28 February 2024

Jacqueline Uggetti has become the first woman to be elected as the First Vice President of the Pan American Canoe Federation. 

Elections were held at the COPAC Extraordinary Online Assembly where vacant positions on the Board of Directors were filled. 

Mrs Uggetti of Guatemala has become COPAC’s First Vice President after securing 85 per cent of the vote to defeat Mónica Hernández Carreño of Chile. 

It is an historic moment for COPAC as no female had previously held that position. 

The role had become available after statute changes were made by the COPAC in November 2023 to ensure there are two Vice Presidents from each gender. 

It was also approved that each Standing Committee would be made up of 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women. 

Mrs Uggetti, who has been President of the National Rowing and Canoeing Federation for the past seven years, said she was honored to take on the role of First Vice President at COPAC. 

She will reman in office for the 2024-2025 term along with COPAC Second Vice President Merryl See Tai of Trinidad and Tobago. 

“As a Central American woman, I am very grateful for the vote of confidence that was given in the last election,” said Mrs Uggetti. 

“I am convinced that I have shown that as a woman I am committed to the development of canoeing throughout the continent. 

“The biggest challenge we face is to empower more female sportspeople.

“We continue the fight to position ourselves in leadership positions that allow for equal representation of men and women in order to join forces, unite work and commitment in the development of this beautiful sport of canoeing throughout the continent. 

“We want to ensure that our new generations have the right conditions and continue working without their rights being compromised.”

International Canoe Federation Vice President Cecilia Farias was the first woman to lead the COPAC, holding the role from 2011 to 2019, and she is now Honorary President of the continental governing body.

“The motto of the ICF Women Symposium in Ireland last September was to ‘Change Locally, Change Globally and Change Together’,” said Dr Farias. 

“The changes do not happen miraculously – you must work for that to happen. 

“This is an example of change regionally and I am delighted to see Jacqueline Uggetti make history in becoming the first female First Vice President of COPAC. 

“It is incredibly important to ensure gender equity at Board level and I hope COPAC’s elections will inspire more women to take up leadership positions.” 

As well as the Vice Presidency, members present at the COPAC Extraordinary Online Assembly elected the heads of the organization’s Standing Committees. 

Mexico’s Karina Alanis stood uncontested for the role of Chair of the COPAC Athletes’ Committee. 

Brazil’s Dennis Simões was also the only candidate standing for the position as Chair of the COPAC Canoe Ocean Racing Committee. 

“I congratulate the newly-elected members for the trust placed in their abilities and commitment to Pan American Canoe,” said COPAC President Sebastián Gómez. 

“I reiterate the importance of their contributions to further strengthen our mission for diversity, inclusion and sporting excellence at COPAC.”

Related links