A message from Claudio Schermi, President Elect of the EDBF

26 November 2017

Principles for the Governance of Dragon Boating in Europe

Dear EDBF Members, dear Colleagues,

We have just held the EDBF and IDBF Congresses. I have been elected President of the European Dragon Boat Federation and I will be fully in charge as from 1st January 2018. Maura Dezi has been elected EDBF Treasurer, the EDBF Secretary General Julie Doyle and the EDBF Vice President Peter Jarosi have been elected IDBF Vice Presidents. Our past President Mike Haslam received the honorary title of IDBF Founder, Honorary President.

On behalf of the EDBF Executive Committee I wish to express our sincere thanks to all the EDBF Members for their trust in us and to all of you to be in Belgrade for the EDBF Convention 2017.

I ask you a special vote of thanks for Alan van Caubergh for his commitment and service to EDBF in his 3 terms of office as EDBF President. Thank you, Alan.

The last 3 years have been truly remarkable 3 years in the course of development of the Dragon Boat Sport, with very succesful Continental and World Championships.

For the future we will do our utmost to fulfil our mission.

There are great expectations from Paddlers, from the Dragon Boat Community of Europe and from our EDBF Members. In 2018 Europe will host the 3 main events of the year, the EDBF ENC in Brandenburg, the IDBF CCWC in Szeged and the IBCPC Participatory Festival in Florence.

Our Federation´s Members are the bedrock of our sport.

The EDBF faces new challenges and we need to have real vision and fresh leadership in tackling those challenges.

Our objectives for the future are that we need to offer better competitions, improve the EDBF presentation of our sport, reform our calendar, develop new media, and shape our own future within the IDBF and the European paddle-sport community.

We are taking this important responsibility for the Paddlers and for the Dragon Boat Community of Europe.

The Dragon Boat Community of Europe includes not just paddlers but all stakeholders: the Race Officials, the EDBF Members and the Clubs, the Coaches, supporters and families, the Event Organizers, the boat builders, the sponsors and maybe others to be identified.

We have many pressing issues within EDBF, first of all the GOVERNANCE of our sport.

We need to work together, to involve the Executive Committee and the Council in the day by day life of our organization.

We need to maintain close ties with our Dragon Boat Community of Europe, especially with the Paddlers. We must organize our Paddlers, communicate with them, serve them, learn from them, and subject ourselves to their oversight. We should always be part of the Paddlers Community of Europe, work for their interests and share good and bad times with them.

The EDBF will need to be committed to the long-term future of dragon boat sport, developing strategies in areas such as youth development, sustainable development, education, prevention, safety and antidoping. We should never be inactive.

My main goals as new EDBF President, will be to grow dragon boating in Europe, to promote a rejuvenation of our sport and to make it able to generate increased revenues and thus opportunity for our paddlers, for our members, for our Clubs and for the organisation of our sport at every level.

I am fully aware that the capability of any individual is limited, but if we are united in a team serving our sport with dedication, with your support and commitment, there is no difficulties that we cannot overcome.

We must investigate and bear in mind what paddlers think and we must work with them.

The EDBF should be able to set up inspirational goals in line with the will of the Paddlers and the need for development of our sport, and lead the Dragon Boat Community to achieve those goals.

This is one of the reasons to continue in the future with the EDBF Annual Convention and to develop the programme with sessions for Coaches, Paddlers, Organizers and Sponsors.

There is still considerable room for the EDBF Executive Committee and Council to improve our leadership, governing capacity and organization, and the quality, competence and practice of the EDBF Members and Officials.

These are missions of an historic importance to which we must dedicate all our wisdom and strength.

I wish to underline the EDBF gender equality in our good governance policy, with 4 women and 3 men in the Executive Committee.

In conclusion I ask you to launch in this Belgrade EDBF convention 2017 the idea of a European project for sustainable implementation as a fundamental commitment to encouraging and supporting the conservation of water quality to make a tangible difference in the next years to our lakes, rivers and sea training and racing venues and the environment: THE WATER PROTECTION AWARD, and I ask for you to support the project within your countries and your clubs.

Thank you to the organizers of this event, the friends of the Serbian Dragon Boat Federation.

Rome 2017, 19th November

Claudio Schermi,
EDBF President Elect


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