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After the 2020 agonistic season that has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are all trying to overcome this rough period. A good starting point is Good Governance, a collaborative process of decision-making. Mr. José Perurena López answered our questions, focusing on his view on Good Governance through the implementation of decisions in international organisation.
Mr. José Perurena López is a former Olympian from Spain; he competed in the 1968 Mexico Olympics as a sprint canoeist. He is the President of the International Canoe Federation since 2008 and the President of the International World Games Association since 2014. In 2011 he became a member of the International Olympic Committee and he supports the WRF development from the beginning. (Spanish version below)
President Peruena, according to your experience, what is the Good Governance in sport? What does it mean to the athletes?
First of all, it is fundamental to bear in mind that the good governance is essential for the future of every sport; nowadays the society would not accept a sport without transparence and good governance: a federation in the only hands of one president and the absolute control of him and his board are wrong, counterproductive and anachronistic. In my opinion a sport manager should not remain in office for more than three terms, otherwise the presidency has no return; indeed the International Federations that do not implement the good governance have no future.
The central core of good governance are the athletes. It is one of the main objectives of the IOC Agenda 2020: the athletes must be present in every governing body of the International Federations, bearing in mind their rights and duties.
Why should it be necessary to apply such principles at this time?
Because the society demands and needs these principles. Our lifestyle is changing, the sport activity is often included in the daily life. This demand comes from the social nets, the media and the resulting increase of interest from the athletes who ask for a more direct control of their activities. It is therefore necessary that good governance and transparency play a key role in every organisation, including the sport federations.
What is a National Sport Governing Body (NGB) in sport? What is the hierarchical organisation of sports at the national level?
We have to specify that national federations are the governing bodies of international sports at the national level and are ruled by the statutes of their International Federations; therefore, they have to implement good governance and transparency plans on the local territory.
For a national federation to be a member of an International Federation, it must be a single association recognised by the Government of the country or by its National Olympic Committee.
Which organisations should be recognised by International Federations? Do you think that countries which do not have a NGB should have the right to vote for the governing bodies of worldwide federations?
International Federations are independent and autonomous organisations that have their own statutes and all the National Federations that want to join have to be subject to their standards. Therefore, only the National Federations that are recognised by their Governments or National Olympic Committee and are oriented exclusively to sports practice can be recognised.
I believe that National Federations that do not comply with the statutes of International Federations should be separated from all the international activities until they adapt to them, either due to pressure from their associates or their Government: the most important thing for a sport worldwide is its independence.
The International Federations are independent organisation with their own rules; these rules are mandatory for all the National Federations under their umbrella and the International Federations, in turn, are subject to the statutes of the organisations to which they are affiliated, such as GAISF and IOC; therefore if good governance has been developed by these organisations, international federations have to adapt to their statutes, including good governance and transparency.
Does implementing a range of good governance principles positively affect organisational performance? How?
Yes of course, it affects directly. GAISF is working on a directive with regard to the implementation of good governance in every international federation. We have deadlines to adapt to our statutes and those who do not implement good governance will not be accepted by GAISF: it is fundamental for an International Federation to include good governance in its statutes in order to be recognised by worldwide organisations like GAISF. It is an ambitious process, perhaps the biggest challenge for GAISF, but if we want to maintain the unity and the independence of the sport worldwide, International Federations must have clear rules of good governance; most of us are working to implement these rules within the deadlines marked by GAISF.
What are the biggest challenges for sports in the coming years?
In these times of pandemic it is difficult to talk about the challenges of sport in general; the greatest challenge is to overcome this pandemic. All International Federations canceled most of the 2020 events, and our aim is to get back to regularly organise events so that athletes from around the world can compete and express their ability.
I believe that the greatest challenge is to recover and help the athletes, Clubs and National Federations: this will be the great challenge of the International Federations, we have to find how to help our affiliates, there are countries that have been devastated by the pandemic and we have the obligation to help them.
What would you like to say to the rafting community about the new year 2021?
May we continue working on the development of our rafting world; you have a magnificent sport, with a splendid future, where recreational and sports activities are combined very well. I am sure that in a short time you will be recognised by GAISF and we will often see rafting in international competitions in the five continents.
