ICF shocked by death of founder of Lebanese Canoe Federation

The founder of Lebanon’s Canoe Kayak Federation, Ali Mohammed Awada, has been killed in an apparent bungled robbery, sending shockwaves through the international canoeing family.

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Awada was one of Lebanon’s most famous kayakers and rafters, and had worked tirelessly to promote the sport in his country. He served as secretary-general of the Federation he founded, and was also founder of the local Al-Kharady Canoe-Kayak and Rafting Club.

His body was found in his residence, with local police reporting he appeared to be the victim of a burglary gone wrong.

Members of the canoeing family from around the world took to social media to express their shock and sadness. ICF President, Thomas Konietzko, said the sport has lost one of its hardest workers.

”The entire canoe family is horrified by the violent death of Ali Mohammed Awada and mourns him,” Mr Konietzko said.

”He was one of the driving forces behind the development of canoeing in the region, and built a stable federation in Lebanon. He was a role model for many canoeists in Lebanon and for other countries who want to establish our sport.

“Canoeing was the centre of his life. We have lost not only a dedicated official but a friend who will be missed by the entire canoeing family.”

Awada lived for many years in Toulouse, France, and served as a technical director of the French Olympic team. He moved to Lebanon in 1995, determined to introduce canoeing and kayaking to help unite the population after 20 years of civil war.

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