At the first press conference for the IRF World Rafting Championship 2022 it was said that this is a sports event of a great importance for Banja Luka and Foca, Republic of Srpska and BiH, and as such it must receive the support and attention of all relevant institutions and organizations.
– This is the second time that we organize the World Championship and the first time in the R4 category. After this Championship there will be no official competition in the world of rafting that we have not organized, at both world and European level, said Aleksandar Pastir, race director of the Championship and president of the Rafting Club “Kanjon”.
– Nobody has the conditions we have and nobody has managed to organize competitions in all categories and at all levels. Banja Luka has great advantages – big city proximity, easy access to water, signal coverage, infrastructure, lighting on the trails and much more that no other destinations in the world can offer. Tara, on the other hand, is one of the most famous and most beautiful rivers in rafting and of course we couldn’t not but transfer a part of the Championship to Foča and Tara, because it has one of the best downriver trails in the world.
Pastir said that the preparations in Foča are as planned and that this municipality is ready to welcome the participants in the Championship. We can already say that Banja Luka and Foca are prepared in terms of organization and everything that is expected of us by the World Rafting Federation is ready.
– We pay special attention to the Opening Ceremony, which will be on the water this time, on the Vrbas next to the walls of historic Kastel Fortress, on May 26th at 9 pm, and we use the opportunity to invite everyone to join us, because such a ceremony has never been organized anywhere in the world. It will be a kind of spectacle.
The captain of the Bosnia and Herzegovina team, Dragan Babic, said that three teams from Banja Luka and one from Zenica will represent BiH, and added that he hopes the teams will use the advantage of the home field. He added that the biggest pressure on the men’s team is in the Open category, which has the strongest competition, and that he hopes experience at the world and European levels and good knowledge of the tracks will help the boys get the long-awaited medal at the World Championships.
The Mayor of Banja Luka, Draško Stanivuković, says that an event of this level will position Banja Luka on the world’s sports and tourist map, and that the City is taking the organization very seriously. We have formed the Organizing Committee, which I personally chair, the work is extensive and we must all stand side by side, without divisions and in full capacity, and provide maximum financial and other assistance. We must be aware that during those days, Banja Luka will be a city that the world will be looking at.
The Government of the Republic of Srpska will do everything to organize this event in the best possible way, and we want to be good hosts and send the best stories from the Republic of Srpska, and show the world what potentials for adventure sports and tourism are available in this area, said the Minister of Trade and Tourism in the Government of the Republic of Srpska, Suzana Gasic.
– I am sure that we will be good hosts and we are honored to be a part of such a sporting event, said Minister Gasic.
The IRF World Rafting Championship 2022 will be held from May 25th to June 1st in Banja Luka and Foca in the R4 category in four disciplines, Sprint, Head-to-Head, Slalom and Downhill.