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Women in Canoe Sport conference held in Prague

Women in Canoe Sport conference held in Prague 1.12.2023

This November the Women in Canoe Sport conference was held in Prague. The aim of the conference was to introduce the Women in Canoe Sport project, its activities and plans for the future. At the conference young academics working in the project presented their papers and presentations.

The Women in Canoe Sport project, which is financially supported by the Erasmus+ Sport (Small Collaborative Partnership) grant, and whose provider is the European Union (European Education and Culture Executive Agency – EACEA), is based on international (Czech-Slovak-Swedish) cooperation of experts from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Charles University in Prague, the Czech Canoe Association, the Slovak Canoe Association and the Swedish club Falu Kanot Klubb.
The aim is to create a methodical, educational, motivational and discussion platform for training women and girls in canoeing (especially in canoe slalom) and to try to increase the inclusion of girls among the competitors (recruitment) and women as coaches, members of the implementation teams and volunteers.
The conference in Prague was attended by over 70 participants, mainly from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, there were also representatives from Sweden and Spain presented at the conference.
Jan Busta, who is the author and coordinator of the project, opened the conference with a recapitulation of the project and visions for the future. “The project will continue in the future and we plan to expand it to other Nordic countries. Of course, Spain, which is now cooperating with the project on a voluntary basis, also wants to join. We also plan to involve organisations such as International Canoe Federation and European Canoe Assocciation,” said the project coordinator from Faculty of Physical Education and Sport at Charles University in Prague.
The following speaker at the conference was Matej Vajda, Dr. Busta’s colleague from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport at Comenius University in Bratislava. He presented a lecture on the long-term development of female athletes. Dr. Vajda came to Prague together with his student Felix Krupa to present the results of his research on the fitness of female athletes.
The third presenter was Jáchym Kolář, a physiotherapist working at the Centre for Movement Medicine, who has been cooperating with Czech canoe slalom paddlers as a fitness coach for a long time. Mgr. Kolář did not stay only with the theory, but also devoted himself to the practice, when he taught those present in the gym essential exercises.
The trio of men was followed by a trio of women. First spoke Andrea Duchoňová on the topic of nutrition of sportswomen, then followed Tereza Hybská on the topic of menstrual cycle and its influence on performance, and finally Jana Dukátová, the 2006 World Champion and former long-time successful Slovak canoe slalom paddler,  spoke about mental training of women. Andrea, Tereza and Jana also participated in training camps organised by the project.
Bc. Ondřej Cvikl, coach of Gabriela Satková and Lucie Nesnídalová (both were crowned 2023 U23 European Champions) introduced the training process of these two athletes and, with their support, presented the difficulties they encounter in training or competitions and which they overcome together (e.g. shoulder problems, fatigue, combining everyday training and studying at university or preparing for top competitions).
Lucie Nesnídalová spoke right after Ondřej. She described her own struggle with nutrition, eating disorders and related problems in recent years.  With her own humour she spoke deep into the soul of all the coaches present and received well-deserved applause.
Then, it was time for Carmen Costa Sanchéz who started her PhD studies in Spain this autumn. In her studies she wishes to focus on women in canoeing. She has therefore established a close collaboration with the Women in Canoe Sport project, in particular with Jan Busta and the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, where she is currently on a month-long internship. Throughout the summer she worked as a coach for the ICF Development Programme, which aims to support athletes from countries with minimal canoeing infrastructure in order to integrate them into international competitions. And it was this interesting phase of her life that she described during the conference, which was certainly inspiring for many young women considering a coaching career.
At the end, Svatka Nováková gave a lecture based on her dissertation. Svatka's lecture drew a considerable response from the audience and her conclusions were discussed long after the lecture was over.


The presentations of all speakers are available on the project website



SOURCE: https://www.womenincanoesport.com/en/news/conference-on-4-november-in-prague