New Foot Orienteering Athletes’ Commission chair

Posted on | May 14, 2013 | Category: News

IMG_8954Matthias Merz

Matthias Merz finishing second at the World Orienteering Championships sprint in 2012. Photo: Swiss Orienteering

Matthias Merz, Switzerland, will be the coordinator of the new IOF Foot Orienteering Athletes’ Commission. Merz is a 29-year-old top orienteer who won two silver medals at the World Orienteering Championships last year, and finished third in the overall World Cup.

At the moment he is a professional orienteer: “I have a very flexible arrangement with my work. I work part time (70%) during winter months (half year) as a civil engineer. During competition season I can concentrate on my training, travelling to other countries and competing. I like this arrangement because it is varied. In autumn I usually look forward to doing something else and working again on some projects meanwhile in the spring I’m waiting for perfect training circumstances”, he says.

Merz says he hopes that as the Athletes’ Commission chair he can bring in the runners’ perspective in the development of orienteering: “When competing in World Cup, World Championships or other events I’m faced to decisions made by the IOF. During the last years there were also changes to the programme or rules so orienteering should become a better product for TV and general public. Some of these ideas I didn’t like. But just complaining or refusing this it is not very constructive.  If we can make the sport more interesting without losing the excitement for runners it’s fine. That I see as one of the tasks for the Athletes’ Commission.”

The rest of the Athletes’ Commission members will be published shortly. The Commission will liaise with and provide advice to the IOF Council and the Chairperson of the Foot Orienteering Commission on matters such as rules, event programmes, fairness and other matters relevant to the elite athlete and elite international foot orienteering. This is done via the Athletes’ Commission chairperson.

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