In my view: How is Canoeing making sure they build on the attraction of sport post Olympic Games 2012?

JoseICF275The Olympic Games were an unprecedented success, both in terms of organisation but also raising the standards of major sporting events and delivering customer engagement. Canoeing was no exception and with two venues the feedback that we received from our National Federations and the experience and ‘feel good’ factor that the public received was exceptional.

By José Perurena López (ICF President, IOC Member)

The ICF is the umbrella organisation of 156 national Canoe federations. We promote Canoeing worldwide and encourage recreational as well as professional practices. We are engaged with our communities through our development programs and we recognise that the future development of the sport is linked to social and environmental factors. We now look towards developing a comprehensive sustainability policy as a commitment to our stakeholders, and most importantly our athletes. 
Canoeing is a multidisciplinary sport with two Olympic disciplines and 6 non Olympic disciplines. We have much to deliver in any given year and are involved in the organisation of over 25 major ICF events and affiliate events each 
Our communication strategy is key to spreading our message. We have developed our own YouTube channel, and are looking at creative ways in which we can communicate the core values of the Sport. 
In the absence of huge TV rights deals, sponsorship is important and we are constantly looking at ways to commercialize our activities without jeopardising the sport itself. 
People are also key, sourcing the right talent to deliver our “master-plan” and therefore capitalise on the success of 2012 is only achievable if you have the right quality and skill level. 

It is important that we act now, and I believe that we are not alone in trying to work out the best way to deliver this success in a tangible way. The ICF needs to continue to build the interest of the sport both by participation and commercially to ensure that we can support Canoeing as a sport at all levels in all regions. 

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