Dear WRF Friends,

As we welcome the new year, it's time for reflection! 2023 finally marked the return to sporting normality after years impacted by the Covid pandemic. Unfortunately, our world remains in turmoil with ongoing economic, social crises, and persistent wars, making it challenging to foster dialogue and sports. Yet, we persist in organizing and participating in sports, hoping to contribute, albeit modestly, to the cause of peace.

I'm here to share the remarkable events of this year, filled with satisfaction for all of us. From a sporting perspective, alongside various national and international championships, our senior World Championship stood out as the highlight of the year!

The event, hosted in the stunning Valtellina valley in the Alps near Milan, on the Swiss border, was a tremendous success. We extend immense gratitude to Mr. Benedetto Del Zoppo, the Italian President, and his rafting company for the impeccable organization. The event received substantial public and media attention, and the weather favored us greatly!

However, the true measure of success lies in the participation: 32 nations, with over 90 teams competing. In the annals of rafting history, these numbers are unprecedented. Notably, the youth component in these teams is significant. Countries like Japan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Italy showcased exceptional performances, amid a rising competitive standard. The margin between podium contenders and others is narrowing, emphasizing the sport's increasing competitiveness.

Africa's presence with teams from Morocco, and delegations from Uganda and Senegal, underscores our movement's global representation. Major sporting institutions have recognized and admired the high level attained by our events. I'd like to acknowledge the Czech Republic, a pivotal nation in the river world, whose expertise has contributed significantly to our progress.

This recognition is well-deserved by the WRF team for their unwavering dedication and passion to the rafting movement. While there's room for improvement and corrections, our enthusiasm and status as a continuously evolving laboratory keep us optimistic. Recent board decisions have embraced numerous alterations and enhancements, always considering the feedback from our base.

Gratitude extends to our volunteers, young media handlers, judges led by Stefan Purjakov, and Massimo Desiati, who leads the sports movement with remarkable competence and passion. Kudos to the coaches for sharing their knowledge, all the athletes, disabled participants who bring immense sporting satisfaction, and everyone contributing to spreading joy.

On the training front, significant innovations have been greenlit concerning workshop conduct and methods. Alex Aitken joining the coordination managed by Alejandro Buzzo has formed a group of approximately 30 experienced instructors, all eager to contribute their river expertise. In the upcoming developments, crucial information and a dedicated team will spearhead the execution of River Guide workshops, courses, and exams worldwide, adhering to WRF regulations and in collaboration with the National Federations. This initiative aims to provide many individuals with the opportunity to benefit from the WRF Training Programme associated advantages.

Our commitment to environmental sustainability and gender equality remains unwavering. Initiatives like the WhiteWater Wonder Woman community project, led by our vice-president Blerina Ago and Blendina, continue to grow, addressing crucial issues in women's sports. The "Bee a Rafter" project supporting bees, essential for the global ecosystem, encourages everyone to purchase a hive from We've also aided the establishment of the Vjosa national wild river park in Albania and seek support for our Bulgarian friends to preserve the "Kresna Gorge."

Our continental boards are making strides: South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, all progressing steadily. Special thanks to the ICF and other international sports organizations for their belief in us and their unwavering support.

Lastly, my heartfelt thanks to our incredible General Secretary Matteo Benciolini, the Executive Board, the Board of Directors, Continental Councils, National Federations, judges, and all our commissions. Their commendable work, driven purely by passion, earns my utmost respect. We deliberate, produce, make mistakes, all while striving to serve the interests of the great rafting family. I wish you a joyous holiday season, surrounded by the love of family and friends. 

Danilo Barmaz

Join the World of Rafting



Logo Peace and Sport EN transparent Global Esports Federation Logo External GCA Horizontal RGB web Fair Play GSAlogo 3in logo IFSO SandSI logo SFE horizontal logo CMYK 2019 blue TAFISA logo icce 600px UNFCCC logo.svg
All right reserved
©2019 World Rafting Federation

Booking system and web development by:
Back to Top