A recent breakaway rafting group has caused quite a stir amongst the rafting community. Many in the rafting world are horrified that efforts have been made to splinter the strong camaraderie the IRF has built over the past 20+ years. A HUGE outpouring of support towards the IRF has been received through letters, emails and social media.
In the few hours since we issued our position letter, the IRF has received publicly endorsed support from most of the highly respected National Rafting Federations in the world, including:
- Czech Rafting Federation, New Zealand Rivers Association, National Dutch Rafting Federation, Costa Rican Rafting Association, British Rafting, US Rafting Association, FAJI (Indonesian Rafting Federation), Brazil Rafting Teams (especially the 7 times World Champions), Ukraine Rafting Federation, Australia Rafting Federation, Japan, Rafting of Belgium National Canoe Federation, Athlete’s Committee, Romania, Nepal.
- Most others have informed us they are calling directors meetings and will pledge their support shortly
- All of these rafting federations are democratically run organisations that make decisions that have been approved by their members at a Congress or Assembly, not by dictatorial decree
We urge those unsure of whether to support the IRF to consider the following:
- The IRF was created to represent and defend the interests of rafting before all national and international authorities
- The IRF facilitates the growing needs and demands of the worldwide rafting fraternity through a unified body that deals exclusively with rafting issues and factors that influence the development of rafting
- The IRF actively seeks to include everyone regardless of gender, age, race, politics, religion or sexual orientation
- Dividing the rafting world will have a long term negative effect on the sport and the goals we all have set out to achieve
- Supporting the IRF is directly supporting the fraternity, camaraderie, friendships, skills, expertise, and common goals of the wider rafting community
The IRF shares the Olympic Dream. However, we don’t base our dreams purely on hope – there is so much more to be done than just focus on the Olympic Dream. We will continue to focus on our GAISF / SportAccord application, our hugely popular and internationally recognised and supported race events, our worldwide recognised guide training scheme, our river conservation efforts and all the massive successes we have achieved to date – all with YOU involved and part of the journey. Let’s continue the journey together.
See the IRF Board of Directors response to the splinter group here.