Press release from the IDBF

04 May 2007
At the third time of asking the IDBF was finally voted into Membership of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) on the 27 April 2007, by the GAISF General Assembly meeting held in Beijing.

Following an unsupported objection from the International Canoe Federation (ICF), that Dragon Boating was merely another discipline of Canoeing, the GAISF Members rejected the ICF view and voted by 38 votes to 33, to admit the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) into Membership, thus ratifying the GAISF Council’s recommendation that the IDBF fulfilled all the criteria for Membership as the World Governing Body for Dragon Boat Sport and endorsing their opinion that Dragon Boat Racing is a different paddle sport to Canoeing, with its own history and culture.

The GAISF Members decision in favour of the IDBF, ends three years of debate and came after a lengthy discussion on the floor of the General Assembly and strong support for the IDBF from the Chinese Olympic Committee and the 2008 BOGOC.

Speaking on behalf of the IDBF, Mr WEI, Vice President of the International Volley Ball Federation, pointed out that Dragon Boating was a Chinese Cultural Sport, with over 2000 years of history, established well before Canoe Sport was developed and that since 1991 the IDBF had evolved Dragon Boat Racing, into a modern sport, some 14 years before the ICF had run its first ever Dragon Boat event.

The GAISF Members vote follows the 2005 decision of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) that Dragon Boating in Asia is governed by the ADBF, the IDBF Asian Continental Federation. Dragon Boat Racing under IDBF Rules will be included for the first time in the 2008 Asian Beach Games and the 2010 Asian Games.

All organisations in the greater family of sport are asked to abide by the decisions of the GAISF and the OCA that Dragon Boating comes under the world and continental governance of the IDBF and its Members and to support the IDBF in its aims and objectives for the future development of this distinct and colourful water sport.

Mike Haslam
IDBF Executive President

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    Joint Meeting between ICF (represented by the Vice President Thomas Konietzko, by the chairman of the dragon boat commission mr Luk Wai Hung and Ulrike Shreck) and IDBF (represented by the President Mike Thomas and the Treasurer Alan Van Caubergh), EDBF (represented by the President Claudio Schermi, the Vice President Ute Becker and the Treasurer Maura Dezi) and the ECA (represented by the President Albert Woods). In attendance also the President of the Federazione Italiana Dragon Boat Antonio De Lucia and the President of the Federazione Italiana Canoa Kayak Luciano Buonfiglio. The meeting has been held in the Executive Committee room of the CONI, the Italian National Olympic Committee.
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