British Canoeing awarded World Freestyle Championships

British Canoeing has been awarded the ICF World Freestyle Championships set to be held in July 2021

The event will be hosted at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottinghamshire and it is expected that around 300 of the world’s best freestyle paddlers will descend on the site to compete for the right to be called World Champion.

David Joy, chief executive of British Canoeing, said: “This is fantastic news for British Canoeing and our Freestyle Committee, led by Andrew Jackson.  

“We have held a number of successful international events here in the UK and this bid forms a crucial part of our new strategic plan, Stronger Together, to hold more events across more disciplines.

“This competition will be the catalyst for us to grow and develop the discipline of freestyle in the run up to and after the event itself.

We look forward to working closely with the Freestyle Committee here as well as our colleagues in the ICF to make this event a huge success

The last time the World Freestyle Championships were held in Great Britain was in 1991 at The Bitches in South Wales. Andrew Jackson, chair of the British Canoeing Freestyle Committee, said he was delighted that the team has been successful in winning the bid to bring the competition back to British shores.

“We are really looking forward to hosting the World Championships in Nottinghamshire as well as the processes we’ll put in place, which will be the legacy of this event.

“To be awarded the World Championships at the start of our new four year plan is a really exciting prospect.  

“Our next step will be to activating the volunteer workforce from across the canoeing community. This event isn’t just part of our discipline but something which presents a real opportunity for the whole sport.

“The whole committee will now look at this with a long-term view, not just from an event perspective but also in terms of performance and what we need to do to work towards having a great team performance on our home ground.”

Claire O’Hara is the most successful female freestyle paddler of all time and an eight time world champion. She was thrilled to hear the news.

“This is fantastic news for British freestyle paddlers,” she said. “We have been one of the leading forces in freestyle for a long time and without a doubt, this is in part to do with the incredible training facilities in Nottinghamshire.

“This is going to be a huge opportunity for us to showcase our sport and nation’s talent. 

British freestyle is so strong and there are so many talented paddlers, including an incredible array of motivated young paddlers coming up into the sport from all over the UK. 2021 is still well within my competitive reach and I can’t wait

Derek Higton, service director of youth, families and cultural services at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We are delighted that Nottinghamshireand the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont has been awarded host status and will be the venue for the 2021 ICF Freestyle World Championships. 

“We take pride in our sporting heritage and recognise the value of major sports events, seeking to use them to raise the profile of sport, stimulate increased participation and enhance the county’s unique sense of place, status and international standing. 

“We are looking forward to hosting the world’s best athletes, and to providing a world class venue for everyone to enjoy.”