A proud president

Posted on | July 12, 2007 | Category: News

Bob Mouatt is a proud and happy President of Orienteering Australia. The best juniors in the world are having a great time in Australia and the Aussies are doing a great job and also getting good results.

“It’s good to have the championships here. It strengthens the sport in Australia and I am grateful for all the work that so many people are doing”, says Mouatt.

The JWOC and all the public events that have been organised as a part of a big carnival are in Dubbo, a quite small town with about 40,000 inhabitants, and there are no orienteers living there. The closest club is in the city of Orange, 160 kilometres away, but there are good reasons for both having the games in Dubbo and also having such a big event.

“We wanted to have such a big carnival here in Australia and put on a good show both for the orienteers and the general public. For our juniors and youngsters it should be an inspiration, to motivate themselves to a high level. The athletes have the opportunity to compete on home terrain. We also wanted to use terrain that was new for orienteering, and there is also a hope that these competitions can be the start of organised orienteering activity in Dubbo. It would be good with an active club here. In Dubbo there is also the big zoo where the sprint was held”, he says.

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Bob Mouatt is President of Orienteering Australia. Australia is hosting a great championships; JWOC ends on Friday.

The President is proud, and he can be that. In all ways it has so far been a great JWOC. Good maps, good arenas, a good atmosphere and well-organised competitions from the start with the sprint in Western Plains Zoo to the competitions out in the forest 30 kilometres away from Dubbo.

In Europe many people have followed the competitions during the night on the internet. “The commentators are doing a great job. They make it really worthwhile being up the whole night and following the races”, says the Norwegian Petter Fure, who is following JWOC on the internet at home. After the long distance he first went to bed close to eight o’clock. “But by then I had heard our national anthem twice”, he says.

The board of orienteering in Australia discussed during the JWOC week whether Australia should go for an application for WOC in 2013. They ended with a no. “WOC will be too tough for us. It will cost about 1.5 million Australian Dollars (about 1 million euro) to organise it. About 600 people are also needed”, says Bob Mouatt.

At present there are about 7,000 members in the Australian federation. About 4,000 are full members, but about double that number go orienteering. In Australia it is not necessary to be a member of a club to take part in competitions. An estimated 12,000 to 14,000 go orienteering in Australia. The sport is getting bigger; the growth is in street and park orienteering. In Melbourne it is very popular with street and park orienteering four times a week. A lot of people are doing the sport mainly for recreation and fun and don’t want to be involved in a club.

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