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In early December 2018, Boris Purjakov, Vice-President of the WRF and chairman of the Serbian Rafting Federation, met with representatives of the Bulgarian rafting clubs in Sofia. He discussed the legal issues surrounding the inauguration of the newly elected BRF leadership and shared the latest developments in the WRF. After the meeting, Puriakov answered several questions:

- Mr. Purjakov, is there anytruthin the rumor that ICF has taken a step back in terms of its cooperation with the WRF?

- For the first time I hear that. Check out the photos of ICF regular congress held in November and see who is invited there as an associate member! WRF presented itself with a delegation - Mr. Danilo Barmaz (WRF President), Mr. Matteo Benciolini (WRF Secretary General) and Mr. Francesco Fiorini (WRF Strategic Cooperation Manager). At the Budapest Congress, ICF President Perurena explained to all delegates the structure of the Memorandum of Understanding between ICF and WRF, which was signed on 30th April 2018 WRF and its purpose - the development of paddlingsports and rivers.

- In Budapest was also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Canoe-Kayaking Federation?

- Yes. We expect a lot from this membership, because France is one of the European forces in the sports rowing. At the same time, they never had a national rafting federation.

- Where will the World Rafting Championships be held in 2019?

- In Spain. There are nice rivers there.

- Is Spain also a candidate for WRF membership?

- Yes.

- The Argentine Canoe Federation applied for WRF membership.

- After the IRF Event in Argentina, we have undertaken an ambitious project with FAC (Argentinian Canoe Federation) and on 27thNovember they have signed the WRF Membership. This a big step: in fact, we are also working on the development of the WRF Panamerican Council and Argentina will play a key role in it.

- Do you think it is a good idea to be a member of both organizations - IRF and WRF?

- Everyone can choose where to join. In my opinion, the worst option is to be a member of both. Because no one will support you.

- With the US and Canada, are accession negotiations?

- Yes, but we are just at a preliminary stage. I would like to draw attention to countries and people who wish to develop rafting. Like the Bulgarians - you are struggling for years to develop it and we want to support you.

I would like the new leadership of the BRF to become more quickly in power to be able to work actively with the other members of the WRF. As chairman of the Serbian rafting federation, I have a desire to make a joint project – between Croatia, Serbia, Italy and Bulgaria, but before that the Bulgarian Federation has had to solve its organizational problems.

- WRF has the idea to organize summer training camps for young hopes in rafting every year. Can such be organized in Bulgaria in 2019?

- Yes, it is quite possible and the WRF will fund the camp, send instructorsetc. The young rafters of a whole Europe will come to Bulgaria. And we hope that the new leadership of the Bulgarian Rafting federation will do its best for the success of this international event.

 

by Pavlina Michailova

 

Pavlina Michailova
is an independent journalist with main interests in tourism, green technologies, public health, sports, sustainable development. She is also a medical doctor, MSc in environmental studies, a scriptwriter of documentaries about nature protection and biodiversity. Author of “Rhino’s trace”, the first book about Zimbabwe written by a Bulgarian. Her second book “The great Cleaning”, sponsored by the European Parliament, was awarded with the Green apple for best achievement in the field of Green journalism for 2012. Editor and publisher of “My health” magazine. Pavlina Michailova has many friends and business contacts, she is a member of the Bulgarian Union of Journalists, Balkani Wildlife Society, FIJET (International Federation of Writers and Journalists writing for Tourism), Bulgarian Union of the Filmmakers.

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