Junior & U23 World Championships Update
Greetings from sunny Banja Luka. The team under the very capable management of Julie, Jamie and Nicky are getting on well with their preparations and looking forward to the racing. We have the opening ceremony tonight and sprint racing starts tomorrow.
We have had a request from the ICF and the other National Federations to enter a Junior K1 girls’ team and an U23W C2 in both the sprint and the classic races to ensure that there are valid quorate ICF World Championship races. Paddlers cannot enter the team event unless they also enter the individual event. This situation for junior K1 girls is unprecedented, if GB do not enter a team then the junior K1w team event will not be quorate so it cannot be classed as a world championships.
It’s common in the canoeing (C1 & C2) classes to try to get nations to enter scratch paddlers at the event to make them quorate. Paddlers must already be in an individual event and only need to cross the start line, they do not have to complete the race. The National Federations of Australia, Bosnia, Croatia and the USA have already volunteered to enter athletes in additional classes ensuring that all the other events are quorate. Laura and Esme are already here and entered in the WK1 and have agreed to enter the WC2 U23 to make it quorate to help the other nations and the sport of WWR internationally.. They will simply start and cross the start line but not actually complete the race.
The junior girls situation is not as simple as they have to be entered in the main individual events to take part in the team race.
We brought out three of the four girls who were not selected for the Junior Worlds on competence grounds for their personal development as all of them are young, determined and developing fast. I’m delighted to say that they have all performed well and learnt a lot.
In the interests of the sport internationally we have been asked to enter our three Junior Girls in the World Championships (rather than as forerunners) to ensure that there are valid quorate World Championship races here in Banja Luka.
As a team we have carefully weighed all the options. We think it is in the best interests of the sport that British Canoeing is seen to support the ICF at the highest levels of international competition. We have spoken to David Joy as Chief Executive of British Canoeing who has in turn spoken to the Chairman and they have given approval and indeed support for the three junior girls to be entered. Subsequently we have spoken to the parents and the paddlers involved. All have agreed in the interest of WWR internationally that they will compete but recognize that officially they weren’t actually selected to represent GB.
On behalf of the WWR exec we hope that everybody will understand and support this decision in the interests of the development of our sport.