ANOCA sign partnership to help growth of Canoe Sports in Africa
The International Canoe Federation and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) have signed an agreement on Thursday which will pave the way for future development of canoeing on the continent.
ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf and ICF President Thomas Konietzko signed a memorandum of understanding in the Algerian capital of Algiers to work together to make canoe and paracanoe sports more accessible to participants throughout Africa.
The joint partnership will focus not only on raising performance levels across all canoe and paracanoe disciplines, but also with broadening the reach of recreational paddling.
The agreement included the launch of a pilot project funded by the ICF to help develop sustainable structures in national federations in Africa that will enable talented athletes to reach their full potential.
The project focuses on training local coaches and officials and supporting activities of local clubs to inspire new children to take up canoeing.
A continental manager will be appointed to provide assistance in close coordination with national federations as a partner in the project. The manager will concentrate on two national associations for six months at a time, with the Egyptian Canoe Federation and the Nigerian Canoe Federation announced as the first partners.
The partnership will also focus on preparations for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal, with a goal of qualifying as many representatives from African countries as possible. Special camps will be organised to prepare young athletes for the YOG and the specialist format.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the global growth of our wonderful sport,” President Konietzko said.
“We know there is a lot of enthusiasm throughout Africa towards paddle sports, but until now it has sometimes been difficult to provide the resources needed to help canoeing grow. I congratulate ANOCA for its vision and its support for this very important endeavour.
“Our dream is to very soon not only have more African medalists in all our canoe disciplines, but also to see Africans enjoying paddle sports as a recreational activity.”
The ICF will introduce a Canoeing Athletes Scholarships Programme, provide special offers for coach education and is aiming to establish canoeing hubs in some African countries.
Under the auspices of the All Life programme the parties agreed to promote paddle sport to the highest possible number of people in Africa while promoting the values attached to physical activity.
Both partners will also endeavour to identify local companies who can produce canoeing boats.
In order to establish a stable African competition system, the ICF will help to continue to organise regular continental championships in as many canoe disciplines as possible. Both partners agreed that in addition to the African Sprint Championships 22 in Tunis, a first African SUP Championship will be held in Tunisia in November.
The ICF and its partner Starboard will provide 50 boards, which will be donated to the participating nations after the competition in order to further develop SUP sport in Africa.