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The Board of Directors discussed again today the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus, deciding to suspend from competing at any event the Russian and Belarus Federations until further notice.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Board of Directors met to discuss the sanctions for Russia and Belarus. The IOC recommends “International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions” in order “to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants”, therefore the following measures will be taken until further notice:based on the exceptional circumstances of the situation and considering the extremely grave violation of the Olympic Truce and other violations of the Olympic Charter by the Russian and Belarus government, the “Russian Rafting Federation (RRF)” and the “Belarus Rafting Federation” are suspended;
WRF welcomes and appreciates the many calls for peace by athletes, sports officials and members of the worldwide River Community. The WRF admires and supports in particular the calls for peace by Russian athletes, therefore, the Russian and Belarus teams are allowed to compete at the international events at the following conditions: registered athletes do not cover any official role/position within the respective National Federation; the Russian and Belarussian national flags will not be displayed; the Russian and Belarussian anthems will be not played; Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, will be accepted only as neutral. Being the NFs suspended, registrations will be done directly by the Clubs;
WRF confirms that it will not allocate any event to Russia or Belarus.
“We condemn war in all its forms and aim to support the Ukrainian rafting community in any way we can; our focus remains the wellbeing of our athletes”, says the Board. “Sport has the power to unite the world. We must use our position to send a strong message of peace”.
The ICF Congress was held from 3rd to 7th November 2021 in Rome, Italy. On the other side of the elections the meeting has been an opportunity to discover new realities and create new sinergies. In those days the WRF President and Secretary fist met and made contact with the Nigerian Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation.
ICF 2018: the exciting growth of canoeing in Nigeria
In recent years the canoe sport in Nigeria has been growing exponentially and WRF is proud of becoming part of this movement. In the last 3 months WRF and the Nigerian Federation have been cooperating for the membership that now is official: President Rear Adm. Festus Porbeni and Secretary Olubumni Ola Oluode welcome rafting as a new discipline and Nigeria becomes a full WRF member.
Tokyo 2020: Nigeria's Ayomide Bello is the first female canoeist from the African continent to qualify for the Olympics
WRF President Danilo Balrmaz declared "As the official motto of the Nigerian Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation says, together we make more waves and waves are an opportunity to grow: facing them, paddling through them, surfing them and moving forward. A hughe thank you for the effort during the last months and a warm welcome to the Nigerian Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation".
The entry of Switzerland in WRF has been an enormous result for our community, since they has a lot of river experience and is an active movement.
President Angerlo Sanna, who cooperated from Switzerland in signing the WRF membership, answered three questions by the WRF.
We are convinced that collaboration between small and large federations can create positive synergies in both directions: how do you see our movement in the years to come? What are you expecting at your national level?
In Switzerland, everything remains to be done. If rafting is well known commercially, the rivers being particularly suitable for the practice of this activity, there is very little experience in competition. All the guides are professionals of the commercial branch who do not want to lose days of wages to participate in competitions that bring only glory but nothing financially.
The aim of our Federation is therefore to create rafting clubs throughout Switzerland focused on leisure or slalom and downhill competition. To achieve this, these sports clubs must be financially supported by their canton. A lot of money is available for sport thanks to Loterie Romande for the French-speaking part of Switzerland, while for the Swiss-German-speaking regions and Swiss-Italian regions, the Swisslos lottery is involved.
The second problem in Switzerland is that rafting is headed by two associations: one, the Swiss Outdoor Association SOA is a multi-sport association whose members are commercial rafting companies. The other, the Swiss Rafting Federation SRF is a Federation of people (guides, competitors and members of leisure clubs). It would be necessary to arrive at a collaboration between the two associations, which is not won in advance!
Rafting has developed all over the world over the years, connected to several territories with particular differences. What could be the result of a world union? What are the potential benefits of the resulting structure, both agonistically and commercially?
It is obvious that the development of our sport has every interest in being done in collaboration between all the nations. It is a long time ago between the 1990s when the Russians built crazy rafts to descend the crazy rivers of Siberia and today when an international collaboration makes it possible every day to innovate for the good of all, both in terms of equipment and Security.
