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Brief report on EDBF AGA and Council 2009

24 December 2009
The EDBF Council and Annual General Assembly meetings took place in Amsterdam on 14 November. Highlights from the meeting follow.

Championships:

Members of the EDBF were taken on a tour of the Bosbaan regatta course, site of the 2010 European Nations Championships. In spite of gray November skies and pouring rain, the delegation was impressed by the facilities on offer. The 2010 ENC organizing committee has arranged 1000 beds in nearby hotels and will look into reserving group accommodations at the Amsterdamse Bos camping area and bicycle rentals for the short cycle-ride between the camping area and the race course. The first information bulletin, with preliminary registration information for national crews, should be appearing shortly.

Ukraine presented plans for the 2011 European Club Crew Championships to be held in Kiev between 24-28 August 2011 and will be allowed to proceed pending a satisfactory site inspection to be held during Golden Dragon in mid-September 2010. Crews are invited to attend the September 2010 festival in Kiev to see the location and organization for themselves. Czech Republic presented a backup plan for the championship in Brno in the Moravian part of the Republic. Impressed by the plan, the Board urged Czech Republic to submit Brno as a future championship location.

Germany submitted a bid intention for hosting the European Nations Championships in 2012 in Hamburg. Additionally, Mike Haslam mentioned that there is project team from the IDBF busy organizing a youth dragon boat championship in London in 2012.

Elections:

Mike Haslam was nominated for re-election to the post of EDBF President, Alan van Caubergh was nominated for re-election to the post of EDBF Chairman and Bernd Riegerl volunteered to fill the post of Council Representative. The Council approved the nominations and approval by the general membership will take place in August.

Annual General Assembly meeting date changed:

Country representatives should reserve 12 August 2010 for the next AGA meeting in Amsterdam, from 11:00-15:00. The AGA has been moved to coincide with the annual EDBF championships in order to make it easier for paddlers to participate in the business of the EDBF. (Council representatives will meet on 11 August, from 18:00-20:00.)

Update from the IDBF & EDBF:

Mike Haslam & Alan van Caubergh reported that the IDBF and EDBF have been working hard to defend the interests of dragon boat paddlers around the world. While there has been continuing pressure on the sport from a small faction within canoeing in some countries, the number of paddlers competing in IDBF and EDBF championships continues to grow and the quality of the competitions is high. The recent World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, saw the Philippines set a record-breaking time of just over 40 seconds in the 200m, while China took the World Cup for overall best performance. On the domestic front, the European Club Crew Championship set another attendance record with over 1500 paddlers coming to the very professionally-organized race hosted by the Hungarian Dragon Boat Federation in Budapest.

In spite of the global financial crisis, there have been new events and new countries joining the EDBF family. Alan travelled to Istanbul this summer for a large db festival which is spreading the dragon boat virus throughout Turkey, with new crews and festivals being formed for the 2010 season. Lithuania has also recently been infected with the dragon boat bug and is planning on scaling up from business teams to full-fledged sports racing and has applied for membership in the EDBF. Our members in France and Denmark have also been active in promoting dragon boat racing on the African continent. A cooperative effort between dragon boat and canoe in Senegal is being spearheaded by the French DBA and the AIPSF (Association of International Paddle Sports Federations) rafting member from Denmark has been instrumental in bringing dragon boat in contact with the newly-formed Ghana Rafting and Dragon Boat Federation. The main message that Mr. Haslam had for EDBF members is that in spite of challenges posed by the canoe federation, the EDBF and IDBF are alive and healthy with the best-attended, highest-quality dragon boat competitions on international, continental and local level. "While any other sport, even football, may do something with dragon boat racing, the IDBF is the only federation that is solely dedicated to serving the interests of all dragon boat paddlers, no matter what other sports they may compete in. We do not have to divide our attention or resources with other disciplines and can concentrate 100% on the dragon boat sport," says Haslam.

Appreciation

David Cogswell of GB, who has long served in the EDBF, most recently as Member´s Representative, has retired from the Board. His knowledge and hard work has been appreciated over the years and will be missed. Additionally, another of our English gentlemen has also announced his intention to reduce his activities with dragon boat: Murray Jones. Murray has been a regular contributor to the EDBF meetings, often serving as the representative for GB. He is also an IDBF race official. The delegates to this year´s AGA made a special vote of appreciation for their long service to the dragon boat sport.

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