President of Estarreja Orienteering Club and, as such, a fundamental part of the organizational structure of Portugal O 'Meeting 2012, Nuno Leite did for Portuguese Orienteering Blog the preview of this important event. An interview where he speaks about democracy within the club, how important is the event at various levels and were he wishes Sun. A bright Sun!
You assumed the presidency of the Estarreja Orienteering Club in a relatively advanced stage for the preparation of Portugal O'Meeting. Has it increased the responsibilities that this position entails?
Nuno Leite (N.L.) - It is true, but there are not many differences, only the person who signs the decisions of the management has changed. Those who know the structure of Ori-Estarreja know that everything is decided by consensus and democratically in parallel with what is best for the Club and for the development in Orienteering in Portugal.
What does it mean for the Ori-Estarreja the organization of this 17th edition of The Portugal O'Meeting?
N.L. - When we organize an event of this level we always make the same question, even if it is unconsciously - "What can we do so that Orienteering in Portugal evolves?” This is where all ideas are born for a better event. Looking at the previous editions of POM organized by Ori-Estarreja we realize that we always take Orienteering to new grounds and there is always a qualitative leap, in what concerns the return to the regional economy, and also a quantitative one, both technically and concerning the number of athletes. Therefore it means that this is an opportunity to do more and better for Orienteering in Portugal, especially in spreading it to places where it is less developed.
What are the material and human resources involved in this edition of the event?
N.L. - Well, we have over 100 elements organizing the event, including the elements of the two clubs (Ori-Estarreja and VOCs) and also all the support structures (Firefighters, Military, Scouting, Media...). Both clubs all together have more than 80 elements and are divided into six different teams, having different tasks running interconnected. For an event of this magnitude with almost 2000 athletes everything happens as if it were a so-called “normal” event but numbers multiplied by 4 or 5, which increases the expenses to about 30 thousand euros, especially if we invest heavily in the quality of the event. Note that the financial support given by the state authorities for these expenses and for an event that gives back more than 1.5 Million euros to the local economy is not even 10% of the direct expenses!
Ori-Estarreja shares the organizing responsibilities with the Viseu Orienteering Club - Natura. What do you gain with this partnership?
N.L. - When an orienteering club presents a proposal for organizing an event to a city council that has never heard of this sport there is always a discovery phase concerning orienteering by the local authority and also by the club on its way of functioning. For this event, in 2012, we have joined a POM club with a high technical expertise associated with a club that hasbeen working with these city councils for several years. It is a significant part of an event of such dimension that gets facilitated.
In the aftermath of the recent Absolute National Championship, held in the municipalities of S. Pedro do Sul and Vouzela, the responsible for mapping POM 2012, Tiago Aires, stated that "Viseu has conditions to quickly become the capital of Orienteering in Portugal.” What is your opinion on this matter?
N.L. - I would not say the capital, but because of its location, both the quantity and quality of its grounds and also the opening of these two municipalities, it is a major hub for sure!
The Communication sector of the Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 took on a new breath after the contract with Orievents. Can this be, in your opinion, a good solution for the future of this sport at the level of Communication and Image?
N.L. - Without a doubt! These organizations rely on a voluntary basis and a more than proved fact is that the main elements of the organizations are always engaged in the more technical part and never have availability for this task that should already had had its due attention. Fortunately there was a maecenas, Sotinco, that allowed this structure, led by Fernando Costa, to be feasible and so the results are there for everyone to see. If we want better events, there are structures that need to assume, at least, a semi-professional character.
What do you expect from this POM 2012?
N.L. - I expect a memorable event that allows Orienteering to be seen in a different way by the structures that are able to help us, such as Portuguese Orienteering.
What is your biggest wish?
N.L. - Sun! A wish must always be about something that is not in the hands of the organization! It seems that this wish is likely to be fulfilled and so everything else will be easier for the organization. In addition I also hope that the fantastic medical support structure that is being assembled by the firefighters of Viseu and Sátão will not be used.
[Translated by Luisa Estrela]