¿Presidente, qué es la buena gobernanza en el deporte? ¿Qué importancia tiene para los deportistas?
Tenemos que tener claro, que la buena gobernanza es imprescindible para el futuro del deporte; en estos tiempos, la sociedad no entendería un deporte sin transparencia ni buena gobernanza, hoy no se entiende un Presidente con una junta directiva que tenga un control absoluto y no de cuenta de sus actuaciones; en mi opinión, un dirigente deportivo no debe de estar mas de tres mandatos, además, este proceso no tiene retorno, las Asociaciones Internacionales que no implanten la Buena Gobernanza no tienen futuro.
El núcleo central de la buena gobernanza son los deportistas, es unos de los objetivos principales de la Agenda 2020 del COI, los deportistas tienen que estar en todos los órganos de gobierno de las Federaciones Internacionales, los deportistas tendrán claro sus derechos y sus obligaciones.
¿Por qué debería ser necesario aplicar tales principios en este momento?
Porque la sociedad lo demanda; estan cambiado nuestros modo de vida, la actividad deportiva esta inmersa en nuestra vida diaria, esta demanda viene de las redes sociales, los medios de comunicación y también porque los atletas piden un control mas directo de sus actividades, por eso la buena gobernanza y la transparencia son necesarias en todas las organizaciones incluidas las deportivas.
¿Qué es un organismo rector nacional (NGB) en el deporte? ¿Cuál es la organización jerárquica de los deportes a nivel nacional?
Tenemos que entender que las federaciones nacionales, son los órganos de gobierno del deporte internacional a nivel país y se rigen por los estatutos de sus Federaciones Internacionales, por lo tanto, tienen que implementar a nivel nacional los planes de buena gobernanza y transparencia.
Para que una federación nacional sea miembro de una Federación Internacional tiene que ser una única asociación reconocida por el Gobierno del país o por su comité Olímpico del Nacional.
¿Qué organizaciones deberían ser reconocidas por las federaciones internacionales?
Las Federaciones Internacionales son organizaciones independientes y autónomos que tienen sus propios estatutos y todas las federaciones nacionales tienen que estar subordinadas a los mismos, por lo tanto, solo pueden ser reconocidas las federaciones nacionales que estén reconocidas por sus Comité Olímpicos Nacionales o Gobiernos y sus actividades tienen que ser orientadas exclusivamente a la practica deportiva.
¿Cree que los países que no tienen un NGB deberían tener derecho a votar por los órganos rectores de las federaciones mundiales?
Creo que las Federaciones Nacionales que no cumplan con los estatutos de las Federaciones Internacionales deben de ser separadas de toda actividad internacional hasta que se adapten a los mismos, sea por presión de sus asociados o de su Gobierno, lo mas importante del deporte mundial es su independencia.
Las Federaciones Internacionales somos organizaciones independientes que tenemos nuestras propias reglas, reglas que son de obligado cumplimento por todas las Federaciones Nacionales, y también nosotros estamos sujetos a las reglas y estatutos de las organizaciones a las que estamos afiliados como GAISF y IOC, por lo tanto, si la buena gobernanza ha sido desarrollada por el IOC y GAISF, las Federaciones internacionales tenemos que adaptar nuestros estatutos para incluir la buena gobernanza y la transparencia.
¿La implementación de una variedad de principios de buen gobierno afecta positivamente el desempeño organizacional? ¿Cómo?
Si claro, afecta directamente, GAISF esta trabajando en una directiva sobre la implantación de la buena gobernanza en todas las Federaciones Internacionales, tenemos unos plazos para adaptar nuestros estatutos, y aquellas que no implementen la buena gobernanza quedaran fuera de GAISF y sobre todo, las Federaciones Internacionales que quieran ser reconocidas por GAISF tienen que incluir en sus estatutos la buena gobernanza.
Es un proceso ambicioso, quizás el mayor reto para GAISF, pero si queremos mantener la unidad del deporte mundial y su independencia, las Federaciones Internacionales tenemos que tener unas normas claras de buena gobernanza, la mayoría estamos trabajando para implementar estas normas dentro de los plazos marcados por GAISF.
