WRF statement on Coronavirus

The WRF is receiving regular updates and advice from health experts. As reported by ICF “the virus has already caused severe disruption to sporting events around the world”, however so far canoeing and rafting program has not been impacted (read the ICF statement).

The WRF has no events scheduled in China this year.

The WRF will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic.  

The WRF encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Sport Season and take care of their health and protect others by doing the following:

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. 

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. 

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections. 


On this website (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019) you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates.


Successful meetings for Rafting development in Armenia

On 17th February the President of the World Rafting Federation Danilo Barmaz met the deputy president of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Grigoryan, in presence of the President of Armenian National Rafting Federation, Mr. Sedrak Zakaryan, the executive director of Armenian National Rafting federation, Mr. Karen Mkrtchyan, and the president of the rafting club "Noy", Mr. Vazgen Khachikyan. In the town of Alaverdi, in the northeastern part of Alaverdi the rafting development opportunities were discussed, including the opening of a new rafting center on the shores of Debed river canyon 1000 meters above sea level, surrounded by high mountains and green forests. The local authorities really appreciated our movement and the mayor of Alaverdi, Mr. Sasun Khechumyan, is considering the foundation of a rafting school there, in the future.
The good river level, surrounded by churches and historical buildings, led Mr Barmaz to a discussion about organising international competitions on Debed. 

In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, the WRF President, the Armenian Federation President Sedrak Zakaryan and the members of the board Vazgen Khachikyan and Suren Danielyan visited the Armenian University of Physical Culture and Sport, welcomed by the Rector, Mr. David Khitaryan, the Vice-rector, Mr. Gagik Sargsyan, who also represented the Armenian Ski Federation. 

The recently opened “Sport Tourism” speciality of the University started considering the possibility to include our sport, including lectures and seminars, and the opportunity to teach rafting to rescuers, that would be a mutually beneficial offer.
“I am very thankful for the warm hospitality everyone I met in Armenia offered me and I am amazed by the enormous potential of this beautiful country”.


Photo courtesy of © SPUTNIK / ARAM NERSESYAN

A major breakthrough in the training of children in Ukraine

A major project of the Ukrainian Rafting Federation was launched in the beginning of the new 2020. The main objective of the project is to promote the sport rafting among children by providing year-round training. It covers 8 cities and many schools, said Oleksandr Bakanychev, the President of the federation.

With the support of the Ministry of Education, more than 450 pupils between the ages of 10 and 15 start training rafting in physical education classes. In Kiev, 139 children train three times a week in swimming pools. Boys are 75% of those willing. Project funding of around € 50.000 is provided by sponsors. The bulk of it is for pool fees and coaches as 50% of the coaches are volunteers.

The pupils in the countryside will start training by the end of February. In a year, the state will get also involved in financing the big project. It was hard to find sponsors and convinced the people from the Ministry of education to change their programs for years because of the advantages of the sport rafting, but we managed, shared the President.

By Pavlina Michailova

Balkans are calling: Bulgaria Grand Prix, straight after Slunj

Whitewater is already calling from the Balkans: 2 months and we’ll be back in the water!

From 20th to 22th March Croatia will open the WRF season with the Euro Cup in Slunj, where Korana river flows straight into the Slunjčica, drawing the amazing waterfalls we fell in love with 2 years ago, at the first WRF event in 2018.

The beginning of the season will not stop there for many rafters: Bulgarian teams will go straight from Slunj to their National Champs, but not alone.

The Struma river will host the first Grand Prix of the World Rafting year: from 27th to 29th March Slalom, RX and Downriver will not only decide the Bulgaria's names you will meet in Solkan at the World Champs, but also inaugurate the international season for the National teams who will join the event. Every National team is warmly invited to paddle in the Kresna Gorge, where the whitewater flows from the Vitosha mountains into the 3rd level rapids of a 18 kms green natural scenario.

Continental Champs: Himachal Pradesh, India 2020

Yesterday, on 13th November 2019 the WRF President Danilo Barmaz and the Indian Rafting Federation President Shaukat Sikand, in presence of the WRF General Secretary Matteo Benciolini, signed the agreement that officially designated India as the host organizer of WRF 2020 Asian Rafting Championship. 

From 7 to 11 October 2020 the small town of Manali, in the Himachal Pradesh state, will welcome the Senior national teams of Asia for the Continental title. The Beas river will be in flood after the summer rain, guaranteeing a 3rd/4rd level of whitewater, that in autumn runs fast down the green Kullu valley. 

Shaukat Pal Singh Sikand discovered rafting in December 1984, paddling on Gange during a historical expedition on the Indian sacred river. Since then he travelled around the world, starting from Oregon (USA), becoming the first Indian to be certified as a rafter, on Rouge river, to more than 50 countries visited exploring and competing in whitewater. Mr Sikand took part to a National Geographic project in South America and since 2017 is the Race Coordinator and Director of Expedition India, an adventure racing that challenges athletes from all over the world including mountain biking, trekking, rafting, rope work and orienteering. He is now the experienced President of the Indian Rafting Federation and is already working hard for a great whitewater event, in October 2020.

Stay informed about upcoming events all the time!

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