2024 New Year Message – Claudio Schermi

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Dec 29, 2023

Dear IDBF Colleagues, Members, Coaches, Race Officials and Paddlers,

What a year it was! It started in New Zealand with the IBCPC World Festival for the Breast Cancer Paddlers. For me a breath of positive energy and incredible emotions. For the 3rd time I had the honor to assist to this event, in Sarasota 2014, in Firenze 2017 and, after pandemic, in New Zealand 2023. My wishes go the Aix Les Bains in France where next event will be held in 2026.

Then it was the time of the IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships with great participation and top level athletes competing for the medals, showing the highest quality of our sport. My wishes go to the organizers of the next IDBF Club Crews World Championships in Ravenna Italy, my home country.

The Asian Games and the Continental Championships and so many festivals and championships worldwide including snow dragons and ice dragons events completed our programme. My wishes go to the IIDBF Ice Dragon Organizers of the next World Championships in Canada in February 2024.

At the end of this year, we can look back with great pride, because we can say: we did it. Dragon Boat finally fully re-start after pandemic.

And we did it together, we did in great solidarity and we did it for the athletes.

In Thailand, in August after the World Championships, we had the IDBF Congress and I had the honour to be elected President of the International Dragon Boat Federation. I will take office in the new year and I wish all the best to my predecessor Mike Thomas, with a special note of thanks for is service during the past 8 years.

The IDBF life will continue and next year will also be the opportunity to discuss new reforms to the IDBF strategic plan.

I wish in 2024 that we will put forward an agenda to support the pillars of our next IDBF goals as IOC recognition, development in new nations, rejuvenation of the sport, new official events in the calendar and revenue generation for our international sport federation to reaffirm IDBF as the governing body for dragon boat and to show that we are able to achieve these goals all together.

The 2024 will be the Wood Dragon Year. It comes every 60 years!

It has to remind us the respect that all dragon boaters should deserve to the Chinese traditions of our sport, today well developed in about 90 nations of the all 5 continents.

The Wood Dragon Year represent strength, courage, creativity and innovation and I wish to myself and all dragon boaters to be inspired to these values.

I wish that the Wood Dragon will bring to you and to your families authority, dignity, honor, success, prosperity and good fortune.

Together, as a team, we will achieve great results for our dragon boat sport.

Happy new year!!!

Claudio Schermi
2024 incoming IDBF President