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Another race weekend just ended with the second and last stage of the Italian National selection. The third level Avisio river in Trentino, Val di Fiemme, confirmed the athletes who will compete in France...
FFCK is one of the biggest canoe federations worldwide and in 2017 officially welcomed the rafting sport under its umbrella, becoming a WRF member.
Rafting in France is a historical discipline from the recreational and commercial point of view, but the first National Championship was held in 2019.
Since then the agonistic field is exponentially growing: next June the World Rafting Championship will see 30 Countries paddling in L’Argentière-la-Bessée on the French river Durance.
We interviewed Mr Jean Zoungrana, FFCK President since 2016.
The entry of the FFCK in WRF has been an enormous result for our federation, since France has one of the most important canoe federations worldwide. What are the reasons that prompt the FFCK to focus and invest on rafting?
Our federation obtained the delegation of the Ministry of Sports for Rafting in 2017. It is also the moment when I was elected president of the French Canoe Kayak Federation by carrying a development project for our federation which aims to develop all of our paddle sports and not just the Olympic disciplines as some federations do. I also proposed to change the name of our federation which is now a French federation of canoeing and paddling sports. Canoeing and kayaking are our historical disciplines, but since then we have had many other disciplines that have developed, one of which is rafting, and which should be recognized. Our desire to develop rafting is therefore part of a broader desire to develop all of our paddle sports in calm water, white water and sea, with our 700 clubs and our nearly 70,000 members.
What is the approach of your federation in the development of our discipline, historical from the recreational and commercial point of view, but at the same time “new” in the institutional field?
Rafting has long been developed in France as part of leisure and tourism activities. We indeed have a lot of whitewater rivers. These activities are organized by a highly developed professional sector. Until now our federation was not very open towards these structures. Here too, we have changed the federal strategy by opening up to this professional sector. These structures can become certified members of our federation and thus benefit from all our services and the defense of their activities.
The delegation of the ministry for rafting led us to develop a new dimension, the sporting dimension with the organization of the French championships, the selection of a French team, the participation in the world championships.
44 teams attended the First National Champsionship of France, 19th May 2019
Despite the first National Championship in France was held recently, almost 2 years ago, many teams participated and the level was very good. How did our sport developed over the years in France? How do you think rafting will grow from now on?
We actually organised our first French Championship in 2018 with the Provence Alpes Cotes d'Azur regional committee and its President Bruno Carlier. The development of the discipline goes from our point of view through different axes and in particular:
The establishment of a commission in charge of the Raft and of executives and elected representatives for the discipline. For the moment the raft is associated with our Freestyle commission to pool organisations. Ultimately, when the discipline is sufficiently structured and developed, an autonomous commission will make it possible to build a calendar of regional and national events, to set up training courses for judges, to adapt sports regulations. Unfortunately the Covid-19 did not allow us to develop these sports events as we would have liked.
It’s also training. In this context we have the L'Argentière-la-Bessée regional training center with its Director Didier Lafay, which has been recognised as a center of excellence by the WRF. We also have a "EuroPAddle pass" training system with skills to be developed in terms of technique, safety and the environment. In this context we have defined a color paddle progression from the white paddle which corresponds to the beginner level to the black paddle which corresponds to the expert practitioner of the discipline.
Rafting developed all around the world over the years, connected to several territories with peculiar differences. What could be the result of a worldwide union? What are the benefits of the resulting structure?
At the international level, we note that in certain disciplines, there are several federations. This is the case in Dragon Boat with ICF and IDBF, Va'a with ICF and IVF, but also for Raft. The multiplicity of federations makes things less readable. It multiplies the titles, the championships, with economic consequences which can be important for the federations to participate in the various championships. A single federation makes it possible to reduce schedules and pool organizations as much as possible. These situations require reconciliation. These require time and strategies to share the vision of the future of the discipline, the steps in the rapprochement and the agreements to be negotiated between the parties. It is not always easy, each federation having its history and its vision.
