KayakPro ergometers are to be delivered to developing nations under the agreement ©KayakPro

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has partnered with ergometer manufacturer KayakPro in a deal claimed to accelerate efforts to stage online-based paddling competitions.

The new agreement also aims to make paddling more accessible worldwide and will see KayakPro ergometers delivered to developing nations.

KayakPro products exploit Bluetooth technology and high-definition internet-connected videos to enable participants to race in actual time.

Grayson Bourne, who represented Britain at five Olympic Games, owns KayakPro, which has provided ergometers to the previous five Olympics in addition to the American space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

"One of the challenges always facing our sport is getting access to the best equipment and the best training advice to athletes and coaches in countries where paddling as a sport is still developing," ICF marketing manager Catherine Wieser said.

"KayakPro will make that endeavour much easier.

"We are very impressed by the work they have done to promote the growth of canoe sports, and we know that working together, we can really make a difference.

"As an Olympic and world-champion athlete we know Grayson always puts the needs of the competitor first, which is why we have confidence this partnership will be a major benefit for our sport."

The ICF has staged numerous virtual paddling events since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its deal with KayakPro is to last two years.

"To be honest, it [partnership with the ICF] probably should have happened a long time ago," Bourne added.

"At KayakPro we are impressed by the vision of the ICF, so if we can help achieve those goals then it will be a partnership worth having.

"We share the dream of wanting to grow the sport globally, and to make it easier and more affordable to access the best equipment and training advice.

"Our super technological developments are game-changers in the world of virtual indoor paddling, giving people the opportunity to race and train from their own home."