British Canoeing and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Board have today (Tuesday 23 March) confirmed the postponement of the 2021 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships which was scheduled to take place at Holme Pierrepont Country Park, home of the National Water Sports Centre, in July.
The postponement of the event to 2022 is due to the ongoing concerns of the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly with regards the welfare of the freestyle community of athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators, and the likely international travel restrictions.
“These are very difficult times for everyone, and so tough decisions have to be made that prioritise the health and safety of our community,” ICF freestyle committee chairman, Lluis Rabaneda, said.
“We commend British Canoeing and its supporters for their professional approach to these challenges. While having to postpone will disappoint everyone involved, we are excited we will get the opportunity to hold our world championships at the same fantastic location next year.
“British Canoeing has worked tirelessly to make sure these world championships will be an event to remember, and next year will be even better, a festival of freestyle that will elevate our incredible sport to a whole new level.”
Andrew Jackson, Freestyle World Championship Event Director, said: “Whilst the postponement of the event is obviously very disappointing for athletes and all those involved in the organisation of the event, we have to take the health and safety of everyone involved into account.
“We wanted this event to be the best Freestyle World Championships yet, which would not have been possible behind closed doors. We are grateful to Holme Pierrepont Country Park, home of the National Watersports Centre for their flexibility and the ICF for their support in postponing the event to next year.
“I look forward to celebrating our talented freestyle athletes in 2022.”
A new date for the postponed event has now been set and will now take place from the 28 June – 2 July next year. We look forward to welcoming our athletes, spectators and volunteers to be part of the festival of freestyle next year.
The sport of canoe freestyle has a special attachment to the United Kingdom, with the first ‘unofficial’ world championships held at St Davids, Wales, in 1991.
The UK is now considered one of the most active and vibrant canoe freestyle communities in the world, however this year will have been the first world championships to be held on these shores since 1991.
British Canoeing and the International Canoe Federation are committed to making the postponed world championships a “Festival of Freestyle”, to celebrate this significant milestone and to cement the strong partnership between the sport and the UK.