Today, the official presentation of the 2023 edition of the World Rafting Championships, WRF Senior World Rafting Championships, taking place along the Adda River in Piateda and Sondrio from June 26 to July 1, was held in the Council Chamber of the Provincial Administration of Sondrio. The Adda River has already been the stage for international competitions dedicated to whitewater sports, including the European Canoe Championships in 2008 and 2009, three editions of the Canoe World Cup in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and the Canoe World Championships in 2014.
This year, it's the turn of rafting, a sport eagerly awaiting recognition as an Olympic discipline, which is the hope and focus of the World Rafting Federation (WRF) and the Italian Rafting Federation (FIRAFT). Approximately 400 athletes from 33 countries will be arriving in Valtellina, including, for the first time in the history of international rafting, four African teams: Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Uganda.
The event, organized by Indomita Valtellina River, officially recognized and legally registered as a navigation company by FIRAFT and affiliated with the Italian Canoe and Kayak Federation (F.I.C.K), has obtained the support and collaboration of the Lombardy Region, the Province of Sondrio, BIM, the Comunità Montana Valtellina in Sondrio, the Municipality of Sondrio, the Municipality of Piateda, and the Sondrio Chamber of Commerce, which has granted the use of the Valtellina Brand to the World Championships. The municipalities of Castione Andevenno and Poggiridenti, the Civil Protection A2A Group, and the Pro Loco of Piateda are also part of this week's competitions.
Among the speakers present were the President of the Province of Sondrio, Davide Menegola, the Urban Planning and Environment Commissioner of the Municipality of Sondrio, Carlo Mazza, together with colleagues Francesca Canovi and Michele Diasio, and the Mayor of Piateda, Simone Marchesini. The representatives of local institutions shared the importance of supporting and promoting sports as rafting, canoeing, hydrospeed, all of which are sustainable, to expand the tourism offer and promote comprehensive projects for the enhancement of the Adda River. For the past 40 years, the Indomita Valtellina River, led by Benedetto Del Zoppo, has advocated for a "living and shared" river.
The President of WRF, Danilo Barmaz, and the President of Indomita, as well as the head of FIRAFT, Benedetto Del Zoppo, provided updates on the competitions. There will be two competition venues, in Boffetto and Sondrio at Parco Bartesaghi. The schedule can be consulted HERE.
Special thanks were dedicated to the Civil Protection Group of A2A and its president, Roberto Corona, who will provide lighting for the Mallero on June 27 during the opening ceremony, and for the Adda on June 30 for the RX race in Boffetto (the highlight competitive event of these World Championships). Representatives of hydroelectric companies A2A, Enel, and Edison were also present today, along with Indomita, for this global challenge. The hydroelectric players, historically present in the province of Sondrio, will ensure and adjust water releases necessary for the proper conduct of the competitions.
Not just rafting
During the opening ceremony of the World Championships, which will take place on June 27, at 8pm, in Piazza Garibaldi, there will be various moments of entertainment, including a parade of nations led by the Albosaggia and Ardenno Band, a HIP HOP dance performance by the fantastic classes of the Civic School of Sondrio, a night descent along the Mallero rapids by the Indomita guides, DJ sets in the square and along the Cassandre walkway (which will be adorned with the colors of the Championships), and a fireworks display over the city. Additionally, thanks to a collaboration with the Beertellina Consortium, craft beer from Valtellina will be available. During the ceremony, there will also be a brief moment dedicated to the Peace and Sport project of the "Organization for Peace through Sport" for the promotion of peace through sports and the One Tree Planted project, where a tree will be planted for each athlete in countries at high risk of deforestation. These initiatives are supported by WRF and welcomed by the organizing committee of the World Championships in Valtellina. Numerous initiatives will take place throughout the week from June 26 to July 1. To learn more about the program, click HERE.
The entire week of the World Championships will be broadcast live on SKY channel 184, providing greater visibility to Valtellina and the Valtellina brand.