The boat-race on the Lao is on its way back: sport and nature in the Pollino National Park

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Regata sul fiume Lao

From August 3 to August 7, The “Pollino Boat-race” returns to Laino Borgo, a small town in the province of Cosenza not far from Calabria’s border with Basilicata. An event revolving around sport and nature in the heart of the Pollino National Park. A larger number of participants than usual is expected to attend this year, as they will be coming from both sides – the Calabrian and the Lucanian one – of the biggest conservation area in Italy.

Organized in 2013 for the first time, the boat-race is now promoted by association “Borgo Pollino”, in collaboration with Lao Canyon Rafting and Canoa Club Lao Pollino, the two local sporting clubs that have been providing integrated services to rafting and canyoning enthusiasts over the past years.

“The idea of a boat-race on the Lao river – say the organizers – was conceived a few years ago, when a team of local touristic operators specializing in outdoor activities (canyoning, rafting, paragliding) first imagined to set up a championship on that river, hoping to actively involve the population of the area in it. Their purpose was to spread the knowledge of the territory in a more direct way than before, in order to disclose a reality apt to offer opportunities for development and sociability in the Pollino National Park area.

It has proved a winning bet. Today, the “Pollino boat-race” attracts rafting fans, nature lovers and a wide audience from Calabria and many other regions: a clear example of how effective initiatives can be carried out locally in order to enhance and develop the inland areas.

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