First-ever Global Development Conference

Posted on | August 25, 2016 | Category: News

Photo: Malin Bjorkqvist

”Think globally, act locally” was one of the slogans used in a lively Global Development Conference – a first for IOF – attended by more than 50 orienteers from many nations around the world.

IOF Vice President Astrid Waaler Kaas referred to three key objectives in IOF’s Vision for orienteering: it shall be a truly global sport, visible and attractive, and positioned for inclusion in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. To spearhead the related development work, the Regional and Youth Development Commission has expanded its membership and activities and has three Regional Development Officers plus professional support from Global Development Officer Malin Björkqvist.

One element of the work, described in the first presentation, is an ongoing Global Orienteering Survey which aims to create a database of orienteering activity right across the world, so that needs for e.g. coaching or mapping skills in a newly developing nation can be more readily met from a nation that has those skills.

South and Latin America are two linked areas where development and new competition initiatives are under way, with several potential new IOF members. President of the Brazilian national federation Luiz Sérgio Mendes and Regional Development Officer José Ángel Nieto Poblete described the work going on across this huge region.

The first World Orienteering Day (WOD) was held on 11th May and 252,927 runs took place at 2,013 locations in 81 countries, an IOF World record. Co-ordinator of WOD Göran Andersson gave some more details of the analysis – e.g. Turkey accounted for 20% of all the ‘runs’ – and commended the level of engagement from many national federations. The runs were mainly on school and sprint maps, and logos and diplomas were the most used of the big range of promotional material available. The next WOD is on 24th May 2017 and in the future it might even develop into a World Orienteering Week.

IOF Marketing Manager Hans Jørgen Kvåle then described the planned Live Orienteering project, where IOF LiveCenter is to be developed as a separate platform. The planned content can be summarised as the 4 E’s: Entertainment (news, blogs, videos, social media hub, pictures etc.), Event Calendar (event and race pages), Ethos (news of athletes and their achievements) and Engagement (WOD, ‘O-School’, O-games). Targets will be young orienteers (11-30 age range), newcomers to the sport in that age band and other O-fans.

Conference attendees then moved into small groups to discuss a series of questions arising from the presentations. Many good ideas and suggestions were shared around! A satisfying conclusion to an inspiring morning.

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