“For almost all the Czech team, this isn’t home terrain”

Posted on | May 20, 2016 | Category: News

As at the World Championships in 2008 and the Junior World Championships in 2013, Petr Kadeřávek is once again the Media Director.
– The title can be slightly misleading, since all communication with the TV company is a completely different matter, running at the level of event organisation leaders, the orienteering federation and people who are looking after relationships with TV continually throughout the year. Therefore my priority is in informing the printed and Internet media, as well as all the public through the EOC website, the latter has actually created most of the work for me so far, he says.

A lot of stories

As part of his work he has produced a lot of well-written stories on the Home Page for EOC; they’re well worth having a look at. He has also talked with the course planners; these can be seen on this link.

How big interest is there for all the stories you have posted?
– 
I try to produce stories which I personally find interesting. And at least when other websites take the material over or link to it, it is a sign that this was perhaps found really interesting – as is the case with the interviews with runners or up-to-date news from our national teams.

How big is EOC for the home runners, and in the Czech Republic generally?
– 
Based on interviews with some of the Czech team runners that I have done so far, I feel that the approach is not the same for all. That is quite natural and depends on mentality, personal targets and their experiences up to now. Some of them really have that special feeling of championships on home ground and perceive EOC more important than WOC this year, but for others this is not so strong and the race is considered more professionally, as one of many important races during their career.

Terrain somewhat unknown
Petr tells that the location in the Czech Republic is quite remote, not only when speaking about distance but it is also much less known.
– The area hosts national events quite seldom and most of the runners live far away, so this is truly home terrain for almost none of them. There is that usual pragmatic evaluation, that racing in one’s own country means that runners are better used to the terrain where the races take place. Some of them however say that the terrain is not much of home character, on account of being brand new or not used for many years.

What kind of results can the Czechs expect?
– Some of them are capable of winning a medal, but I feel that in the individual races it will be extremely difficult. Especially at EOC where the number of runners from each country is twice as high as at WOC – and only a very few favourites will be missing. Some of the Czech runners consider that the terrain areas aren’t of a character they are familiar with. This is certainly true, but in my own opinion there is no doubt that these will still be much more similar to other Czech terrains than is the case with championships anywhere in, e.g., Scandinavia. So I believe that location in the home country still might be some kind of advantage. I believe that there are about 6 runners who can be in the top six positions, and perhaps can get a medal if circumstances are positive. Still I feel that the best chance for medals is above all in the forest relay. Today’s forest relay races are quite short, and if you don’t make a mistake and stay in touch with the leading group or runners, teams such as ours can stay in the fight for medals.

Petr Kaderavek 099 photo Petr KlimplFull TV coverage
In recent years, cooperation with Czech TV has developed into a few coverages of national races per year. A TV crew usually attends three – four championships.
– It was natural that this year the agreement would also cover EOC, says Petr.
A Czech TV crew lead by the experienced director Karel Jonák will provide the TV coverage. There will be live broadcasts from the Sprint Relay, the Sprint, the Middle Final and the Relay. These will be truly live on the Czech TV website (accessible from Czech IP addresses only) and from IOF LiveCenter  which is accessible for anyone.

Used to doing media
With Petr in charge of media services, it is also a bit like normal.
– I was appointed to this position also at WOC 2008 and JWOC 2013. At the beginning eight years ago I was asked to do it because I am a journalist in my profession, and moreover both written and photographic kind of documentation (or let’s say archiving) is simply part of my mentality. I provide this for my home club too, for example. Of course being Media Director is a slightly different job, more about managing and organising, and therefore it is actually every time quite challenging for me, and other people in my team and elsewhere are naturally very important and helpful too. The service provided by the Media Section is therefore not only my doing, he says.
JWOC2013 took place in his home city of Hradec Králové and his club, OK99, provided almost half the organisers, so it was quite natural for him to be amongst them.
– Now, in the case of EOC, there is a mixture of reasons for why I took this. Every such engagement brings some useful new experiences and – hopefully – a feeling of good and useful work done in the end. And at the same time, also feeling that previous experiences shall be utilised and maintained. It is a change from my normal work routine; my job is in some senses similar, but in some other respects very different. And orienteering is truly a part of my life, therefore I simply want to be there when there is such an interesting event not far away. As I have been an active orienteer for over 30 years, taking part in most national events, I more or less know many members of the national team personally, which makes informing about their performances quite different to if I had to report on athletes unknown to me. Last but not least, I look forward to spending over a week in Jeseník and its surroundings; the region is really nice in both its nature and its culture.

 What is your normal work?
– I am a journalist, in particular the editor of magazines dealing with modern railways, in the sense of anything that happens in this field. One of them is written in Czech (Železniční magazín) and one written in English and distributed over the whole of Europe (Railvolution). Therefore it is not a typical kind of journalism, as there is quite a lot in detail involved but no need for clear, fast messages aimed towards a wide public as is the case with daily news. Also very little team or management work, and I have my office at home – these are the differences from the post of Media Director, which is one of the reasons why I still feel it is a really useful experience.

Apart from when he was young Petr hasn’t trained much, but orienteering is a permanent part of his life, the reason being not just in sport itself but the social side too.
– I train 0-2 times per week over the whole year, and during the competition season I take part in an event almost every weekend. And almost every year I take part in some competitions abroad, during my summer holidays and also to take in events such as Tiomila in which the social element is really strong. I like true forest orienteering and the ‘fight’ with nature, and therefore prefer Long races, which also fits to the fact that with such a lazy training approach I at least still have some kind of (decreasing) endurance, but losing speed. So sprint races become superfluous for me, even more so when they take place in some city with boring character.

Petr Kadeřávek is in charge of the Media Section at EOC, as he always is at big races in the Czech Republic

Text: Erik Borg
Photo: Petr Klimpel

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