FFCK President Jean Zoungrana and WRF President Danilo Barmaz
A new channel near Paris will be built on the occasion of the 2024 Olympics, and this facility will therefore become the new headquarter of the FFCK. Considering the fact that rafting is a great tool to approach the public and make people discover the river world, what do you think about a rafting event/initiative that brings people in the river to value the river visibility before and/or after the Olympic dates?
Since 2018 we have inaugurated the Olympic and Paralympic nautical stadium of Île-de-France located in Vaires-Sur-Marne. We have installed our French teams and our federal headquarters there. Our project is to build our canoe-kayak and paddle sports house which will house the future federal headquarters at the entrance to the site. This site is one of the largest in the world dedicated to the practice of paddle sports, with its two artificial rivers for training and competitions and its lake for calm water disciplines. We will host events in many different disciplines: Rafting, why not?
What is the way to develop a positive synergy between rafting and canoe?
During the phase of discovering our paddle sports, it is important to be able to allow practitioners to discover all the supports. It’s part of a comprehensive paddle sports education. Thereafter, the athletes are led to make choices according to their physical and technical capacities. To promote the development of the discipline, one of the solutions would be to consider, in particular, joint organizations. In 2017, we organized the Slalom and wildwater world championships on the same site in Pau. Why do not we consider a championship that combines wild water with Rafting? This will make the sport grow.
WRF promotes the Olympic agenda values of Tokyo 2020 every day: sustainability, legacy and gender equality. How can these three principles be achieved and further developed through and after the Olympics?
Our federation shares these values and these orientations. Thus our federal project has three orientations: to perform during the Games but also in all disciplines, to celebrate the Games and to build our Paris 2024 heritage for the future. A material heritage in terms of infrastructure, equipment, navigation sites but also immaterial by making paddle sports accessible to all, by training our practitioners and by offering quality sports and leisure activities.
Regarding gender equality, in the last election I presented a team with equal representation of both genders. We are currently working on the evolution of our statutes so that there are at least 40% of women or men in all the bodies of our federation.
Sustainable development issues are also part of our concerns. We must fight against global warming by intervening in all our sectors of activity: transport, food, the life cycle of our equipment, waste management, in the organization of our events, etc. it is also the protection actions of our practice sites with all the cleaning operations of our rivers that our clubs carry out. Finally, it is also the defense of access to our spaces, sites and navigation routes to ensure that our users can continue to navigate safely on all sites.
What is your message to the athletes who are preparing for the World Rafting Champs?
France awaits them for this championship and is doing everything possible to ensure that they are received in the best possible conditions. The Argentière La Bessée site is a remarkable site for the practice of Rafting and offers excellent reception conditions as well as quality whitewater navigation courses with the river and the whitewater stadium. We look forward to welcome you all!
World Earth Day is the biggest environmental event dedicated to the planet and has been celebrated every year for 51 years. Founded in 1970 to sensitize the world to the importance of conserving the Earth's natural resources, in recent years it has managed to mobilize over one billion people in the 193 countries involved.
Each edition has its own theme for this year’s #EarthDay is: “Restore Our Earth” because it is true that today we celebrate our great planet, but we also wanna start a new project for its protection from threats like climate change!
Soon we will publish news - stay tuned!
ICCE President John Bales and the Board of Directors welcome WRF as a new partner.
The International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) is a not-for-profit, global organisation established in 1997 with the mission of leading and developing sport coaching globally. ICCE operates in 50 countries believing that international collaboration and exchange can accelerate positive change in the realm of coaching development and help these coaches give athletes around the world a chance to pursue excellence.
With the mission of a worldwide cooperation towards a continuous improvement WRF has developed the WRF Training Programme covering all the aspect of the rafting sport for its river guides and coaches, from recreational to competitive activities, on all class of river difficulties that can be safely run.
The aim of the Training Programme is to implement a federal worldwide system based on the competences and knowledges of the different levels of river rafting guides and coaches.
