— Published 14 March 2022

Europe is mobilising

Faced with the war in Ukraine, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) is mobilising. Its president, the German Thomas Konietzko, is leading by example. Last week, he went to Turkey to meet more than 120 Ukrainian athletes – 51 seniors, 51 juniors and 25 para-canoe athletes – currently stranded in the country (photo above). A large number of them will soon travel to Romania, where the national federation has offered free accommodation and full board at its high performance centre. Another group of athletes will travel to Bulgaria, while the juniors have been offered places in Poland, Hungary, France, Germany and Estonia. According to Thomas Konietzko, accommodation for the 25 Ukrainian paracanoe specialists, five of whom are in wheelchairs, has yet to be found. In parallel, a bank account has been opened at the initiative of the ICF to receive donations for the Ukrainian athletes and their families.