Message from the Orienteering Australia President
It is a pleasure to return to Canberra for the events of the 2013 Australian Orienteering Championships. As always, it will be a very busy week, with three individual championship events along with a relay, and the events of the Australian Schools Championships on top of that, as well as the culmination of the SILVA National League, three World Ranking Events and an Australia-New Zealand Test Match.
Canberra is one of Australia’s leading orienteering centres and has long played a leading role in the development of the sport. The ACT has been part of the sport’s history in Australia almost from the beginning (as those of you who are running in Friday’s heritage event will find out), and has been home to many of Australia’s leading orienteers over the years, as demonstrated by the Canberra Cockatoos’ dominance of the National Orienteering League over its two decades of existence.
The four championship events will all be on areas which are new to the general orienteering community, which is fairly unusual for a major event carnival these days. Plenty of Canberrans have looked at the hill behind Bungendore over the years and wondered what it would be like to orienteer on; this year we get the chance to find out. We also have an unusual terrain type for Australia, the flat granite of Slap Up Creek, and in the sprint the rest of the Australian orienteering community gets to find out what my old school looks like. (It is an interesting reflection on how orienteering has evolved over the last decade that the sprint, not long ago considered something of limited interest except to the elite, has an entry as large as that of any of the other championship events).
This event would not be taking place without the efforts of a large number of volunteers. Whilst it is somewhat fraught to single out one individual, I would especially like to thank Bob Mouatt for once again taking a leading role in making this carnival happen. (He says that this is definitely the last time, but most of us will believe that when we see it….). I would also like to thank the Australian Sports Commission for their outstanding ongoing support of orienteering in Australia, and to SILVA for their continued support of the National Orienteering League.
I wish all of you the best of luck for the week, and that you find all the controls, and enjoy yourselves in what promises to be a very enjoyable series of events.