University of Hertfordshire becomes official social impact partner for 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships

 1 January 2024 13 July 2023
13 July 2023

The University of Hertfordshire has revealed a new partnership with British Canoeing for the 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships aimed at promoting the transformative impact of sports and physical activity within the local community.

The university is the official social impact partner for the World Championships, which will take place at Lee Valley White Water Centre in Waltham Cross, Broxbourne this September. The university will be supporting a number of initiatives to improve the awareness, accessibility and sustainability of paddle sports regionally; support important inclusion work; and help raise the event’s profile.

Delivered via the Herts Sport and Physical Activity Partnership, who are based at the University, the programme will include a free, fun-packed activity day at Lee Valley White Water Centre for children taking part in Hertfordshire’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme, plus local, older adults.

Activities will include paddleboarding, kayaking and a health walk around Lee Valley Regional Park, climaxed with a spectacular charity duck race down the rapids featuring around 2,000 rubber ducks to raise funds for the Willow Foundation.

British Canoeing will also be using the event to shape positive environmental and social change through flagship initiatives focusing on the environment, access, and a women and girls inclusion programme.

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, said:

“We are hugely excited that the University is the social impact partner for the upcoming Canoe Slalom World Championships.

“Our Herts Sport and Activity Partnership team have been doing an incredible job of using the power of sports and physical activity to transform and enrich the lives of local people, of all ages, for the last 20 years.

“This collaboration will provide a fantastic opportunity to expand this work, as well as developing new initiatives and relationships. We look forward to working closely with British Canoeing over the next few months to deliver a brilliant programme of events to our community.”

Gemma Wiggs, Head of International Events for British Canoeing, said:  

“We are delighted to have the University of Hertfordshire on board as our Official Social Impact Partner for the World Championships this September.

“Not only do we want to provide a fantastic World Championships for fans across to the world to enjoy, but we want there to be a long-lasting legacy from the competition.

“Having the University of Hertfordshire aligned with this, we will be able to provide a fantastic programme of activities which will benefit the local community through environmental and social change.”

The partnership was officially launched on Wednesday, 5 July, at the Olympic venue with representatives from the University of Hertfordshire, the Herts Sport and Physical Activity Partnership, British Canoeing, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the Willow Foundation, Councillor Paul Seeby, Mayor of Broxbourne and British Olympic slalom champion and Herts alumna Kimberley Woods – who will be competing at the upcoming World Championships.

The 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships takes places between 19-24 September and will see around 300 of the world’s top athletes head to Lee Valley White Water Centre to battle it out in individual and team, men and women’s kayak and canoes events – as well as the brand-new Olympic sport of kayak cross – over the six days.

As well as the coveted World Championship titles on offer, athletes from all nations will also be competing to qualify boats for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Tickets are now on sale, with prices starting from as little as £1 for children and £6 for adults. Visit Slalom World Championships - 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships Tickets | 19 - 24 September 2023 ( to secure yours, or for more details about the championships.


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