The entry of Switzerland in WRF has been an enormous result for our community, since they has a lot of river experience and is an active movement.
President Angerlo Sanna, who cooperated from Switzerland in signing the WRF membership, answered three questions by the WRF.
We are convinced that collaboration between small and large federations can create positive synergies in both directions: how do you see our movement in the years to come? What are you expecting at your national level?
In Switzerland, everything remains to be done. If rafting is well known commercially, the rivers being particularly suitable for the practice of this activity, there is very little experience in competition. All the guides are professionals of the commercial branch who do not want to lose days of wages to participate in competitions that bring only glory but nothing financially.
The aim of our Federation is therefore to create rafting clubs throughout Switzerland focused on leisure or slalom and downhill competition. To achieve this, these sports clubs must be financially supported by their canton. A lot of money is available for sport thanks to Loterie Romande for the French-speaking part of Switzerland, while for the Swiss-German-speaking regions and Swiss-Italian regions, the Swisslos lottery is involved.
The second problem in Switzerland is that rafting is headed by two associations: one, the Swiss Outdoor Association SOA is a multi-sport association whose members are commercial rafting companies. The other, the Swiss Rafting Federation SRF is a Federation of people (guides, competitors and members of leisure clubs). It would be necessary to arrive at a collaboration between the two associations, which is not won in advance!
Rafting has developed all over the world over the years, connected to several territories with particular differences. What could be the result of a world union? What are the potential benefits of the resulting structure, both agonistically and commercially?
It is obvious that the development of our sport has every interest in being done in collaboration between all the nations. It is a long time ago between the 1990s when the Russians built crazy rafts to descend the crazy rivers of Siberia and today when an international collaboration makes it possible every day to innovate for the good of all, both in terms of equipment and Security.
As in all sports, competition brings innovations which are then taken up by the industry. On the other hand, the meeting between nations makes it possible to get to know each other better, to exchange ideas and ultimately to create a large family of lovers of nature and living waters.
What do you think of the WRF innovations in the rafting world?
We are in favour of Para-Rafting and we totally support this inclusive category. Furthermore, since our sport can take place in the same slalom pools as those created for canoeing and with very similar rules, I think we will benefit from this new adventure and the two sports, rafting and canoe, can learn from each other.
WRF being a member of the International Canoe Federation ICF, which is itself a member of the IOC, made our membership confident.
WRF President Danilo Barmaz declared "We are satisfied about the ongoing path of the WRF movement, this important step confirms us that we are moving forward and in the right direction. I warmly thank Mr Weber and the Swiss movement, on behalf of the Federation that I have the honor to represent, for the willingness and effort that they are putting in this new path, and I look forward to seeing them at our events".