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This is a big year for World Rowing and for sport: the oldest international sports federation celebrates its 125th anniversary. June 25 will bring a milestone of some significance for sport which, it has to be said, is approaching largely without fanfare.


June 25 will bring a milestone of some significance for sport which, it has to be said, is approaching largely without fanfare. The date marks the 125th anniversary of the foundation in Turin in northern Italy of the first international sports federation (IF).

It might surprise you that this pioneer IF does not represent one of the sports that we would regard today as among the biggest or richest – football, say, or tennis, or golf.

Nor, as far as we know, was the sport among those included in the Ancient Olympics, although the basic tool of its practitioners’ trade played a vital role in global development over many centuries. In fact, the IF concerned is the World Rowing Federation (FISA), a body whose annual income of just under CHF7.3 million (£5.9 million/$7.5 million/€6.7 million) in 2015 is about on a par with what a modest English football league club might hope to generate.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.