As in all sports, competition brings innovations which are then taken up by the industry. On the other hand, the meeting between nations makes it possible to get to know each other better, to exchange ideas and ultimately to create a large family of lovers of nature and living waters.
What do you think of the WRF innovations in the rafting world?
We are in favour of Para-Rafting and we totally support this inclusive category. Furthermore, since our sport can take place in the same slalom pools as those created for canoeing and with very similar rules, I think we will benefit from this new adventure and the two sports, rafting and canoe, can learn from each other.
WRF being a member of the International Canoe Federation ICF, which is itself a member of the IOC, made our membership confident.
WRF President Danilo Barmaz declared "We are satisfied about the ongoing path of the WRF movement, this important step confirms us that we are moving forward and in the right direction. I warmly thank Mr Weber and the Swiss movement, on behalf of the Federation that I have the honor to represent, for the willingness and effort that they are putting in this new path, and I look forward to seeing them at our events".
WRF is proud to announce the new partnership agreement with Aquadesign, becoming the latest addition to the prestigious group of Official WRF Partners.As Official WRF Partner, Aquadesign will be present at and involved in all World Rafting main events including the 2022 Junior & U23 World Championships in Zubin Potok, Kosovo (25-31 July 2022) and the 2023 Senior World Championships in Valtellina, Italy (26 June - 2 July 2023).
WE ARE VERY PROUD AND EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THE SIGNATURE OF OUR NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH AQUADESIGN. AQUADESIGN IS A GLOBAL LEADER IN OUR SECTOR AND IT IS CURRENTLY ONE OF THE STRONGEST TEAM IN THE WORLD WHICH MAKES THIS PARTNERSHIP A PERFECT FIT. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTINUING OUR SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP AND TO SUPPORTING THE NATIONAL FEDERATIONS IN THEIR FUTURE SUCCESSES THANKS TO THIS AGREEMENT.
DANILO BARMAZ , WRF PRESIDENT
Aquadesign was one of the official partners of the 2021 Senior World Championships held in L-Argentière-la-béssée in France
As part of the agreement, Aquadesign will provide with new rafts to WRF, manufactured according to WRF Sport Rules.
The special price for the "race raft" by Aquadesign is 920,00 Euro (+VAT): orders can be made by contacting
For Aquadesign this important partnership will allow a strategic expansion of its brand recognition internationally by organisation with the world’s top rafting events that are followed by significant global audiences.
On 13rd January the President of the Comité Olimpico Peruano, Dr Renzo Vitto Fabrizio Manyar Velazco certified that "the Peruvian Canoeing Federation is the representative of the rafting discipline in the country as a national sports representative for the fulfillment of the international agreements assumed between the International Canoeing federation and the World Rafting Federation.
In addition the President of the Peruvian Canoeing Federation, Sr. Jorge Tàvara Mariàtegui certified the full membership with WRF, taking the opportunity to express "my special consideration and esteem".
Whitewater rafting on Rio Chili
The incredible variety of freshwater Perù varies from the enormous drainage basin of the Amazon river and the whitewater rivers like Rio Chili and Urubamba that, flowing from the Andes Mountains towards the Pacific Ocean, create a natural paradise for rafting.
"I am honored to welcome this beautiful country in our community and I lood forward to develop positive sinergies with this amazing rafting reality." WRF President declared.
Rio Urubamba, that runs through the Sacred Valley of Incas
In 2020, Peace and Sport was eager to reward individuals and organizations that have continued to use sport to serve communities and to promote peace through best practices in sport. Despite challenging times, sport remained essential to promote values such as respect, unity and solidarity.
In 2021, Sport for Development and Peace actors kept playing a fundamental role in bringing hope and courage to the most vulnerable communities. To conclude this year of inspiring stories and concrete and ambitious field actions, Peace and Sport organised the second edition of the Peace and Sport digital Awards and reward outstanding initiatives. Through the Awards we have the opportunity to discover different peace-through-sport practices, while behind the Awards, there are committed change makers who are making a real difference in their communities.
Last March WRF singed a partnership with Peace and Sport and immediately decided to take part to the 6th April initiative: on this day we celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and WRF decided to follow Peace and Sport raising the WhiteCard. As a reference to the yellow and the red card in the sporting world, the #WhiteCard invites not to punish but to promote peace.
