The International Canoe Federation will partner with the Polish Special Olympic Committee and the international paddle board manufacturer Starboard to host an event for Special Olympic athletes ahead of this week’s ICF Stand Up Paddle World Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
ICF SUP world champion Fiona Wylde has been named an ambassador for the event, which will feature a safety and SUP basics clinic, followed by a race on the 2022 ICF SUP Sprint World Championship course on a “SUP Dragon” with some of the world’s best SUP paddlers.
The clinic and race will be held on Wednesday.
Wylde will not be able to compete at this week’s world championships as she continues her recovery from a shoulder operation, but is thrilled to be involved in such an exciting venture.
“I’m really disappointed I won’t have the opportunity to defend my SUP world titles in Gdynia this week, but when the opportunity to work with this fantastic group of athletes emerged I jumped at the chance,” Wylde said.
“There’s a reason why SUP is one of the fastest growing sports and recreational activities in the world, and that’s its accessibility. I’m stoked to be ambassador for this project and to introduce a group of Special Olympic athletes to our sport.”
The International Canoe Federation and the Special Olympics recently signed a memorandum of understanding to consolidate a partnership which has been in place for almost two decades.
Paddling made its first appearance at a Special Olympics World Games in Ireland in 2003, and has been a proud partner at every Games since. One goal of the MOU is to provide paddling opportunities for more paddlers around the world.