Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA2004

08 Apr 2020

 Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham

CSA commits to national champs despite international cancellations

Pietermaritzburg – Following the cancellation of a number of world championship events by the International Canoe Federation due to the coronavirus pandemic, the administrators at Canoeing South Africa are putting in place plans to ensure that all national championships affected by COVID-19 will have a space in the calendar later in the year.

On Wednesday the International Canoeing Federation made the decision to cancel a number of world championship events that have been scheduled for the European summer months, including the Junior and Under 23 Sprint World Championships in Germany in July and the Marathon World Championships in Norway in September, which could have led to the cancellation of our national championships.

President of Canoeing South Africa Kim Pople is confident that once normality resumes then they will be able to nail down dates for the various national championship events that have been affected.

“We are fully committed to running all of our national championship events,” Pople said assuredly.

“We obviously don’t know when they will be just yet but we will be able to get a better idea when the lockdown is over.

“Internationally the ICF have cancelled the Marathon World Championships, the Olympic qualifying event and the Junior and Under 23 Sprint World Championships.

“The ICF released a statement on Wednesday saying that the Canoe Polo World Championships have been moved to next year, however the Ocean Racing World Championships are still scheduled to take place in September.”

From a local perspective it will be important to make sure that they can open up spots in the calendar to host these national championships later in the year but Pople and Canoeing South Africa have been in contact with race organisers.

“While some events like the Umkomaas Marathon and the Berg are heavily dependent on seasonal water, we have asked races that aren’t water dependent to rather postpone to later in the year.

“Obviously there is going to be a bit of juggling to do with the calendar but we are hopeful that we will get as many races in as possible later in the year.”

As much as there is time to try and plan for the last quarter of the year hoping that things will be back to normal by then, Pople is encouraging everyone to continue to adhere to the measures that have been put in place for government.

“Right now we just want to make sure that everyone in South Africa stays home, stays safe and stays healthy.

“We will just have to sit tight and wait for direction from our government,” she added.

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Current ICF Ocean Racing World Champion Sean Rice (pictured) is still on course to defend his title in Portugal later this year as the International Canoe Federation confirm that at this stage the surfski world championships will go ahead as sheduled.

South African canoe marathon champion Andy Birkett will be able to defend his national title as Canoeing South Africa insist that national championship events will still go ahead this year despite the International Canoe Federation cancelling the World Marathon Championships set for Norway due to the coronavirus.

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