Rafting as a team sport, that requires essential cooperation, has the potential to be recognised at the international Olympic level.

The dynamic of our sport embodies fundamental values, that the river remind us in every moment we paddle in it.

We interviewed the IOC Member and President of the Italian Olympic Committee Mr Giovanni Malagò, starting from the definition of Good Governance that the Presidents Ferriani, Perurena and Ricci Bitti described in the previous interviews. The different viewpoints emphasised a common background that we totally approve.



Mr Giovanni Malagò with Mr Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee


President Malagò, what is you definition of Good Governance?

Sport has a universal value and its recognised importance at every level needs an increasingly managerial approach, in line with the growing needs of the practitioners and the ones who indirectly benefit from it. preparation, targeted skills and professionalism are needed, to follow the process properly, offering management quality, accordance and transparency.

The goal is to assure standards worthy of the stakeholders’ legitimate expectations.

The ASOIF guided by my friend Francesco Ricci Bitti promoted a path in the right direction in this regard, covering a fundamental point of reference for the sports organisations.


One of the innovations introduced with the WRF foundation is the mix category, with two women and two men literally on the same boat. The new dynamic requires balance between strength and technique and improves the awareness of the gender peculiarities with continuous exchange and feedback.

As we can see from Your CONI Vice-Presidents, You support the recognition of the women presence in the sports world as an added value. What is the future of women empowerment and gender equality at the international sport level in Your opinion, especially in light of the new Olympic Agenda?

I am very proud of the current feedback from the sport movement, not only from the IOC and the Olympic movement that are pointing the way forward and demonstrating their commitment concretely through several new and initiatives introduced in the five circle's technical programme.

CONI has been working in this direction for years, with concrete actions: in 2018 we decided to put in place the gender representation of 30% in the Federal Councils, the election of 4 out of 13 members of different gender, and 10 out of 28 in the National Council of the Olympic Committee. has been established last year. 

I think that the work of the President Barmaz and the WRF is moving in this direction, that is a source of pride and deserves the total sharing.

I can see a growing general awareness and new points of reference, together towards a winning future, in the sport but firstly in the civil interest.



IOC President Mr Thomas Bach


The Para Rafting discipline at the international competitions aims to improve the inclusion through the power of sport: WRF decided to do not differentiate the river sections and athletes and para athletes paddled in the same rapids at the World Championship one month ago.

President, as a IOC Member, do you think that this type of competition with inclusive dynamics can grow in the future, with the recognition of the fair value?

We see an increasingly inclusive scenario, that shows the real dimension of the sport value in its authentic meaning.

There is great great focus and consideration of themes that promote integration and the olympic world is proving it: the 2020 Agenda opened a path to a future without foreclosures, that we have to chase with innovative ideas. There are a lot of chances to be seized for the sport interest, that knows no barriers by definition: it breaks them with the power of example.



We are confident that the collaboration between small and big federations can create positive synergies in both the directions: how do you see our moment in the coming years?

The path you are following is founded on a fruitful ground, made of glad intuitions thanks to the managerial guide of President Barmaz, who I appreciate for his ability to read the situations about the development of the rafting reality in a decisive way. I am sure that the passion and sense of belonging that sustain his action represent the certain of a future as protagonists. 




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