¿Cuáles son los mayores retos del deporte para los próximos años?
En estos tiempos de pandemia es difícil hablar de retos del deporte, el mayor reto será superar esta pandemia, todas las Federaciones Internacionales hemos cancelado las mayorías de los eventos del 2020, y nuestro ADN es organizar eventos para que los atletas de todo el mundo, donde puedan competir y demostrar su capacidad.
Creo que el mayor reto es recuperar y ayudar a los atletas, Clubs y Federaciones Nacionales, este será el gran reto de las Federaciones Internacionales, tenemos que buscar como ayudar a nuestros afiliados, hay países que han quedado devastados por la pandemia y tenemos la obligación de ayudarlos.
¿Tiene algún mensaje para la comunidad de rafting para el nuevo año 2021?
Que WRF siga trabajando por el desarrollo del rafting mundial, ustedes tienen un magnifico deporte, con un futuro espléndido, donde se conjugan muy bien las actividades lúdicas y deportivas, tengo la seguridad que en un plazo breve serán reconocidos por GAISF y veremos rafting en competiciones internacionales en los cinco continentes.
Step by step the international calendar is taking shape.
After the Covid-19 outbreak the Asian Championship planned for last October was suspended.
Everything in India was ready but nothing is gone: the resort town of Manali in the Himachal Pradesh state has to wait one year, and just for international athletes.
Indeed, the Indian Rafting Foundation will put in place its proven experience firstly organising the 14th National Championship in Manali from 24th to 28th March 2021.
Beas river flows through the Kullu valley
The race will be a springboard for the local organisation and will select the National teams for the season: we will see them in June at the World Champs in France and then “at home” paddling in Beas river again for the Continental title.
The class III+ river that rises in the Himalayas, almost 4000m above the sea level, will host its second race of 2021: WRF Asian Rafting Championship, from 6th to 10th October.
Indian team captains
Mr. Shaukat Pal Sing Sikand, Indian Rafting Foundation President, is satisfied with the Championships in March and October but that’s not all.
Many local events will be held all around India in order to increase the sport awareness among young generations and two international River Festivals in August 2021 are official for now, where also safety kayakers are invited.
From 1st to 8th August a limited number of international teams can participate in the 5th Kashmir Rafting Cup on the river Sind, in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir state.
From 19th to 22th August Ladakh River Festival, well known as one of the highest kayaking competitions, opens its doors: rafting in the namesake of modern India, the great Indus River.
The WRF’s strategic objective around gender equality calls for growing female participation at the World Championship to 50 per cent. The ultimate goal is to assist in removing barriers preventing women from participating in sport at all levels. This goal is reflected also in the introduction of the mixed category for the RX discipline.
REBECA FERNANDES, Vice President of the Associação Brasileira de Rafting, is a river lover and definitely an inspiring woman. She’s working in total agreement with our movement and she sends a letter to the Rafting World in this regard.
Through many years of experience within competitive and commercial rafting, I come to present my company Mayim Rafting training for women, who has a new proposal regarding the training and qualification for women in Rafting.
Currently I dedicate myself to teaching and to the sport. The goal is to qualify the female gender through the development and adaptation of techniques in favour of the physical anatomy of the woman, to achieve her goals faster within the rafting. In my experience, woman needs physical and emotional resistance for the daily training that the activity requires.
Currently the sport and its proposed methods of qualification were developed by male gender majority.
Sometimes the mechanics creates discomfort for women in many factors such as the minimisation due to the reduction of the chest muscles and therefore the reduction of strength. Beyond that, there is the countless cases of harassment by colleagues, bullying due to clothing or simply because they are women.
Today I, Rebeca Fernandes, can see through my 16 years within the sport and international competitions, that the right moment for the strengthening of the female gender is now. I can also see that remained in the white-water world depends not only on a different qualification process, but also on a family environment, where women 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.”
Straight forward women!
During the last months the WRF Training Guide Programme Commission worked on the structure and contents of our Training Programme, appointing its details, and shared the fundamental steps during an e-conference where National Training Responsibles and Presidents took part in November.
