The ICF held a Paracanoe workshop for the Pan American region ©ICF

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has held a Paracanoe seminar online for participants from the Pan American Canoe Confederation (COPAC) region.

The governing body said 100 people from 14 countries took part in the seminar, which was designed for Spanish speakers.

Run in collaboration with COPAC and the Spanish Canoe Federation, the seminar aimed to build on the introduction of the format last year where participants learnt basic knowledge and tools to help with athlete classification. and to assist them in developing Paracanoe in their region.

"Our goal in setting-up this webinar was to boost Paracanoe awareness and development in South and Latin America, with a view to having the sport added to the Para-PanAm Games," John Edwards, the ICF Paracanoe Committee chair, said.

"We know that Paracanoe is very accessible for all impairment groups, and our previous webinars in Oceania and Africa have been well received.

"In the future we will target French and Portuguese-speaking nations, and continue our development in Asia and Oceania.

"The Paracanoe Committee understands the importance of educating the canoe community about the sport and its benefits, and believes this could generate strong enthusiasm in developing the sport globally."

The ICF hope the seminars can help to build Paracanoeing in more countries ©ICF
The ICF hope the seminars can help to build Paracanoeing in more countries ©ICF

Chile's Dr Raul Smith and Monica Hernandez were among the presenters during the seminar, along with Spain's Ismael Uali.

They were supported by the ICF's head of classification Fatima Fernandez and Paracanoe Committee member Jean-Christophe Gonneaud.

The ICF said the topics covered were "How to do Paracanoe in a simple way" and a presentation on the athlete classification system for Paralympic sport competitions.

A question-and-answer session was held at the end of the seminar.

The ICF added that the seminars are targeting countries with lower knowledge of the sport, but which are keen to grow Paracanoe.

The governing body claim several new countries are now participating in international Paracanoe competitions as a direct result of the seminars, including Vanuatu, who competed at last year's ICF Paracanoe World Championships for the first time.