11/08/2018, Rize, Turkey - Before the Turkish Super League's football match Çaykur Rizespor VS Kasimpaşa the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a meeting with the WRF Vice President and President of the Turkish Rafting Federation, Mr Fikret Yardimci, other members of the National Board and some national athletes.
The president Erdoğan was born in Istanbul in 1954 but his family is from Rize so he often visits the city. Fırtına Deresi is the big river that crosses Rize and many national athletes live and train here, between green valleys, white water and the Black Sea; so on 11th August Rize's rafters and members of the Rafting Federation met him and talked to him about the new born Turkish Federation that is now indipendent, developing and growing up.
Last year the Turkey Team had big international results: the U19 men team, took the gold at the European Championship in Borjomi (Georgia) in May and conquered the title of World Champion in Miyoshi (Japan), last October. Last April Dalaman hosted the first national race opened to international teams, so it was an important meeting for the WRF: members from eleven countries were there and met the local Governator. After the national's selections in Tunceli (one month later) the team Turkey joined the WRF Wolrd Championships 2018. 10 members of the Turkish board and 25 athletes flew to Italy and paddled waving proudly their red flag.
Erdoğan was amazed by the international results and the passion that animates young teams through hard trainings and sacrifices, so after this first short meeting he invited them to a official meeting in Ankara.
In September the Rafting crew will be received in the Presidental Palace and they will discuss about new rules of rafting, WRF activities and the Olympic project.