Following in the wake of a successful hosting of the 2013 ICF Canoe Sprint Junior and Under 23 World Championships, the International Canoe Federation has awarded the 2018 Canoe Polo World Championships to Welland, ON. The five day event will take place at the Welland International Flatwater Centre in August 2018 and is expected to attract over 30 countries from around the world with approximately 60 teams competing over four divisions.
"Winning these championships builds on Welland's success as a world class event host," said Casey Wade, CEO of CanoeKayak Canada. "Welland made a significant impression with Canoe Niagara last summer and it's great to see the ICF coming back with another World Championship that will help to grow the sport in Canada."
Canoe Polo is a game similar to water polo, played in kayaks. The fast-paced and intense game is growing rapidly in popularity internationally.
"We couldn't be happier to be bringing another World Championship to our new venue" said Stephen Fischer, Executive Director of the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation, who presented the bid last Sunday at the ICF's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. "Hosting a World Championships in our community has a significant economic impact and has major benefits in terms of promoting sport, volunteerism and fostering community engagement," added Fischer.
Canada currently has four National teams and the senior men’s team placed sixth at the last World Games. Canada last hosted the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in Canada in Edmonton in 2008. Bringing the top canoe polo athletes in the world to Canada to grow interest in this fast emerging sport.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity and what it will do for the sport,” said Jean-Christophe Pothier, CanoeKayak Canada’s Canoe Polo Chair. “You can bet Canadian teams will be training hard to represent on home water so this announcement really gives our teams a goal to get excited about.”
CanoeKayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada. The organization’s vision is to be a Canadian sport for families, communities and champions. From supporting clubs to developing a competitive National Team, CanoeKayak Canada works to grow a sport which is a rich part of Canada’s heritage.
Communications and Marketing Officer, CanoeKayak Canada