— Published 12 August 2022

Egypt as a bridgehead

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is heading for Africa. After signing a cooperation agreement with the Association of African National Olympic Committees (ANOCA) last month, the body took a new step forward at a conference organised in Cairo, the capital of Egypt (photo above). Thomas Konietzko, its president, detailed the ICF’s strategy for developing canoeing on the continent in front of a hundred or so African canoe-kayak players. A continental director will be appointed to accelerate the detection and training of coaches. The position will be funded by the ICF. The development strategy will target nations already involved in canoeing and paddling. With a beachhead: Egypt. “In the past, we have tried to spread our development efforts and investments in training, education and delivery of new equipment to as many countries as possible on the African continent,” explained Thomas Konietzko. “We have analysed the results of this strategy and determined that this is not the most effective way to develop canoeing on the African continent. As our resources are also limited, we decided to support the African canoe federations, in addition to other ongoing activities like our development camps, with additional targeted programmes.” As a first step, the ICF Continental Director will help Egyptian clubs attract a new generation of young athletes. The final stage will aim to allow the most promising African hopefuls and their coaches to share the preparation of the best European nations.