After the initial greetings of the WRF President Danilo Barmaz, Francesco Fiorini, WRF Sport and competitions Commission member, introduced Mr. Xavier Postiaux from Belgium and Mr. Christian Huenchuleo from Chile, responsible and member respectively of the WRF Training Guide Programme Commission, and experienced rafting guides.
Mr. Xavier Postiaux, rafting guide since 1996.
He worked and paddled on the rivers of Europe, Iceland, Russia, Nepal, Canada, Peru and Chile.
The present situation counts about 20 National Training Responsible. This pivotal figure is in charge to schedule the training of the river guide and coach on the whole national territory, to train the instructors, to guarantee the maintenance of the standards laid down by the WRF Commissions in accordance with the local structures. The National Training Responsible is also the appointed interlocutor with the WRF Training Commission, cooperating in the international fields.
The aim of the WRF concerning this issue is to rise the number of the National Training Responsible to 39, the current members of the World Rafting Federation, without replacing the local organisation but sharing experiences and knowledges that will give an input to designate strategic points. Our river world will not grow up “from above”: there are not WRF instructors, WRF guides or WRF coaches; the WRF Training Commission indeed supports the training of instructors on request from the members, providing documents, workshops and any help it can get to the National Federation. The WRF Executive Board, that monthly calls a virtual but critical meeting due to the current pandemic situation, reiterates the philosophical will to share and cooperate.
Four starting points named “WRF Center of Excellence” show the strategic significance of building a network.
Huenchuleo Christian from Chile, President of the National Federation and Co-manager of the WRF Training Programme Commission, is working on the WRF Centre at the UFRO (Universidad de la Frontera) in Pucon, where he is already an instructor and the training manager of the white water activities.
Mr. Huenchuleo Christian is also a member of the National Rafting Team.
In India, the President of the Indian Rafting Foundation Shaukat Pal Sing Sikand is preparing the Centre of Excellence that will organise the next Asian Rafting Championship: the Grajretreat Resort (Himachal Pradesh state), in the middle of the Himalayas, is ready to host a great competition on the III+ level river Beas.
WRF President Danilo Barmaz and Mr. Shaukat Pal Sing Sikand from India
In June 2021 the World Rafting Championship will be held in L’argentière La Bessée. The WRF Centre, inaugurated in February 2019, gave birth to the Agonistic Rafting in France: the first National Rafting Championship in history took place there, 3 months later.
L’Argentière La Bessée on Durance river, in the middle of the French Alps
Last, and definitely not least, Sarapiqui Paddle Sports represents the Centre of Excellence of Costa Rica. The already structured organisation is the result of the 27 years of experience in organising river adventures and will give a fundamental input to the rafting movement in Central America.
Sarapiqui Paddle Sports since 1993: exploration and education
The WRF Training Programme for River Guide and Coach is available on our website and exposes the minimum standards required for the training of instructors, river guides and coaches, analysing the double aspect of rafting: the leisure activity and the sport.
The documents about the training structure and the pathway to become an instructor are available in the “River Guide” section on the WRF website.
WRF would also like to invite who is keen on rafting and its development to take a look at our website and consider the opportunity to go forward with our movement: do not hesitate to contact us, we can support each other!
Due to the new measures introduced by the Government of Costa Rica the Pan-American Rafting Championship are cancelled.
The Continental event, previously scheduled to take place in Quepos, Puntarenas, at the beginning of December and firstly postponed to March 2021 because of the current Pandemic situation, is definitely underwritten.
Dear Presidents, Athletes, Guides, Coaches, Technicians and Rafting lovers,
we are close to the end of this tough year that changed and is still changing our society due to the Covid-19 outbreak. I hope all of you can consider it a challenge and that 2021 will bring us out, overcoming this awful human and economic situation.
First of all I would like to send a hug to everyone who has been affected personally by the virus; I also want to include the family, teammates and friends of our beloved athlete Francisca.
