They are a group of young athletes from aluminized who practice rafting and who have stood out in recent years, obtaining important achievements at the regional, national and international levels. They spend much of their time training individually and as a team in order to improve and thus seek new challenges. Now, Their goal is to be able to fulfill their dream: to travel to the Rafting World Cup that will be held from July 25 to 31 in Zubin-Potok in Kosovo and leave Aluminé, the province of Neuquén and the country at the top of the podium. However, more than two months before the tournament, the Aluminé athletes they still don’t know if they will get the necessary money to move to Kosovo, located in southeastern Europe.
The Argentine team, made up of members of the Aluminé Municipal Rafting Schoolneed the sum of 8 million pesos to travel and, according to what they stated to LM NeuquenSo far they have not gotten the necessary help to make their World Cup dream come true, nor the support of the sponsors. “In order to go to Kosovo, we competed in the National Rafting Championship that was held in October 2021 in Aluminé, a qualifier for the world championship and in which the three teams obtained the place since we qualified in first place,” he explained. Adrian Torres20 years old.
The three teams that qualified for this year’s World Cup are The Torrents (Under 23)that was formed in 2018 competing in different national and international competitions such as the Argentine Championship and the Pan American Cup; The Condors (Under 19 male) with competitions in different disciplines of the national championship and Leuvu which is made up of a mixed Under 19 team and that he had the opportunity to attend national championships and qualify for two world championships.
The money that the Aluminé paddlers need is not only to pay for the trip but also the stay and the meals prior to the start of the competition since they must travel before to make the corresponding adaptation. “The organization of the World Cup covers us only the stay on the days of competition but we would have to travel a few days before, leave here on the 18th to arrive there on the 20th, and in this way be able to train and get to know the river where the competition will take place”the paddler explained.
On the other hand, another of the needs they have is the acquisition of equipment, paddles, vests and helmets, essential for competitions. “For the competition, carbon blades are used that cost about 250 dollars. “The ideal thing would be to be able to get them before to train with the rackets that we will use in the World Cup,” he stressed.
Torres specified that so far they have not received any type of support. “We know that with some other athletes official help always appears at the last moment. But two months after having to travel to Kosovo, this situation fills us with uncertainty and fear that we will not be able to finalize our participation in the World Cup,” he said.
For the moment, they have only been able to raise some money by doing raffles or selling products from the region, for example, at the Fiesta del Pehuén.
“We know that with some other athletes official help always appears at the last moment. But two months after having to travel to Kosovo, this situation fills us with uncertainty and fear that we will not be able to finalize our participation in the World Cup,” said the Aluminé paddler, Arian Torres,
The uncertainty that overwhelms them is put aside when they arrive at the Municipal Spa to train for the World Cup. “We train all the time and with a lot of effort, be it in the fall, spring, summer and even in winter to develop in the best way, both physically and technically,” said the young man who, when he does not train or compete, works in general house maintenance. Now they are waiting for the Ruca Choroy river to go up to train on the slalom track, which is very difficult because it is very fast and complicated.
“We train every day, from Monday to Monday, but next month we will start doing it in double shifts to get to Kosovo in the best way”, counted. The training includes the different disciplines: Sprint, which consists of a certain route of the river in which a distance of 2 to 3 minutes is run; Head to Head, in which two rafts face each other; Slalom, a test in which the technical skill of the team is demonstrated and Down River, in which the team rows down the river in about 20 minutes and the team that does it in the shortest time wins.
The Aluminé paddlers pointed out that, if they travel, they will arrive in Kosovo with high expectations. “We know that we have a very good level from what we showed in the Pan American tournament, beyond that the other teams are also good”Torres commented. He added that from what they were finding out, the river that will host the World Cup is a grade 2+ river, which represents the strength level of the river. “In Aluminé we have a grade 3+ river, the part of Lonco Luán that comes from Villa Pehuenia to Aluminé, sometimes it reaches grade 4 or more, because it is very strong. We believe that this grade of the river that we have and in which we are going to compete, which is lower, is going to facilitate our performance,” he described.
“If the help doesn’t arrive, we will do everything possible to raise the money by other means. We want to go, participate in the World Cup and not spoil all the training and effort that we have been doing for a long time,” Arian said.
Finally, Torres expressed the hope they have of receiving help. However, he assured that “if the aid does not arrive, we will do everything possible to raise the money by other means. We want to go, participate in the World Cup and not spoil all the training and effort we have been making for a long time”.
The Aluminé paddlers are Agustín Espinosa, Fernando Filet, Nazareno Maidana, Gonzalo Morales Ancafil, Ignacio Bravo, Gastón Magaña, Franco Zapata, Arian Torres, Tomás Capelari, Julieta Vilte and Melany Kindenegt. The trainer is Victor Capelari and the personal trainer is Daniella Magaña.