Konietzko Elected New President Of ICF
November 8, 2021
Germany’s Thomas Konietzko has been voted the new president of the International Canoe Federation, receiving more than 90 per cent of the vote on the day he also celebrated his 58th birthday.
Mr Konietzko defeated Russia’s Evgenii Arkhipov in the hybrid congress vote, attracting the support of 94 per cent of delegates. He replaces Spain’s Jose Perurena, who is standing down after 13 years as ICF president. Congress overwhelmingly supported a motion to appoint Mr Perurena an honorary ICF President.
In his acceptance speech Mr Konietzko praised the work of the outgoing president, and pledged to build on Mr Perurena’s legacy.
But he also warned not all expectations will be possible.
“You leave a great legacy, and for many years your name will be associated with the most successful period of the International Canoe Federation,” Mr Konietzko said of the outgoing president.
“I already know we cannot meet all our expectations, because there are so many different interests in our federation. The diversity of our disciplines is our greatest strength.
“But our diversity is also our biggest challenge, because so many different interests have to be taken into account, and that is why we all have to stand united. My vision for the future of our federation is to achieve together the best for our sport, united in our vision. For this we need all our stakeholders, we need all of you.
“We don’t need a revolution to make our federation fit for the future, but we need evolution.”
In other election results, Argentina’s Cecila Farias, China’s Aijie Liu and Spain’s Lluis Rabaneda were elected vice-presidents, while Italy’s Luciano Buonfiglio won a hotly contested vote to remain as the ICF’s treasurer.
Japan’s Toshi Furuya was elected the new chair of the canoe sprint committee, France’s Jean-Michel Prono was re-elected chair of the canoe slalom committee, while Germany’s Manuela Gawehn will be the new head of wildwater canoeing.
Dutchman Ruud Heiljselaar will be the new chair of canoe marathon, Great Britain’s Greg Smale retains his role as head of canoe polo, and fellow Brit Terry Best will take over as head of canoe freestyle.
South Africa’s Colin Simpkins will pilot canoe ocean racing, Canada’s John Edwards was successfully re-elected as chair of paracanoe, while New Zealand’s Tim Brabants is the new chair of the ICF’s medical and anti-doping committee.
Congress also recognised the work of three long-term supporters of canoeing, with special awards to Germany’s Juergen Konrad and Australia’s Helen Brownlee, and a posthumous award for Denmark’s Jorn Cronberg.