A major course organised by the International Canoe Federation for sprint and slalom coaches in India is expected to provide a significant boost for paddle sports in the country.

This month some of India’s future world class coaches are taking part in courses in both slalom and sprint in Bhopal. More than 50 coaches are expected to take part.

The slalom course was conducted under the experienced eye of Australian coach, Mike Druce. Indian Canoe President, Prashant Kushwaha, said having access to coaches of the calibre of Druce will help grow the sport throughout India.

“The ICF Coaches Education Programme, conducted by Mr Mike Druce, had a significant impact on the development of Indian Canoe Slalom coaches,” Mr Kushwaha said.

“Skill enhancement by upgrading technical knowledge and hands-on with Mr Druce has really brought a great understanding of the nuances of coaching. This programme has acted as a catalyst for positive change, leading to increased knowledge, excellence, and competitiveness in Indian canoe slalom development.

“The investment in coach education is crucial for the holistic development of the sport and the athletes involved. Our coaches have had a great experience learning alongside Mr Druce. We are really thankful to the ICF and ICF Development Team for this great endeavour and their wonderful support in terms of organising this training programme for our coaches.”

ICF President, Thomas Konietzko, observed part of the course and came away excited by what he saw.

“There was a great level of enthusiasm, and a real eagerness to learn from all the course participants,” Mr Konietzko said.

“India is one of the countries where we know there is a great amount of untapped paddling potential, which is why we have identified it as a place to build the knowledge of slalom and sprint coaches.

“I am sure that in the not too distant future this will blossom into strong international results for Indian paddlers.”

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