Secondly I’m talking about the federal situation. I congratulate all the Federations that, despite the pandemic, managed to organise National competitions and rafting events; Boris Purjakov for organising the only international race making it possible to compete in Zubin Potok. Every occasion in the river this year has been particularly precious, reminding us that we can always move forward.
The WRF structure is developing through established and new peculiar figures. I would like to thank the Secretary General, Matteo Benciolini, assisted by Francesco Fiorini, on the international administrative matters, Xavier Postiaux and Christian Huenchuleo for the Training Programme and Stefan Purjakov for the Judges.
To these are added the Communication Commission that includes our Treasurer Blerina Ago, Nadjib M. who is working on the developing of the National Federations in the African continent, Nicole Alejandra Plagemann Guzmán and Cecilia Van Arnam for her work in South America, Priti Jindal for Asia, the press officer Claudia Nani and Marco Tomasini of the Federation of “Malta Sports for All” that recently joined WRF.
A big contribute regarding the gender equality is coming from Brazil thanks to Rebeca Fernandez; our Vice-President Fikret Yardimci is working on the sustainability of public transports; our friend and member Andrey Batalov is leading the way in the Para-Rafting world from Russia.
The working group is growing and the worldwide structure is improving, taking part to several international projects regarding environmental protection and sustainability.
I am grateful to all the new figures who are helping us sharing passion and experience enriching our World Rafting Family, where every river person who want to participate is welcome.
RSportz portal just came online and will be the starting point for efficiency.
We are renewing and concluding new agreements with governing structures in training, educational and environmental fields that will produce results soon, especially the discussion of our federation for the GAISF recognition. Once again I would stress our will to cooperate with integrity as the MoU we proposed to IRF confirms, on behalf of the Good Governance we believe in.
Last but definitely not least, a big thank to the Presidents Shaukat Pal Singh Sikand and Massimo Desiati for the effort they are putting in the organisation of their Continental Champs: India and Brazil, in the hope that many other international races will follow.
Finally I confirm that France is ready to host the World Champs 2021 (every National team will be welcomed free charge)! Our colleagues from L’Argentière-la-Bessée and the French Canoe kayak Federation are already managing every detail, especially about the World Para-Rafting Champs that will be held at the same time.
I invite you to to stay tuned on https://www.worldraftingfederation.com/news
We are looking forward to be back in the river paddling all together: we wait for you, check the WRF calendar!
The final thanks goes to the WRF Board that is becoming a close-knit team, with passion and determination: friends!
Happy holidays and happy new year to the World Rafting Family!
Your friend, Danilo
Cetina river, that flows from the Dinara mountain range to the Adriatic Sea, hosted the National Rafting Championship of Croatia on 14th-15th November. A long awaited return to the river, in compliance with the local provisions concerning the current pandemic situation, crowned the athletes who will compete under the Hrvatska flag at the WRF World Champs in France and the other 2021 international competitions.
The newly-elected President of the Rafting Committee Zdeslav Karlovac congratulated the winner team from Zagreb, Končar, on the overall victory: they got the gold in every discipline, slalom, RX and downriver, totalling 300,00 points. The silver medal went to the hosting club Cetina Raft (second place in slalom and downriver, third place in RX), while Rastočki Mlinari got the bronze (finalist in RX and third place in the other disciplines).
Mr. Zdeslav Karlovac has been declared satisfied of the general results, not only with the motivated teams but also with the whole organisation Comittee’s goal is the further development of our sport, structuring the disclosure in the clubs and raising sport performances, to achieve international results in the WRF competitions and benefit the whole river movement.
From 16th to 27th November Turkish Rafting Federation is organising a successful Training Camp in collaboration with Minister of Youth & Sports of Turkey, Rize Governorship and Ardeşen Governorship.
The training camp is taking place on the shores of the Black Sea, in Ardeşen town, a district of Rize Province, focusing on the basic techniques of our water sport.
120 young rafters (U19 cathegory) and trainers from all over the country (Şırnak, Bingöl, Hakkari, Van, Ordu, Erzurum and Elazığ) are paddling everyday in R4 teams, sharing experiences and discovering and developing the rafting movement.
Athletes and trainers with international experiences are introducing dozens of young athletes to the river world.