3 months later we had the opportunity to be back together after the challenging time due to the Covid-19 outbreak: at the World Rafting Championship in L’Argentière-la-Bessée, in the French Alps, 226 rafters from 19 countries met the Peace and Sport Champion forpeace Marlène Harnois, taekwondo Olympic medalist and, who shared her story and explained the WhiteCard symbol to the athletes.
We know that this is only the beginning of a fruitful joint path between WRF and PS and we hope that this award is one of the first steps of a common growth, bearing in mind that behind the Awards, there is positive change through sport!
Today Peace and Sport, after the launching of the Peace and Sport Awards 2021 held by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, announced that WRF is officially the winner of “April6 Initiative of the Year”. On the podium the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cape Verdean Olympic Committee.
The WRF President declared:
“Sport does not only bring entertainment and physical health. It is a transversal engine of society. It is a tool for social inclusion that teaches us the values and the beauty of difference. Sport empowers the individual and the society in an exponential way. I warmly thank all the people sustaining Peace and Sport for the daily commitment they put in their activities, for a better world. On the other side I thank the World Rafting people who took part in this project, everyone who raised the WhiteCard with us, from the 6th April initiative to the World Championship, and took part in this project. We are honoured to receive this Award, especially after the recently signed partnership with Peace and Sport in March: in a few months we proved that our values are concrete and I am proud of the WRF movement”
On 6th April 5 WRF athletes shared their different and unique stories raising this powerful symbol, spreading awareness all around the world.
We grow together: Nicole Plagemann paddling in a mix team
The World Rafting Federation introduced the mix teams format to promote gender equality, through the dynamic and strategic RX discipline: 2 women and 2 men choose their position on the raft depending on the specific abilities of the team; rafting requires collaboration in decision making, therefore the athletes improve the consciousness of the peculiar strength and techniques of every teammate, giving birth to a new dimension of balance.
“ When we paddle in a mix rafting team we celebrate differences and we give birth to a new perspective for every teammate, discovering the river from another viewpoint and, consequently, new parts of ourself. Inclusion make us lean together taking the sport to another level. We discover the river from another viewpoint and, consequently, new parts of ourself.”
Always moving forward: Para-Rafting for Massimiliano Giandinoto
Rafting as a team sport is a tool for social inclusion. Para-Rafting teams display the combination of 2 normo and 2 para athletes: they chose the positions on the raft depending on the complementary abilities of every teammate who therefore discovers her/his potential and improves the strengths.
“When we are on the same boat we break boundaries, we build bridges and we paddle under them in search of adventure. I consider every day as a challenge since my foot has been amputated. When I am paddling with my team, I feel part of something bigger than me. The river makes me feel alive and free: you can choose your line in the rapids while you always move forward.”
Sport is the best teacher: Davide Marcolini and youth empowerment
The values and the dynamics we learn as children are a solid starting point for our viewpoint in life. That is why sport should be a fundamental part of our childhood. Youth empowerment is the empowerment of society, because youth is the foundation of future.
“I started paddling when I was 8 because my dad is a rafting guide. The river teaches us the respect that we owe to nature and the importance of teamwork. We have to learn to cooperate and create a balance on the raft and I am lucky for my early approach to the sport. The values we learn in the river follow us on the ground and in the everyday life: mental and physical strength, planning, adrenaline and respect are the most important things that this sport taught me; and sport is the best teacher.”
The right moment is now: Rebeca Fernandes strengthening the female gender
The ultimate goal is to assist in removing barriers preventing women from participating in sport at all levels. The World Rafting Federation is supporting women empowerment and gender equality from athletes, to technicians, guides and administration. We are all different and we are all unique: this has to become a power.
“The right moment for the strengthening of the female gender is now.
The sport and its proposed methods of qualification were developed by male gender majority: I opened a training rafting centre for women where they can feel welcome to develop their own techniques and skills without physical and moral harassment for simply having different anatomy and equipment that do not favour their practices.”