WRF share the main ICCE issues, aiming:To promote sport coaching as a profession. To promote international relationships, social and cultural, with those who are engaged in coaching education. To promote sport and sport-values. To promote and utilize research in the field of training and competition. To exchange knowledge in the field of coaching. To disseminate information about curricula, qualifying standards etc. amongst members. To co-ordinate coach education courses and resources across member countries. To promote a moral code in coaching. To improve relationships among Coach – Management – Athlete. To publish a professional publication in the field of coaching education. To encourage and to assist countries, in the field of coach education
The international mobility for rafting guides, technicians and athletes is encouraged by the rafting’s seasonality due the weather events according to the period of the year. This aspect represents a tool for a global and dynamic exchange that, with a proper structure and the mutual support of ICCE, can lead to joint benefits.
We believe that this membership is the first step of a collaborative pathway where our associations will grow and promote positive synergies among the different, unique and precious realities of the sports world.
2 days of selections officially opened the agonistic season in Italy: the 3rd level river Sesia, in the alpine valley Valsesia hosted the first stage of the National Rafting Championship 2021.
2 of the 5 disciplines that will select the athletes for the World Championship in France took place on 8th and 9th May.
Sesia gorges, Piedmont region, North Italy
The first day saw 14 gates for 2 challenging manches of Slalom: Pietro Fratton, Zeno Martini, Fabio Martini And Lorenzo Mastella of Rafting Team Verona won in the men category with 142.64 seconds, with only 3.65 seconds ahead of Sesia Rafting Team with Dario Morandi, Michele Pattoglio, Francesco Regina and Giordi Sarteur. Third place for the athletes of Tigerle - ASV Sterzing from Vipiteno with 158.55 seconds: Damiano Casazza, Robert Schifferle, Martin Unterthurner and Michael Zanella.
Rafting Team Verona
Downriver confirmed the men podium, with a close battle between the first three teams that concluded in the same position: gold for Rafting Team Verona with 24’32.30, silver for Sesia Rafting with 24’34.41 and bronze for Tigerle - ASV Sterzing with 24’43.13.
Also in the women category the steps of the two podiums saw the same teams in the same positions: Letizia Lauri, Elodie Lumignon, Gaia Mascarello and Carlotta Scalvino, Rafting Aventure Villeneuve, won the Slalom with 175.50 seconds. With 30 cents further back Martina Bonomi, Christa Gruber, Francesca Leonardi and Miriam Waldboth got the second place for Sesia Rafting-DRD4. Third place for Sara Amonini, Francesca Fontanive, Silvia Venturini and Valentina Volo, Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina River with 188.79 seconds.
Rafting Aventure Villeneuve
Downriver gave another gold to Rafting Aventure Villeneuve who stopped the chronometer at 27’03.59, followed with almost a minute of advantage by Sesia Rafting-DRD4 with 28’00.56. Another bronze for Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina River with 28’57.82.
2 Para-Rafting teams, with athletes who already participated at the World Para-Rafting Championship in Kiev 2019, paddled in the same disciplines: gold for M&N Movimento e Natura - Asd Pescantina and silver for M&N Movimento e Natura - Adda Viva.
Now all the athletes keep their eyes on the next weekend of selection (5th and 6th June) on Avisio river that, with 3 other competitions on different disciplines, will confirm or overturn the National spots for France, 2 teams per category: men, women, para and mix. 1 month and 16 days to go!
To the start of the marathon are allowed maximum 1500 boats, the registratsion begins 1-st of january at 12:00:01 am (in Estonian time) Registration runs until the 31-st of march or until 1500 boats are filled.
If your desire is to see pristine nature and spend one athletic day paddling, this is the marathon for you. 100km in one day. Remember! "You Can Do More Than You Think". Every kilometer you recall later on the sauna deck is pure pleasure. You want it over and over, it may not be right now, but it won't give you peace anymore.
WE WILL MEET May 22, 2021 in Võru.
for more: click here!
Following the project of the ICF International Canoe Federation we have created some games too for our younger rafters!
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt by all, but perhaps the most affected by the changes of this period were the kids. This is the reason why - while we all wait to be able to go back to the river to have fun we can spend some carefree moments playing these little games.Click on the files to find free activities and game to keep you entertained until you are allowed outside again. You can work online or print, share the result using our tag #WorldRafting - we would love to see the result. Tag @WorldRafting on Instagram, Facebook
We will be adding new activities regularly, so don't forget to bookmark the Rafting-Games page and come back! Click here to download: Rafting-Games
After the opening race on Rio Pejibaye in February and the second stage on Rio Pacuare at the end of March, the National Championship of Costa Rica is finally over. Sarapiquì hosted the third and final stage on Rio Puerto Viejo.
In the women category the winners of the first two races confirmed the gold, with a first place in every discipline (300 points): Chicas del Pacuare are definitely ready for France.
The second women team, who will compete in France too, is Black Mambas (270 points, 2nd place in every discipline).
The bronze in the Downriver, RX and slalom gave a third place to Open Mambas (240 points).
The overall Men category saw a harsh exchange between the first teams. Quepos won the downriver, got the 2nd place in RX and the 3rd in Slalom, ripping the top step of the podium with 268 points, after a challenging race with Volcano.
Volcano won the final knock out stage of RX, got a silver in the downriver and a 5th place in Slalom, that gave them 262 points, an Overall silver and the ticket to the World Champs, shared with the winners.
The bronze went to Hijos del Volcán, with 250 points from a 3rd place in Downriver and RX and a 2nd place in Slalom.
The National Champions are already focusing on the next big challenge: the national title is a great result as well as a starting point for the international level: four teams from Costa Rica (one more team as mix) will paddle in Durance river in less than 2 months, for the world title in France.
The world is still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic and most of us are still locked home thinking on how nice would be to do some rafting with our team, friends or family.
Trying to give you some relief we decided to tiktok-ing a bit! Are you with us? We need your support!
We will start posting videos from all over the world to give you the possibility to take some imaginary worldwide journeys with us. Everyday a new spot to discover and add to your trip list for the moment when the pandemic will be over!
The wild Costa Rica, the high Croatian waterfalls, the Grand Canyon, the crystal clear Chilean waters... send us your videos on @worldrafting!
We solemnly promise you not to ruin any kind of song by overusing it... but we can’t wait to meet you all in person again and test the skills of our expert athletes! Only -73 days to the WRF World Rafting Championships - L'Argentière-La Bessée 2021!
Every cloud has a silver lining - see you soon rafters!
April 6 was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly in 2013, creating a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
This decision represented a significant step in recognizing the transformative power of sport and its great potential in advancing positive social change.
Due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ever since its creation, many organizations and individuals have celebrated on this day the role that sport plays in society and its power to foster dialogue, understanding, social inclusion and peace.
April6 is a celebration of the work being carried out every day by sport organizations, athletes, coaches and NGOs that play a fundamental role by transmitting the educational values of sport to people of all ages throughout the world.
In the current circumstances, April6 provides the opportunity to highlight the unique power of sport in supporting people and communities to overcome the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
As a reference to the yellow and the red card in the sporting world, since 2014 a #WhiteCard is a symbol, created by the organization Peace and Sport, representing the positive power of sport for peace and social inclusion.
Every year, through the #WhiteCard campaign, Peace and Sport mobilizes the sports world as well as governments and civil society to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
The core message of the 2021 #WhiteCard campaign is “Behind each #WhiteCard, there is a story”. It seeks to highlight and draw attention to the stories of individuals and communities who have been positively impacted by sport all around the globe.
Through a #WhiteCard, each of us can advocate on the unique power of sport for social development and peace, and share a story on how sport supported us to overcome challenges.
To participate, take a picture of yourself while holding a white card, register your story on the www.April6.org platform and share it on all your social networks using the hashtag #WhiteCard and the tags @peaceandsport and @worldrafting.