In the run up to the 2022 ICF SUP World Championships in Gdynia, Poland on the 7-11 September, the Polish Canoe Federation and the Polish SUP Sports Association (Związek Sportowy SUP) announced a dedicated event for groms – The International SUP Kids Race – where young SUP athletes can compete on inflatable paddleboards in two categories – Technical and a Long-distance race. In addition to that, Fiona Wylde, three-time World SUP Champion, has been confirmed as the Ambassador for both the Kids event and Special Olympics.
Although the Kids race is not officially part of the ICF Worlds main racing competition and groms will not be crowned World Champs, it’s a unique opportunity to paddle in an event of this calibre.
TotalSUP caught up with Poland’s youngest SUP racer and SIC Maui Rider Mikołaj Miczek and his dad, Mariusz, Founder of RTW Raciborskie Towarzystwo Wioślarskie, a thriving training centre for junior SUP athletes, to chat about the most significant SUP event in the country to date.
Hi Mikołaj, welcome to TotalSUP! Tell us something about yourself and how did you get into the sport of stand up paddleboarding?
Hi, my name is Mikołaj, I’m 9 years old, I live in Racibórz and I train on the local River Odra. I was introduced to stand-up paddleboarding at one of kayaking trips organised by my dad, Mariusz. He was securing it on a stand-up paddleboard and I wanted to paddle it too. I ended up paddleboarding my first river on a SUP board and this is how my SUP adventure started.
Tell us more about the club you’re training with…
I’m a member of RTW Racibórz SUP Club where I started my watersport adventure. I’m one of the first athletes that joined the newly reactivated club under my dad’s management. I like everything that’s related to the club and training. The club is open to kids as young as 4 and 5 years old so you can say that I have been paddleboarding nearly half of my life.
Photo credit: EuroTour
Which SUP athlete inspires you the most?
How do you prepare for SUP racing competitions?
I train three times a week. We have general sports activities and we paddle a lot on our River Odra, also against the flow which is the greatest fun. And right before SUP competitions, my dad cuts us some slack.
It must be hard to juggle school, training and time you’d like to spend with your friends. How do you stay motivated to train and compete?
I train because I like doing it and I like my team. We have a lot of adventures when we compete. Training does not interrupt my school work and when it comes to spare time, I hang out with my friends, but spending it with my club mates is cool too!
What would you say to aspiring riders who would like to start their SUP adventure?
To simply train as this is a great way to spend your time. I do it because I like racing and spending a lot of time on the water.
Tell us about your SIC Maui board
It’s a hard SIC Maui 12’6 x 20’ board. You can’t break it!This is my first rigid board and I would like to keep racing on it. When I get older, I would like to go for the 14’ length and compete internationally.
Photo credit: EuroTour
What are your professional SUP plans and dreams?
I would like to take part in the World Championships and represent my country at the Olympics!
Hi Mariusz, what’s your vision behind RTW Racibórz SUP Club?
My vision? I think the plan that I’ve had in mind is being achieved in 100%, maybe event 101%. I have a great team, solid foundation and some very talented athletes who are now competing not only in Poland but also worldwide.
I would like for the club to have a stable location and venue so we don’t have to worry about being kicked out in a month time. It would be great to have proper changing rooms, storage space and a small gym. But I believe that we’ll get there with time.
When did you launch it and how many riders do you have up to date?
We kicked off in 2016 and registered with a full licence in 2018. The first group I managed was a group of 4-5 year-old kids from a kindergarten Miki was going to and I was running one session per week. Lots of fun, water safety, mostly ran in kayaks specifically designed for these groms. That first group was six to seven persons and these numbers have been going up each year.
But from the very beginning I wanted to create a group that would be participating regularly and I was conscious that I would have to wait for results a couple of years. But I do believe that it has been achieved already as the kids can race. To be honest I’m building the club all the time – the gear, lock rooms, training, SUP camps – and it’s all going in the right direction. The first two Winters we were changing on some benches in a park. Now we have our own spot where we can store the gear. We also have 16 junior riders in our group that attend systematically attend our training sessions. And that is just WOW and a big success to me already.
ICF Worlds in Gdynia and Miki will be there…
Yes, the Polish Canoe Federation and the Polish SUP Sports Association (Związek Sportowy SUP) have confirmed that kids will be allowed to compete in a dedicated SUP race. I think Miki and other kids deserve to have a show like that especially that there’s more and more of these groms in Europe and in the world. It’s beautiful to watch young riders compete and stirring things up at these events!
Miki (from left) and the RTW Racibórz SUP Club Junior Team are ready for ICF Worlds in Gdynia
Thank you for your time and see you in Gdynia!
Miki’s top achievements to date: >> 2 Gold medals at Polish SUP Championships U15 >> 2nd place at EuroTour in Prague U12 (Miki was 8 years old!) >> 3rd place at EuroTour in Prague U15
Blackfish Paddles has just announced the new addition of Jojo Karst to their SUP Riders Team. The sixteen year old SUP athlete from Germany has recently caught the media attention at the EUROSUP 2023 Championships in Portugal (4th in the Junior Long Distance Race) where she kept paddling in tough conditions despite losing her paddle […]
The 2023 ICF SUP World Championships (15-19 November 2023) in Pattaya, Thailand is on! Here are the podium results of the highly-stacked celebration of our sport welcoming nearly 50 nations! Watch the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships with TotalSUP here DAY 4&5: TECHNICAL RACE RESULTS – WINNERS Men Open Technical Final 1.Connor Baxter (USA) 2.Itzel Delgado […]
The 2023 ICF SUP World Championships (15-19 November) in Pattaya, Thailand has officially kicked off! TotalSUP caught up with the Starboard SUP Dream Team Riders to ask about their SUP racing season to date, board set up and the ICF Worlds expectations. Fiona Wylde: SUP season to date: I’m coming from a bit of a […]
Watch the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand with TotalSUP! You’ll find below every single webcast player set for the huge event for your to enjoy 5 days of SUP racing action covering 3 disciplines: 200m Sprints on Wednesday and Thursday, Long Distance on Friday and Technical Race on Saturday and Sunday! Schedules […]
The countdown to the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships held on 15-19 November 2023 in Pattaya, Thailand is on! With an impressive number of nations (44 and counting) already signed up, the highly-stacked ICF Worlds event is certainly setting the scene for some exciting SUP action with the defending Champions and new talent all fired […]
There’s been a lot of buzz since the launch of the LIGHTBOARDCORP®PARADOXA and its debut at the SUP Alps Trophy 2023 SUPALOT stop. The Light Riders have been sweeping the podiums ever since and are now ready for the final leg of the SUP racing season. In the run up to the 2023 ICF Stand […]
Avec un record de participants en lice pour cette 17ème édition, le Fort Boyard Challenge 2023, s’est déroulé le week-end dernier dans des conditions estivales mais peu venteuses. Face à un public présent en grand nombre sur la plage, les participants en stand up paddle et pirogues polynésiennes ont profité d’une mer d’huile sous un […]
Résultats des Championnats de France SUP Race en Milieu Maritime 2023 2ème Journée – Technical Race 42 athlètes étaient alignés sur le départ de la Technical Race pour cette 2ème journée de Championnat de France de SUP Race en milieu marime 2023. Erica Revil et Ethan Bry, tous deux membres du Crozon Waterman Club, ont […]
SIC Maui, the renowned global brand specializing in SUP, Surf, Foil, and Wingfoil, has proudly announced its collaboration as an official partner for the upcoming 2023 ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championship in Les Sables d’Olonne in the beautiful coastal town of Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Below, you’ll find their official press release: “SIC Maui, […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!