Great gathering of young leaders

Posted on | September 6, 2016 | Category: News, Newsletter

Some of the participants at the youth leader camp 2NULL16.

Young leaders from five different countries exchanged experiences at a leader camp at WOC in Sweden. An anual event for Nordic countries, but for the first time participants from Portugal, Serbia and Turkey took part.

Fifteen young people try to focus between eating their dinner of home-made spaghetti Bolognese and listening to a Power Point presentation about the development of orienteering in Latin America.

– How do you introduce orienteering in a country with no or very little activity?, a woman in the group questions, during the presentation.

José Ángel Nieto Poblete from Spain, who is IOF regional coordinator and is accompanied by Luiz Sergio Mendes from the Brazilian Orienteering Federation, explains the importance of perseverance and belief in the project. The young leaders, from five different countries, concentrate on the presentation which is just one feature in a four-day long camp.

In conjunction with the World Orienteering Championships in Sweden, the young leaders gathered to participate in the camp “2NULL16”. Four days with exchange of experiences, great nature, fun training and special challenges were scheduled.

The camp has been held in recent years for young leaders from Nordic countries. This year the camp was extended, with participants from outside the Nordic region represented by Portugal, Turkey and Serbia.

Ricardo Esteves Ferreira took part in the youth leader camp. He is a leader back home in Portugal. He also participates himself, with a gold medal in Sprint at EYOC 2014 in M16 as highlight.

Ricardo Esteves Ferreira from Portugal is coach in his local club and got the opportunity to join the camp. He listened to the presentation about orienteering in South America as well:

— It is sad to hear about countries that are so poor, but it gives a new perspective on the situation back home in Portugal. We often complain about our situation compared to some of the other European countries. After the presentation, I can tell we have relatively good conditions, Ricardo Esteves Ferreira says.

When Ricardo Esteves Ferreira returns to Portugal, he will make a presentation for the young runners in the area about his trip. He hopes he can transmit his experiences to the young runners and be an inspiration for other young people to take up the responsibility to become a leader.

Coaching someone of the same age

One of the Power Point slides shows sprint maps from some Caribbean islands. A bit of whispering spreads among the audience. A person speaks up:

— Is the city really like that? he asks, referring to a map with mainly square buildings and parallel roads.

Ingrid Okkenhaug, Anna Kristiansson and the rest of the 2NULL16 participants were spectators at the WOC Relays, cheering for their respective countries.

It is, José Ángel Nieto Poblete confirms, and the discussion continues into what kind of animals you might meet when orienteering in South America.

Anna Kristiansson from Sweden and Ingrid Okkenhaug from Norway took part in the camp as well. They both find the extension to non-Nordic countries a good development:

— The camp gives a good opportunity to learn about new countries and meet new people. For example, the guy from Turkey described how orienteering is organised more through the military in Turkey, they says.

The young leaders have different experiences, and during the camp they discuss different issues. For example, how you handle coaching someone the same age as you, and ideas to recruit new members for your club.

When asked if they could imagine participating next year as well, Anna Kristiansson and Ingrid Okkenhaug have no doubt:

— For sure!

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