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View from the Chair – June 2022
By Christo Peters - Sat 2 Jul 2022 8:17pm


After 2 years of international competition being in simmer mode, the heat has well and truly turned up, with the first international Kiwi team travelling to Europe to compete in World Championships since 2019. There has been a palpable buzz and lift in energy around elite competition this year. It was noticeable at the Queens Birthday orienteering, and is coming through in social media posts as well. As I write this the team is readying themselves for the Sprint Knockout so I, along with all of you I am sure, am super excited for the athletes and for NZ orienteering. Irrespective of the results which may be attained, it is clear there is real positive energy about the NZ team, and we are proud of the efforts of all NZ athletes who have put in an enormous effort to make it to WOC and JWOC.

This last month I’ve been fortunate to attend some fantastic events around the country, which my family and I have especially appreciated after missing Nationals due to Covid. Congratulations to Wellington Orienteering for a very successful (albeit chilly) Queens Birthday carnival, and also Hawkes Bay Orienteering for a great Pokapu (Central) Champs during Matariki weekend. I also really enjoyed attending one of Waikato Orienteering’s Rugged Rogaines, which have become a popular feature of the calendar over the past couple of years, drawing people from outside the region who value the adventure race feel of the events! It seems many clubs are very busy running all types of events, with evidence of participation numbers being up from previous years which is fantastic to see.

At Council level we have started to look at a couple of important areas which we will be engaging with the orienteering community on in the coming months. One of these is around the membership and levy system, and whether there are better ways to manage these. This includes also looking at how we engage with commercial operators, something which we started discussions on with clubs a couple of years ago. The second area we have started to look at is gender diversity, which 3 clubs have raised with ONZ as an area they are keen to look at, and which coincidentally has hit the headlines with other sports, including the decision by the International Swimming Federation on how to treat gender diverse athletes. Obviously this is a sensitive topic where we need to balance principles of inclusiveness with competition fairness, so Council member Tom Reynolds is taking a lead on this, and will be looking to engage with people across the orienteering community in the coming months. If you have a particular interest in this area, please do connect with Tom at thomasreynolds123@gmail.com.

I hope that all of you are managing to get to events wherever you are. Hopefully I will get to catchup with many of you in the coming months, maybe even at one of our local OBOP events such as Great Forest Rogaine in July or NZ MTBO Champs in November.

Stay well and happy running

Peter Swanson


Ph 027 302 4863

Email onz-chair@orienteering.org.nz

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