The World Rowing Federation (FISA) is to hold its first Indoor World Championships next year as part of plans to capitalise on the growing interest in the discipline.
The event will take place on February 17-18 in the US city of Alexandria, Virginia. World Rowing has launched the event in partnership with USRowing, exercise equipment manufacturer Concept2 and the organising committee of the local Erg Sprints event. Erg Sprints is a series of indoor rowing competitions staged around the world.
The new competition will combine certain World Rowing Indoor Championship events with the annual Erg Sprints competition in Alexandria, which will feature over 2,500 competitors.
The announcement comes after indoor rowing was held during this year’s edition of the World Games multi-sport event in Wroclaw, Poland.
FISA noted that indoor rowing machines are found in fitness gyms, rehabilitation clinics, schools, universities and CrossFit facilities, and the new event is designed to further develop the discipline.
FISA president Jean-Christophe Rolland said: “This partnership is designed to put indoor rowing exactly where it should be on the international sports map. Participation in indoor rowing at an elite and competitive level has been skyrocketing in recent years and it is time to give the sport an official championship status. Indoor rowing continues to break new ground in innovation and World Rowing is very pleased to be joining forces.”
Peter Dreissigacker, co-founder of Concept2, added: "We at Concept2 are excited to support a new championship format, moving the event to different locations and showcasing a truly international sport. With World Rowing on board we hope to have the participation of the best athletes from all corners of the globe."