One of the newest additions to the International Canoe Federation family has revealed its long-term vision to become one of the world’s fastest growing canoe sport regions.

The Saudi Canoe Federation was only admitted to the ICF at last year’s congress meeting, but outlined to ICF President Thomas Konietzko during a visit to the region this month their dreams for the future.

The meeting also discussed the importance of human rights and of gender equity in all fields.

One of the largest amusement parks in the world is currently being built in Qiddya, close to the capital city Riyadh and is scheduled to open in 2024. A section of the mega project will include a waterpark, which plans to include an artificial whitewater canal.

Detailed discussions with the venue development team took place during a visit to the construction site, where it was stressed the importance of the artificial course design meeting ICF guidelines for holding international slalom competitions, with the possibility of teams using this canal for training camps.

The construction of a flat-water course for canoeing and rowing competitions in the country was also discussed.

Saudi Arabia will host the 2034 Asian Games.

The SA Federation is looking to expand both its competitive sporting activities and the recreational activities for their population, and is aiming to enter its own sprint team for the first time in the 2022 Asian Games in China.

Recreational canoeing activities were also a major focus of the discussions. Surrounded by two seas, the country has excellent opportunities to inspire their citizens to undertake recreational canoe activities. At a first recreational paddle event in November 2021, about 150 participants, a large part of them women and girls, took part.

“Sport connects and conveys values, and that is why it is important to the ICF to support and develop canoeing in all its facets, even in places where it is just beginning,” President Konietzko said.

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