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British Canoeing is pleased to announce that Richmond Canoe Club has been selected as the first Regional Sprint Performance Academy. This prestigious designation aims to support athletes primarily in the U23 age group, helping them realize their potential and smoothly transition to the World Class Programme. The goal is to see athletes flourish, enjoy the performance environment, develop their skills, and learn from their experiences, ultimately enabling them to compete successfully on the international stage.

Aspiring athletes can now apply to be a part of the Regional Sprint Academy by completing the application form by November 27.

Chris Furber, Performance Director for canoe sprint and paracanoe at British Canoeing, expressed his delight, stating,

“We are thrilled to announce Richmond as our first Regional Sprint Academy. The establishment of the Sprint Performance Academy is a crucial step outlined in our Sprint Performance Strategy, and we are excited that Richmond has been chosen as the inaugural Academy. We look forward to collaborating with Gabor Szeltner and his team in supporting the next generation of athletes.”

Athletes admitted to the academy will receive personalized coaching support, tailored performance training programs, and access to sports science expertise.

Boris Mavra, the junior coordinator at Richmond Canoe Club, sees the Sprint Performance Academy as a natural extension of the Talent Club Partnership and an opportunity for all their young paddlers to continue their athletic journeys with the club. Mavra added,

“Our aim is to keep young paddlers engaged in the sport. We are fortunate to have highly skilled coaches for both kayak and canoe disciplines, as demonstrated by our successful junior program. We encourage anyone interested in joining the Academy to come to Richmond, talk to our coaches, and explore how they can be part of this program.”

Athletes are invited to apply to the academy, and the specific performance standards required can be found in the provided guidelines.

Sprint Performance Academy Athlete Standards:

The academy support is targeted at athletes who meet one or more of the following performance standards, achieved within the current or previous season:

1. Qualified and become part of the World Class Programme, or
2. Achieved a Canoe Sprint World Class Programme matrix result, or
3. Reached a Junior or U23 World or European Championship Final
4. Qualified for the Junior or U23 European or World Championship team, or
5. Ranked in Mens/Womens B or above
6. On track to be included in an U23 team during the current Olympic cycle, with evidence of progression

Athletes admitted to the academy will be expected to fully engage with the available opportunities to develop fundamental performance behaviors and habits necessary for success in a high-performance environment. Adherence to a Code of Conduct and Athlete Disciplinary Policy, outlining how to address any unacceptable behavior, is also expected from all athletes.