With this week seeing a return to paddling it is great to hear of people’s joy being back on the water in England. The British Canoeing Events team are working hard to prepare guidance for a future return to competitions and events when Government guidance permits….a slightly different week to what we had planned.
Before covid-19 changed all our worlds, today would have been the first day of 2020 ECA Canoe Slalom European Championships, presented by Jaffa, at Lee Valley. Staff, volunteers, partners and teams had put a lot of preparation in place ready to deliver what was destined to be a truly world class event bringing together the best athletes from across Europe and celebrating our wonderful sport.
With programmes in place to bring back the Slalom Reunion, young leaders course for Broxbourne College students, schools paddling and ticketing programmes, paddling opportunities for local groups and engagement for some of our talent athletes, international events provide not only a platform for our top athletes to perform, but the whole sport to engage.
We wanted to take this moment to acknowledge and thank all those who dedicate huge amounts of time, expertise and enthusiasm to delivering both our international but also our domestic events and competition programmes. Volunteers are the backbone of all sport, and canoeing is no different. The Canoe Crew at last year’s Slalom World Cup not only contributed to the huge success of the event but many week in week out support the delivery of our sport across the country.
It’s great to hear of a number of the Canoe Crew proudly donning their Jaffa Orange uniforms this weekend. And it doesn’t stop there, Richard from our Events Team will be undertaking a 50 mile run/walk challenge for charity in place of the 105,000 steps he walked across the World Cup last year.
Events the scale of the European Championships require not only people but also partners coming on board to financially support the events and provide their company resources. Over the last couple of years we have had great support from a number of new and old partners, with many committing to this weekend’s Championships – UK Sport, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Jaffa, Leach, Redbull, Aquafria, Energy Generator, Castle Water, Vow Nutrition and Peak UK.
We are continuing to work with Jaffa as the Official Fruit Partner of British Canoeing and are scoping a Jaffa Mass Paddle in partnership with The Scouts Association to engage with a new wave of young people in to the sport. A number of the other sponsors are also committing to future events, which is great to see a continued investment in the sport.
When the time is the right we will be back with events and have more exciting opportunities ahead with the 2021 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships in Nottingham next July and also the return of ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships to Lee Valley in 2023, along with the weekly competitions and events which take place across the country.