We are all in the same boat: Nikita Zhuravlev and the passion for rafting
The passion that river people share leads to an incredible intercultural understanding. Rafting guides, technicians and athletes, with the support of the World Rafting Federation, learn to cooperate and look forward, with the aim to transform the differences into strength and a starting point for a positive and productive confrontation. Rafting as a team sport is a perfect platform to increase a global cooperation and raise awareness about its benefits.
“The respect we learn from the river makes us similar to each other. I feel more similar to someone doing rafting on the other side of the world than to people I see everyday in the city. That’s the unique power of our sport: we are all in the same boat.
We one big common passion that transforms all the small differences into strength and opportunities.”
You can join the discussion about who should win the awards by using the hashtag
#WorldRafting #WRFamily #WorldRaftingAwards
UNIQUE AWARDS TO MARK A DIFFICULT YEAR OF SPORTWorld Rafting is delighted to announce the nominees for the World Rafting Athletes & Coach of the Year 2021.
The World Rafting Awards will recognise athletes who have performed at the highest level across the year, taking into account not only the Senior World Championships, but also the national events."The Awards will celebrate the achievements of sportsmen and women and their impact on society - Danilo Barmaz, WRF President said - We do recognise that rafters in some parts of the world faced greater challenges than others in accessing international competition this year".
Voting procedure for 2021 World Rafting Athletes & Coach of the Year 2021
The World Rafting Family and fans can vote online via the World Rafting website and platform.
Voting will close on 31 January 2022.
The best Athletes and Coach of the Year will be announced on 10 February.
The finalists are:Matias Maximiliano Cordero (ARG) Pedro Aversa (BRA) Zeno Martini (ITA) Cyril Audoit (FRA) Sebastián Chacon (COL) Marko Manojlović (MNT) Luka Palčič (SLO) Franco Javier Gomez Rodriguez (CHI) Isaac Camilleri Liberto (MLT) Ivo Kisyakov (BUL) Geri Spathara (ALB) Nikita Zhuravlev (RUS) Viktor Kveták (SVK) Aydin Aksoy (TUR) Manuel Bufalino (BEL)
The finalists are:Louise Grigny (FRA) Zoya Karadachka (BUL) Nina Šuchová (SVK) Francesca Leonardi (ITA) Jenita Gobel (NRD) Nicole Plagemann (CHI) Deniz Dinler (TUR)
The finalists are:Rodrigo Toledo (CHI) Massimo Giandinoto (ITA) Benjamin Pillerault (FRA) Riccardo Novella (ITA)
The finalists are:Savaş Izmirli (TUR) Tomislav Crnković (HRV) Freddy Hernando Merchan (COL) Andrea Gatti (ALB) Medhi Deguil (FRA) Paolo Benciolini (ITA) Rastislav Zbořil (SVK) Simon Bobnar (SLO)
On 12th November the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) General Assembly elected Ivo Ferriani as its President representing the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF).
“I am very honoured to have been elected as President of GAISF. The COVID-19 pandemic has truly demonstrated how sport is a force for good. I am therefore proud to have this opportunity to work with the global sports community to promote the power of sport and to achieve our common goal of a better world through sport. I am very much looking forward to bringing my sporting experience to serve all GAISF’s Members, Associate Members and Observers, and to support them over the next two years.”
Mr Ferriani begins his term as President immediately and will serve a two-year mandate, congratulating the outgoing President Raffaele Chiulli.
Ivo Ferriani is an IOC Executive Board member since 2018, sport director, former professional bobsledder (and former river guide).
He is the President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) since 2010, IOC Member since 2016 and President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) since 2020.
At the beginning of his sporting career he practiced football, athletics, kayak and rafting, before pursuing his professional career as bobsledder: in 1988 he competed at the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada, as two-man bob pilot.
We have no doubt that Mr Ferriani will do his best as GAISF President, concretely improving the sports world and supporting sport for all with transparency, that is a fundamental part of Good Governance.
WRF President Danilo Barmaz declared: “WRF community would like to congratulate Mr Ferriani: it is the latest award granted to an amazing and person, who loves the sport and is committed to it with a 360 degree view. He is a visionary thinker and he constantly teaches us, as he declared during our interview: we have to be chameleons, not dinosaurs!”
Read more about this caption! Earlier this year we interviewed Mr Ivo Ferriani: