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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 interviewed Mr. Ferriani on the basis of Good Governance and he expressed his opinion on the current worldwide situation.
President Ferriani, what is your definition of Good Governance?
First of all we should not talk about Good Governance but Governance itself. “Good” is one of the properties of Governance, probably the only underlying principle, the adjective that characterise all of its aspects, if they are properly applied.
Many people think about Governance as a goal, that is the reason why it is often combined with “Good”.
Governance is not an objective to be achieved, but a continuous process and a way of acting.
It implies awareness and respect, of oneself and the others: (Good) Governances begins with self-governance. Taking care of ourself improves our consciousness and leads us to imagine a different world, seeing the potential of the one we where we live now.
Everyday there is an opportunity for everyone to be seized, from the athletes to the Presidents. We always have the chance to imagine a better version of ourself, but if we want to realise it we need to figure out the real potential and channel our energies.
In a global dimension like the federations entities, we should not waste the world force, but take advantage of the different viewpoints, building projects with sustainability and transparency.
(Good) Governance is a matter of courage and patience: it means shaping and protecting our own evolution. This process requires self-imposed rules and in a community these rules have to be common and shared, in order to be respected by all means.
Finally, the (Good) Governance is about quality rather than quantity and the age should not be considered directly proportional to (good) experience: the potential of young people is not a future opportunity, but a current chance. Therefore, despite the top-down direction of Governance, the core of a sport movement are the athletes.
What is the rule of the athletes concerning (Good) Governance? What is the general lesson from the sports practice?
Athletes, as I said, are the core of every association, federation and sports organisation: no athletes mean no Presidents. They are the sport. They have to be aware of the organisations’ movement, considered and included in the decision-making not as receivers but the starting point.
Sport teaches us to compete with ourself, to compete with others and to accept the outcome. It improves our awareness, so self-care becomes an input. Team sports are an easier example of how the governing bodies should act: “I” switches to “we”.
If I regulate myself and respect the others then the system works, like the Covid-19 masks: it is a vicious circle.
So, what is the lesson from the pandemic?
Covid-19 stopped everything. If we thought and think about it, it brought us a greater awareness and taught us not to take moment for granted. It is a problem, but like any other problem should be considered a chance to reflect: we must accept the moment and appreciate its opportunities.
We need to adapt: moving forward is always positive, but now is strictly necessary. If we consider this period as a challenge, there will be an outcome and it will be positive. Covid-19 reminds us that we need to be chameleons, not dinosaurs, bearing in mind flexibility and resilience: two principles that every athlete with passion knows very well.
Therefore, we should stop to think but not think to stop. Once the stop is passed we will re-start: will the new beginning be slow or fast?
It will be fast: people need to feed the soul as well as the body.
New objectives will be established and the hope will be able develop. We are all missing sports moments, now more than ever, because sport represents expression and aggregation, that through the body free the mind.
The sport flame will reignite and I will do my best to contribute, so remember that the flame is not extinguished: it is just ember, waiting to burn again.
We warmly thank Mr. Ferriani for the approachability he has shown and the support he is giving to our community since the beginning.
Finally, paraphrasing the President’s words, we leave you with a question, that is not “Why is this happening to us?” but rather “What is this teaching us?”.
“We are all in the same boat. Oceans, lakes, rivers, it is all water. Water binds us together. WRF always feels the responsibility to consider the protection of the environment when organising and promoting its activities. We undertake to be an active member of this project, that has a lot in common with ours”.
With these words the WRF President voices his enthusiasm for the recently signed a partnership with Surfrider Foundation Europe.
It is a non-profit organisation whose purpose is to protect and showcase the importance of water all around Europe, being part of the worldwide Surfrider Foundation. For almost 30 years, Surfrider Foundation Europe has been taking action as a recognised authority in different levers of action: education and awareness, political advocacy and scientific and legal expertise, spreading the issues of marine litter, water quality, public health, coastal management and climate change.
The Founder of Surfrider Foundation Europe Tom Curren writes “At the very beginning we were just 5 or 6 people sitting around a table, asking ourselves why Surfrider Foundation didn’t exist in France. Like everywhere else, there were water quality issues. Surfers taking part in competitions used to fall ill, and we weren’t realizing why back then.
We decided to establish Surfrider Foundation Europe in 1990, coinciding with the Menakos surf comp’ in Spain. More than 25 years later, I’m very pleased to witness the amount of progress achieved by the teams who took great care to conserve the project’s values and original spirit while developing a solid expertise”.
The rafting community lives surrounded by nature and through the river we realise its delicate balance. If we really enjoy it we have to learn how to protect it and this is a good starting point.
After the long wait due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 is finally here and so it's the sport calendar.
Keeping our eyes on the WRF World Rafting and Para-Rafting Championships 2021 - scheduled in France starting on June 28th, every nation now is working, following all the safety protocols, organizing national races where possible.
Despite the major events that dominate the sports scene remain uncertain all the federations are working nationwide to guarantee their athletes 365 days of sport! We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to follow the rules and pay maximum attention; a strong sense of responsibility is needed to allow these events to happen!
Costa Rica inaugurated the new year with the National Championships held last weekend. Following the schedule then the next races will take place in India, Bulgaria and Brazil!
Stay connected with #WorldRafting for more.
2021 Calendar is available here!
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
January 27th 1945: the survivors of the Auschwitz extermination camp were freed from the horror of the holocaust, after 1.1 million people lost their lives in the camp's gas chambers or from starvation and disease.
Memory that in recent times our world seems to have lost, showing a reality in which more and more walls are erected, in which the finger is pointed at who is different, at who is in difficulty, at who comes from afar.
A period that looks increasingly dark, made of fear and closures. The same ones that, during the period before the Second World War, then led to attitudes of intolerance and racism culminating in the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against many men, women and children.
This day should serve precisely to make us understand that that tragic event, made up of so many stories and so many people, of loves, fears and tragically broken lives is not so far from us, from our age, from our daily life in which intolerance, anger and hatred are the masters showing an increasingly ignorance.
On January 27th 1945, when the gates of Auschwitz were definitely closed, the world swore that progress and culture no longer allowed so much evil and so much suffering, but the truth is that we all still need to study, to answer today's questions and remember and assimilate those values that must be handed down to new generations to teach them not to forget.
We all play a sport that believe in the Olympic Spirit and its values have greater responsibilities because we have the power to unite people and speak to young people in simple and understandable language, giving hope, overcoming racial barriers and all kinds of discrimination. Let's not forget it.
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.