Well, after 2 years of avoiding Covid like the plague (sorry), it is finally here amongst us. Certainly in my immediate family there have been several cases in recent days and weeks, including one of our boys currently, so I am writing this mid isolation. I hope for those of you also dealing with this, that you are OK and recovery comes fast.
Whilst there is disruption around, the great news is things are opening up again, and the news from the Government lifting restrictions is music to the ears of many clubs, especially those planning major events in the coming months. It is fantastic to see good numbers entering Nationals in Nelson at Easter, currently just short of 500 people – given the circumstances this is an excellent response for entries and we can look forwards to healthy fields in most classes. I know the organising team are doing some great work behind the scenes to pull this together and we are in for some fantastic courses and events thanks to these efforts.
It was fantastic to see so many orienteers feature in the recent Godzone adventure race, and well done to all the orienteers participating in teams throughout the field, including the winning team Avaya, comprising Nathan Faavae, Chris Forne, Stu Lynch, and Sophie Hart. Whilst not directly under the orienteering umbrella, adventure racing is nonetheless an important navigation sport closely related to orienteering, and the fact that orienteers pretty much featured in most if not all the top teams, speaks volumes to the importance of our sport as a feeder into wider adventure and navigation sports and activities. Some of the chatter happening on social media during Godzone also got me thinking that orienteering is more than just a sport to develop skills in – it is a close knit community of people who feel a connection to each other through the sport we love. It made me think of the part of my own identity that is rooted in my being brought up in Taranaki – wherever I go in different parts of the country or the world, if I meet other people who have come from “the ‘Naki” there is a common connection and sense of belonging that comes out at those times. So in a similar way, I think “orienteers” have such a connection as well – it is something I feel pride in, and I am sure many of you do too.
So I hope to see many of you in Nelson in Easter, and until then stay safe and happy running.
Peter Swanson | ONZ Chairperson
027 302 4863
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