The ICF brought together all the leading coaches in Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom to discuss the state of Canoeing and how to develop the future of the sport. The Symposium was held 27 February to 1 March, in Warsaw, Poland hosted by the Polish Canoe Federation and sponsored by the Canoe boat manufacturer, Plastex.
90 Participants from the top 32 National Federations attended and played an interactive part in the three days of discussions pertaining to the sport. The Symposium served as an effective forum for coaches and leaders from the NFs to interact, express their opinions and ideas on the technical aspects of the sport.
Simon Toulson, the ICF Secretary General concluded the Symposium commenting that ‘The ICF must listen to its most important assets which are the athletes and their coaches. To understand what concerns, issues or problems they face day to day is important to the ICF and affects greatly our strategic and technical plan for the future development of our sport.’ He added ‘The Symposium is a great way to share ideas in a two-way dialogue to keep our sport always moving forwards.’
The major topics that were discussed included possible changes to the Olympic Programme, World Championships and World Cup formats (such as, distances, type of events and qualifying criteria). Guiding principles and timeframes were drafted and will be forwarded to the ICF Board for approval later this month.
The ICF Development Programme was discussed and a new shift of direction is likely. The ICF will concentrate on identifying and targeting new potential elite athletes throughout the world and provide technical and financial support to these athletes.
Increasing canoeing exposure on television and in electronic media was a central theme at the Symposium and different ideas were proposed. The Symposium also recommended having more female events and increasing the number of ladies at major competitions. The process to include C1 Canoe Slalom as part of the World Championships would start immediately.
Other points discussed included the quality of athletes vs universality for Canoeing events at the Olympic Games, ICF License programme, National Federation costs and general marketing of events and teams for the near future.
Csaba Szanto, the ICF Technical Director commented that ‘ the Symposium was a great success reflected by the interest and the active participation of the coaches. It is a great way to get the technical issues on the table and explore the possibilities for the sports development in the future.’
The ICF Coaches Symposium is a meeting held approximately every two years and always after the Olympic Games. The Symposium is for canoeing experts to discuss technical matters relating to the future of canoeing. The next Coaches Symposium is scheduled for 2011. For more information on the ICF, please contact Mr Csaba Szanto, Technical Director firstname.lastname@example.org