Development activities are set to increase in Wildwater Canoeing this year with the aim of encouraging more nations to participate in International Canoe Federation events. 

The ICF Wildwater Canoeing Committee is setting out on its mission to bolster the number of countries represented at its major competitions. 

“We have approximately 25 nations that are competing at Wildwater Canoeing events but we have paddlers all over the world,” said Manuela Gawehn, Chair of the ICF Wildwater Canoeing Committee. 

“There are many other nations that are not so competitive and this is what we need to address.” 

Gawehn says she hopes around 40 National Federations will enter this year’s ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Championships that will be held in Sabero, Spain from August 14 to 18. 

“Last year, we started our development activities in Wildwater Canoeing which showed that we can increase the number of participating National Federations,” said Gawehn. 

“But we can be better. 

“As a non-Olympic discipline, we have the challenge where we have athletes that would like to compete but they didn’t get the official permission from their National Federation. 

“I think we can increase our number of federations to 40 nations this year to take part in the World Championships which would be a great success in Wildwater Canoeing.” 

Plans are in place for a development camp for athletes to take place from August 10 to 17 alongside the ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Championships in Sabero, with a seminar for International Technical Officials (ITO) happening during that week as well. 

A coaching seminar is also planned to be held during the ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Cup in Veles, Republic of North Macedonia from June 13 to 14. 

“For this season, we have three different topics for development,” said Gawehn. 

“The first is the athlete development so we invited athletes from small nations to come and join the World Championships or the World Cups. 

“We will have a development camp during the World Championships that will be officially promoted by the ICF.  

“The Wildwater Canoeing Committee is helping to build a strong network between the nations so the bigger nations with experience can help the new federations with material and coaching. 

“The next focus will be the coaching development. 

“We will have our first coaching seminar during the World Cup in North Macedonia. 

North Macedonia Wildwater Canoeing 2022

“The third point is the development of ITOs so we will have an examination during the World Championships and online seminars on request in advance. 

“We have countries like Poland that are organising very good Wildwater Canoeing races but have not competed in the past few years in our competition. 

“We have also got the likes of Canada and Balkan countries, so this is the first step of our development activities. 

“If we are successful this year we will widen to more overseas countries so like South America which is where we would like to reach. 

“The heart of Wildwater Canoeing is in Europe but now we have to spread throughout the world for the development of our sport. 

“There are also so many Wildwater Canoeing races happening in Asia and Africa but they are not under our roof yet so hopefully this will happen.”

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