University students can begin to set new orienteering goals, as the European University Sports Association last year decided to add orienteering to its portfolio.
The International Orienteering Federation and the European University Sports Association (EUSA) have agreed about orienteering being one of the sports EUSA will arrange championships for. The first European University Orienteering Championships (EUOC) will be held in 2019 in the Czech Republic. The competition is scheduled to take place 25-29 July 2019 and planned to be held in Olomouc and its surroundings.
Orienteering has been a part of the university sports family at international level since 1978. The organising team of EUOC 2019 has experience from previous events, as organisers for the World University Orienteering Championships 2014 held in the Czech Republic.
In the autumn of 2016, the EUSA President, Adam Roczek, stated:
– Orienteering is a sport feasible to any enthusiast. It has been a part of university sport for almost 40 years and enjoys big popularity among youth because it promotes fellowship, teamwork and fortitude. We are happy to become partners with the IOF as we share common values and history; and will, undoubtedly, hold great events, he said.
The president of the IOF, Leho Haldna, added:
– There are many orienteers studying at institutes of higher education who will appreciate the opportunities provided by this cooperation. Being able to combine your studies with the opportunity to participate in high-quality orienteering events, and in the context of the strong social values within student sports, should be very attractive. Our organisations share the same values, and we greatly appreciate the successful cooperation we have with FISU. We believe in an equally successful cooperation with EUSA.
The programme for the first European University Championships is scheduled with three medal events; a Middle distance, a Sprint and a Sprint Relay. The Sprint Relay will be modified from the usual Sprint Relay and teams will consist of only two competitors. It will still be four legs, with the two competitors running alternate legs.
In order to include schools with a majority of students of only one gender, there will be three categories in the Sprint Relay – men relay (M+M), women relay (W+W) and mixed relay (W+M).
The European University Championships are not a competition of national teams, but rather a competition of universities. Therefore, practically any university student may compete.
Possibilities for orienteering in the European University Games 2020 in Belgrade
The fifth European University Games will be held in July 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. Even though orienteering is not yet in the programme of the multisport student event, its inclusion is still possible. The EUSA orienteering technical delegate, Dusan Vystavel, has been to Belgrade where he, IOF regional coordinator Zoran Milovanovic and representatives of the Serbian Orienteering Federation introduced orienteering to the games’ organisers. The Serbian Orienteering Federation’s representatives presented a very well prepared proposal of possible places of different competitions. The president of the games’ Organising Committee, Sinisa Jasnic, stated that orienteering has a big potential to become a part of the games. After the negotiation, the technical delegate Dusan Vystavel visited all suggested event places:
– All proposed terrains are very good. I can imagine excellent races there. We hope that EUSA approve orienteering as one of sports in the 5th European Universities Games, he says.
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