Jordan is home to the latest Development Programme activity in Asia

World Rowing Development Team concluded a very productive site visit to the beautiful city of Aqaba in Jordan, where Rowing was introduced for the first time to the Royal Jordanian Marine Sport Federation (RJMSF), the Member Rowing Federation governing the sport of Rowing in Jordan.

Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan and the largest and most populous city on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is situated in southern Jordan and is the administrative center of the Aqaba Governorate. Today, Aqaba plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy, through the vibrant trade and tourism sectors, and this is where the RJMSF is looking to expand and promote Rowing in Jordan, as an attraction water sport that suits the nature and water traditions of Aqaba.

Despite the fact that RJMSF has been a member of World Rowing since 2006, no Rowing activities or structure was in place. Since 2022, and with the current Federation’s leadership and the valuable support offered by the Jordanian Olympic Committee (JOC), and Olympic Solidarity (OS), a Development of National Sports System (DNSS) project was prepared and activated this year to introduce Rowing to Jordan, with a special focus on Coastal Rowing and Indoor Rowing.

The short three days visit included a team from World Rowing composed of Inas Hussein, World Rowing Development Manager for Asia & Oceania and Mehdi Garidi, World Rowing designated Technical Expert and Coach for the DNSS. JOC was keen to be part of the discussion and was represented by Alsharif Taj Eddin Alghaleb, International Relations and Cooperation Dept. Manager, Mai Nsour, National Sport Federation Relations Dept. Manager, and Mohammad Lozi, National Sport Federation Relations Dept., Officer.  RJMSF’s Board of Directors represented by Moh’d Abed Saleh AlMugrabi, President of the Federation, Ahmad Alnajdat, 1st Vice President, Dara Odeh, 2nd Vice President, Musalam Kraishan, Secretary General, Ahmad Al Nabulsi, Renati Altarawneh Board Members, and Hanan Al-Kafaween, Treasurer, were also part of the discussion and all parties were actively engaged and enthusiastic about the project.  

Sailing Athletes Training

The site visit was key to align all stakeholders and agree on the concrete steps and key performance indicators for the project, as well as visit the potential sites that will host Rowing training and future competitions.

Three sites were visited, namely Tala Bay, Ayla and the Royal Marine Yacht Club. There is great potential in Aqaba and a good appetite for water sports, especially sailing, fishing and underwater photography, which are the other water sports governed by RJMSF, and now there is interest in Rowing and activating it in Jordan.

Royal Marine Yacht Club
Tala Bay
Tala Bay
Royal Marine Yacht Club

Following this site visit, and as a first step with the co-funding of the stakeholders involved, including World Rowing, OS, JOC, and RJMSF, coastal boats will be ordered and shipped to Aqaba, coinciding with the assignment of a special working group mandated by the RJMSF and JOC to work with World Rowing and the Coaches Experts assigned for the project, Mehdi Garidi (ALG) and Madalena Ferreira (POR) for the duration of the DNSS project.

Through the DNSS project, there will be a series of visits throughout the year to establish the sport and its various components, including selecting and training local coaches and identifying the potential athletes, focusing on Indoor Rowing and Beach Sprints with YOG 2026 and LA 2028 Olympic Games in mind.

The project is supposed to run until October 2024 and close cooperation between World Rowing, JOC and the RJMSF will be maintained to reach the optimum outcome and have tangible results towards the end of the year.