Recognising that we are stronger together, the Ukrainian Rafting Federation (URF), founded in 2009, are the most recent member to join the IRF rafting family. The URF joins the All Ukraine Rafting Federation (AURF) as our second provisional member federation from Ukraine. The IRF will be working with the two rafting federations to help unify rafting in Ukraine as we continue to unify rafting worldwide. We wholeheartedly welcome URF to the IRF Family!
The URF now conducts National Championships each year in the categories of Juniors, Open and Masters and have been competing in international competitions for a number of years. In preparation for meeting IRF membership requirements, the URF has added clauses to its organisation statutes, which among other additions, states that the URF recognises, “the International Rafting Federation (“IRF”) as the world governing body of rafting”.
Ukraine has a great range of rivers and rafting locations along with a fast developing tourism industry. Internationally recognised and respected IRF GTE Workshops have been run in Ukraine since 2016, increasing the standard of river safety for all.
However, the forefront and leading work URF are best known for is their pioneering work in para-rafting. They started developing para-rafting in 2017 and in 2018 and 2019 they organised an international Para-Rafting competition in Kiev, Ukraine. Among the IRF’s core objectives enshrined in our Bylaws, is to promote rafting as a Paralympic sport. For the past two years the IRF has been working closely with para-athletes and other international sport federations involved in para-sports, to create a well designed and carefully crafted management plan for whitewater para-rafting competitions. Our objective is to roll out a safe para-rafting structure that incorporates a wide range of disabilities, conforms to International Paralympic Commitee (IPC) guidelines, and stays true to rafting’s origins and history as a thrilling sport conducted on whitewater. We are delighted to include the URF among our body of experts working on this ambitious project, and welcome their experience and advice as these plans continue to develop.
Oleksandr Bakanychev, President of the federation, tells us the development priorities of the URF are:
- Strong preparation for the IRF World and European Championships;
- The reform of rafting;
- Providing a qualitative and clear system of sporting equipment purchase;
- Building modern sporting infrastructures for conducting international competitions and involving rafting athletes;
- Building new sporting facilities in the places that are suitable for conducting rafting competitions;
- Creation and implementation of the competition system of school children’s and student’s leagues;
- Realisation of the pilot project “Money walks after a child” at children’s and youthful sporting school in Scole, Lviv region, Ukraine;
- Digitisation of sporting sphere: creation of unified electronic registers of competitions, coaches, athletes and sporting facilities;
- Development of tourist rafting in Ukraine;
- Training for guides and instructors
- Training for coaches and judges
We will report more soon about their recent project of developing rafting amongst children aged 10 to 15 years old.
We look forward to meeting all the Ukrainian teams at our upcoming European Champs, World Champs, as well as Euro Cups and World Cups.