ENPARD beneficiary organizes first ever European Championship in Rafting in Georgia
On 23rd of May, the first ever European Championship in Rafting took start in Georgia, in Borjomi Municipality, in the village Chitakhevi. The tournament is organized by Georgian National Rafting Federation and ENPARD beneficiary, rural development initiative in Borjomi municipality – Rafting Club “Jomardia”. About eleven European Country Rafting National Teams, including team Georgia, participate in the championship. The event is supported by the International Rafting Federation.
Official opening of the European Championship in Rafting was held in Borjomi Town Centre. Opening speeches were delivered by David Katsarava, President of the Georgian National Rafting Federation, Tariel Khechikashvili, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia, Akaki Matchutadze, Governor of Samtskhe-Javakheti Region and Dimitri Kipiani, Head of the Borjomi Municipality.
“We are honoured to host the first ever European Rafting Championship in Georgia, in Borjomi municipality. We believe that the events of this scale will not only strengthen our Rafting Club, but also greatly contribute to the growth and development of tourism and related services in the country. I would like to extend special thanks to the European Union and its ENPARD programme in Georgia for the support, which has helped the Club “Jomardia” to develop and expand its capacities.” – stated David Katsarava, President of the Georgian National Rafting Federation.
Rural development initiative Rafting Club “Jomardia” is supported by the European Union under the ENPARD programme to develop extreme tourism in Borjomi. With EU grant, “Jomardia” acquired rafting and slalom boats, bicycles, special equipment, as well as built a zip line of about 400 meters. As a result, more comfortable rafting facility was created and the number of the club’s employees and customers doubled. Annually, more than 2000 tourists benefit from the improved services.
In the framework of ENPARD programme, 85 rural development initiatives have received EU grants so far in Georgia, 28 of them in Borjomi municipality. As a result, over 1,000 rural households in Georgia have access to better employment and over 54,000 rural population have improved their living conditions.
The European Union is supporting rural development in Georgia through the ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second phase focuses on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge