The African Sledding Championships were held for the third time on 7 March 2015 on the natural sled run in Kolm Saigurn Lining up at the start were 35 African participants from 16 African countries along with 18 pupils from the elementary schools in Rauris and Wörth. Before things got underway, our African competitors were introduced to the sport of sledding during a workshop offered by Rauris mountain rescue.
One highlight of this integrative event was the exhibition "Afro Alpine Art": Ahead of the actual races, local artists in collaboration with African participants created art works to be presented over the course of the sledding championships. The proceeds were donated to charity: a children’s aid project in Ghana (SoRiNato), of which Sally Goldenboy, one of the entrants, was a representative. An unbeatable atmosphere was also guaranteed by jam sessions of African drummers performing side-by-side with Rauris folk musicians.
The idea behind this “cool event” is integration through sport and creating greater understanding for our fellow man through cultural exchange. Rauris Valley and the society “Sport speaks many languages” were awarded the Integration Recognition Prize 2013 and the Austrian even Award/green event 2014 for the African Sledding Championships. And the next, fourth edition of the sledding championships is already in the planning stages: for March 2016.
Team “Cameroon-Cape Verde-Pinzgau” were crowned champions. Second place went to team “Ghana-Pinzgau” ahead of third-place team “Somalia-Pinzgau”.
Amongst the female African sledders, Aurelie Mayer-Musah of sledding club South Africa-Salzburg won by a nose, just ahead of Cathy Kagiri from sledding club Kenya-Salzburg and Sheke Mbugua of sledding club Kenya Linz. As for the men, Sandro Malone finished in front of Pedro Cardoso, the local hero, and Sally Goldenboy of sledding club Ghana-Salzburg. The best time of the day was set by Melanie Schwebig from Rauris elementary school.
We are already excited about the next African Sledding Championships here in Rauris Valley!
"Nafurahi kukutana na nyinyi!" – We look forward to seeing you!