Canoeing Ireland are delighted to have been chosen by the International Canoe Federation to host the inaugural Women in Paddlesports Symposium in September 2023.

The ICF Women Symposium invites females in paddlesports at all levels to be part of the conversation on how we can create a more equitable future for our sport. The two-day event will bring together voices from around the world with a shared goal to set out a strategy to increase opportunities for women to progress to leadership positions both on and off the water.

Not only will the conference provide a brilliant platform engage with women from around the globe on the range of issues facing women on their pathway through the sport, it also promises an opportunity to join an inspiring community of female leaders in paddlesports with a series of targeted workshops and interactive discussions.

The awarding of this conference to Canoeing Ireland comes off the back of some outstanding work in the area of women in sport, with equality at the forefront of everything the organization does. Moira Aston, Canoeing Ireland CEO, spoke of the organisation’s strength in this area, and their enthusiasm at having this platform to share it with women from around the world.

“Canoeing Ireland has developed a world class Women in Sport programme, “Bridge the Gap” managed by our Women in Sport Lead, Emer Carton, and supported by Sport Ireland.  This programme has transformed the landscape of opportunities and experience for female paddlers in Ireland. We are very proud of what has been achieved and are pleased to be offered the opportunity to share our learnings with the international community of female paddlers.”

ICF vice-president, Cecilia Farias, encouraged women at every level of paddle sports to register for the symposium, which will be held on September 26th and 27th.

“I’m really looking forward to two days of discussions in Dublin, and hearing the ideas of women in our sport on how we can open up pathways to the top. We always look at this issue mostly from the perspective of men, so I will be very interested to hear the perspective of women.”

President of Canoeing Ireland, Lynda Byron, has been a tireless campaigner for women in leadership, and commented on the opportunity this conference provides for women to create the future they want to see in Paddlesports.

“From our experience in Canoeing Ireland, we know that women benefit from a strong network, opportunities to challenge and support each other and to discuss openly what causes them to hold back from taking on leadership and coaching roles.  This symposium offers these opportunities both to discuss and create a future where women have an equal say in our sport.”