Rowing down the Danube under the banner of inclusion

The 300 km tour down the River Danube from Vienna to Budapest started on the 23rd of July 2019. This is a challenging undertaking both mentally and physically for the rowers. Then if Para-Rowing athletes come forward too, this sport event, which has been enjoyed for the past two years, takes on a new significance under the banner of inclusion and sport as an opportunity for all.

The para rowers were Austrian and Italian. Three boys and a girl were visually impaired or blind and accompanied by their carers who were rowers too. This result was only made possible through the vital contribution of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale and the trust that the Chairman, Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele places in the organisers of the Tour down the Danube, Riccardo Dezi and Giulia Benigni, President and Vice President of the Circolo Canottieri Tre Ponti and, above all, in the athletes involved in the project.

The two European Level IV coaches invented and successfully produced this sport event in July 2017 and July 2018 with their master athletes from the Circolo Canottieri Tre Ponti.

Considering their great interest in rowing for disabled athletes – Riccardo Dezzi is the Technical Director of the Para rowing sector of the Circolo Canottieri Aniene and coach of the PR3 crew that won a bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships held in Sarasota in 2017 composed of Paola Protopapa, Lucilla Aglioti, Luca Agoletto e Tommaso Schettino – this year the two coaches from the rowing club made another attempt and presented an INCLUSIVE and INTERNATIONAL group, which beside a Masters crew from the Circolo Canottieri Tre Ponti included disabled athletes (such as Luca Agoletto and Daniele Stefanoni a PR2 athlete from the Circolo Canottieri Aniene who won a bronze medal last year at the World Championships) and formed a total of 4 crews of 8 with cox, who were followed by the organisers and coaches throughout the trip in two supporting motor boats .

The regatta was held in six stages. The first was on Tuesday the 23rd of July, 45 km, with a stopover at Bad Deustch Altemburg, to a spa town in Lower Austria. Wednesday 24th, 30 km to Bratislava in Slovakia and the next day to Gonyu a village in Hungary. The most difficult stage was on Thursday the 25th rowing 63km in one day and passing through the locks in Cunovo and Dunakility. Friday 26th July the fourth stage up to Komárno in Slovakia, a 40 km row. Saturday the 27th the second last stage, calling at the city of Esztergom, in Hungary again. On the morning of the 20th of July, the group boarded for the last stage: 60 km to Budapest with one stop at Szentendre.