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International Canoe Federation opens representative office in Hangzhou

Sports Scene

 , Updated 17:06, 30-May-2024

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) officially launched its representative office in Hangzhou City, east China's Zhejiang Province, on Wednesday.

The Hangzhou office, the first branch of the ICF, will serve as the organization's Asian headquarters, dedicated to promoting and developing canoeing in the region, according to the ICF.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko said, "I am delighted to officially inaugurate our new Asian office in Hangzhou."

"The ICF's Hangzhou office will provide additional support and capacity to the headquarters team in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne, Switzerland, and represents another huge step forward in the delivery of the federation's ambitious 'Fit for Future' strategic plan," the ICF wrote on its website.

According to the president, the office in Hangzhou will play an important role in "supporting the development of paddle sports in Asia and across the world." Konietzko added, "Hangzhou is a modern city with a great passion for paddle sports. It is the perfect location for this office which will help to strengthen our organization and develop our disciplines in a continent that is seeing great growth."

The ICF president praised the successful hosting of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou from September 23 to October 8 last year.

Hosting the Games provided Hangzhou with valuable experience in organizing sport events and abundant venue resources, he noted.

He emphasized that the outstanding performances of Asian canoeists, particularly Chinese athletes, in international competitions is a result of the sport's popularity and the enthusiasm and support of the public in China.

As the first officially established and operational branch of an international sports organization in Zhejiang, the ICF Hangzhou Representative Office serves as an important platform for the city's goal of becoming an international city of sports events and conferences.

In October, Hangzhou will stage its first-ever multi-discipline ICF Super Cup, jointly organized by China Media Group, the General Administration of Sport of China, the ICF and the Hangzhou Municipal Government.

Numerous elite athletes, including Olympic and world champions, will gather at the Fuyang Water Sports Center to compete in events, including canoe sprint, canoe slalom, canoe polo and canoe marathon from October 10 to 13.

The office will center its efforts around Zhejiang and Hangzhou, radiating across China and even throughout Asia, promoting youth canoeing, said Jin Chenglong, chief representative of the ICF Hangzhou Representative Office.

"It aims to integrate canoeing into universities, primary and secondary school campuses, harnessing the unique educational benefits and influence of the sport to enhance the health and physical literacy of young people. The goal is to attract more youth to participate in canoeing," Jin added.

(Cover via ICF)

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