeheartedly for his long service and commitment to canoeing and the ICF. His leadership has benefited our organisation tremendously over the years.

He helped navigate the ICF through some difficult challenges and has been responsible for some innovative changes through his professional leadership in modernising and developing our organisation. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours.

Toulson will assist with the transition until his departure and will help the ICF Board conduct its search for a new Secretary General.