Leho Haldna: World Orienteering Day and World Cup coming up!

Posted on | May 23, 2017 | Category: News, Newsletter

The 24th of May is the IOF’s World Orienteering Day, or WOD.  World Orienteering Day was a great success in 2016, but this does not automatically mean success in 2017. We, the IOF, National Federations, clubs and our enthusiasts have to work together in order to archive our common goal, 350 000 participants in 2017 and to reach 500 000 participants in 2018.

WOD is a unique opportunity promote our sport globally and locally at the same time. There are already now pre-registered events from 17 countries and territories who are not IOF members. This shows a great potential to increase our membership!

WOD gives a good chance for local orienteering clubs and orienteers to contact schools, local organisations and sport authorities. We need to remember – WOD is not only for the orienteering community. Our aim is to attract young people, and indeed why not also people of all ages, to go orienteering for the first time in their life. All participants of WOD are our potential club members in the future!

The moment of truth for WOD 2017 is on 24th of May. I’d expect all orienteers reading the IOF newsletter are organising some WOD event, but if not then at least take part in WOD events together with friends, colleagues and family members.

After a slow start we all are suddenly in the middle of the orienteering season. WMOC, held this year in April in conjunction with the World Master Games in New Zeeland, is successfully over. The Foot Orienteering World Cup will kick off in Finland.  Remarkablly, the 2017 edition of  the World Cup is very much in one region, starting in Finland, then moving over to Estonia and Latvia, before finishing with final events in late September in Switzerland.

It is interesting to observe how some national teams are preparing for two different World Championships, for Estonia in 2017 and for Latvia in 2018 during the same training week. Baltic terrains are not so well known for world elite orienteers, and teams have spent a lot of time in preparation for the two coming WOCs.  More than 10 nations organised their national team selection races in Estonia, and there were more than 300 participants from 15 nations running in selection races held last weekend. There is only 6 weeks to go until WOC 2017, a highlight of the orienteering year!

Leho Haldna, IOF President

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