Mr Alex Aitken, born in Scotland, discovered the river world at only 10 years old. From kayaking to safety, from katarafts to rafting, he begun his adventure in Africa at 17.

Since he paddled Kenya’s rivers, he felt something different. “I had never imagined it before: hundreds of native kids and farmers following us, running on the shores while the river crosses small villages. I discovered a new meaning of exploring. The river has always something new and different to show you and if you embrace it, it becomes a part of you.”

 

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Over the past 35 years, Mr Aitken has travelled to lead expeditions in more than 55 countries, setting high standards in guide training and river running. He designed itineraries to remote places, totally off the beaten track together with river gurus.

“In Africa you find yourself in the real wildwater, untouched by humans, among wild animals and local tribes that remind you the beauty of the authentic, everyday.”

 

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In a continent where the river brings people together in the truest sense, rafting can connect communities from the bottom. Mr Aitken keeps exploring African rivers every year and his line is now regularly crossing the World Rafting movement.

In the last 2 years he helped with the organisation of 2 guide courses in Morocco hosted by the Federation Royale Marocaine de Canoe Kayak and the support of the WRF African Council: precious weeks where he put a lot of effort in raising and spreading the awareness of technique and safety in river navigation, bearing in mind the importance of river cleaning on a community level.

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At the moment WRF is cooperating with the national federations from Morocco, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya with the aim to organise the first African Rafting Championship ever: a meeting point for different viewpoints that can lead to a shared line in terms of river running that can benefit everyone: “An international event would be a good step for the movement and the idea to host it this year is becoming a plan" WRF President Danilo Barmaz declared.

WRF is constantly working to maintain a common line worldwide, both on the recreational and agonistic fields. Mr Barmaz added: “Competitions and events are not only about precious seconds and gold medals, but an opportunity to discover different approaches to the same topic that can improve our global awareness as a river community. Also, it is always a chance to challenge ourself to track our best line in every field we find ourself in.”

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