The ICF Board has approved a virtual ICF event ©ICF

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) Board has backed the staging of an inaugural virtual ICF competition as part of its plan to push the sport forward.

Ergometer manufacturer KayakPro is expected to partner the event that is anticipated to see individuals and clubs go head-to-head online.

The Board, who gathered in-person for the first time in over two years, also ratified a scheme to ensure the organisation continues to fall in line with the targets of the International Olympic Committee 2020 +5 agenda.

Members also received updates on the ICF’s Fit for Future strategy, which is expected to be shown to the federation’s Congress in Thailand in November.

"We are a very successful federation and have achieved success with changes to the Olympic program including the inclusion of extreme slalom in the Paris 24 program," ICF President Thomas Konietzko said.

"We are a strong and committed member of the Olympic movement, and we want to stay that way and contribute even more to the success of the Olympic movement.

"We therefore have to adapt our strategy considering the IOC agenda 2020 + 5.

"We need to set additional priorities for our future."

To improve its presence across Africa, Asia and the Americas, the ICF agreed to produce greater live coverage of its events in multiple languages as well as creating a digital asset management system to ensure people can view footage.

President Thomas Konietzko has insisted the ICF must set out its future priorities ©ICF
President Thomas Konietzko has insisted the ICF must set out its future priorities ©ICF

Cecilia Farias, the vice-president of the ICF, remarked that the organisation is cooperating with Andorran consulting company BOMOSA and their partner Starboard to reduce the ICF’s carbon footprint.

He said: "We want to set new targets and achieve the goals to which the ICF committed itself by signing the UN Sports for Climate Actions framework.

"This will not be possible without effort and will significantly change the processes and the face of our competitions."

The ICF Board also accepted the decision to outsource the sport’s anti-doping programme to the International Testing Agency as well as triple anti-doping funding from 2023.

It was also agreed that athletes will be surveyed to shape future policy on transgender athletes following a briefing from Dr Shane Heffernen from Swansea University.

This is part of the ICF’s Athlete Safeguarding and Wellbeing Strategy.

"It was so good to be able to come together again after all this time, and to discuss so many important issues about our future," President Konietzko commented.

"We are a successful sport, but we need to ensure we remain successful by embracing change.

"Our reputation as a world leader will be enhanced following the decisions made over the past three days."