Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Me and my School - Dane Blomquist: " I have met my best friends orienteering, I have spent the best times of my life orienteering (...)"



For the second moment of the Portuguese Orienteering Blog's new feature, we travel to England to meet Dane Blomquist. Let's see what stories he has to tell us about him and his school.


Who is Dane Blomquist?

Dane Blomquist (D. B.) - Hello, my name is Dane Blomquist. I was born in Rinteln, Germany on the 2nd October 1996 as my dad worked for the British army in Germany. My family and I moved to England a year later and we moved around until we settled in a town called Frimley close to Guildford where the World Cup 2005 was staged. My family consists of me, my two sisters, who sadly do not orienteer anymore, my mother who also does not orienteer but will support me through thick and thin, my dad who first introduced me to the sport and has for many years taken me to events and still enjoys competing as well and my dog Jasper who sleeps on my bed every night. My interests are obviously orienteering and running but I also like to play football now and again. Out of sport I like to go out with my friends. My favourite music is Indie Pop and my favourite artists are Miike Snow and MGMT. I love watching movies, especially action films or thrillers, and my favourite at the moment is “Gangster Squad”. However I find that if I am anywhere near a TV when a good movie is on I’ll have to sit down and watch it. My favourite type of food is Italian.


Would you like to present your School?

D. B. - I attend Tomlinscote School and 6th Form College in Frimley; this is my last year at the school before moving up to the 6th form college. My school specialises in modern foreign language but also has a great sports department. I study lots of different subjects at the moment but my favourite has always been Geography. Like most schools in Great Britain, my school focuses on football, athletics and rugby however we are one of the few to have a small orienteering team. Most people in my school have to do orienteering in PE and do not like going out in the winter cold therefore they do not find Orienteering very fun and most complain it is not a real sport just a ‘treasure hunt’. Through me though my friends can see that orienteering is a real sport and do enjoy supporting me. I believe that orienteering is one of the best sports around and I hope that a larger number of people can come to realise this in the future. However I have hope when a random teacher speaks to me after the World Schools Championships and says ‘I find Orienteering to be better than running because it involves the mind as well as the legs’ I didn’t even know that he knew what orienteering was.


How did you meet Orienteering?

D. B. - My dad got me and the rest of my family into Orienteering, he started in the army. I can always remember Orienteering or being at an Orienteering event when I was young. Walking around the string course with my parents or cheering my family in. My first course alone was on my local area, I remember getting totally lost and then my sister ‘helping’ me out but actually sending me in completely the wrong direction.


Is it important in your development as orienteer, the relation between you and your school?

D. B. - My school has always taken an active role in sporting me. They have funded my trips to the World Schools Championships and have always let me have the time off school even if they did not agree with it.


When did you decided to take Orienteering seriously?

D. B. - I started taking orienteering seriously around 4 years ago when I had my first opportunity to race for England, before I played football and ran for an athletics club while attending orienteering events now and again but not taking them seriously. I started working with my coach Colin Dickson 3 years ago and he has been key to my development in Orienteering and as a person. Since then I have progressed further and further and my enjoyment of the sport has risen as well.


What opportunities Orienteering brought to you until now?

D. B. - Orienteering has brought me a wealth of opportunities! I have met my best friends orienteering, I have spent the best times of my life orienteering, I have been able to travel around the world and meet so many different people.


Looking to your curriculum, we can see the gold medal in the Middle Distance of the ISF World School Sport Orienteering Championships 2013 (Algarve). Did you expect the title?

D. B. - I felt in good shape entering into the competition and I love orienteering on areas like the Middle Distance was held on but I was not expecting to get onto the podium let alone win. So I am extremely happy to win the title. It’s great to have my first gold medal in an international competition.


Talking about Portugal, I would like to know your opinion about the competition and how important can be an event like this in the young orienteers' life.

D. B. - The event was a great experience and I loved every second of it. I’d like to thank everyone involved as the event was a great success, it was planned extremely well and I loved having the local community helping out, our guides were extremely helpful and they got on really well with the whole team. The Hotel where we stayed was great and I loved being so close to the beach plus having the pool to relax in. I believe these competitions are extremely important in the development of the young orienteers’ life it’s something to aim for, work for and enjoy. These competitions are the roots for champions to grow from.


About the future, what do you expect to be?

D. B. - I have a lot of plans for the future and there is a lot of things that I would like to do. I want to keep on progressing as an orienteer and keep my enjoyment in the sport. My long term goal is to one day be the World Champion. Away from sport I would like to go to University and see where life takes me from there.


Would you leave a message for those who always wanted to know about Orienteering, but are afraid to ask?

D. B. - Don’t get me wrong orienteering is a challenging sport both physically and mentally. However it is a sport for everyone, it doesn’t matter about age, gender or capability. Once you get into it all that matters is that you have a map in your hands and a control to be heading for, be it the first control at your local event or the last control at the World Championships.



Dane Blomquist in brief


Me...

  • The best definition to Orienteering is... a sport combining navigational and physical challenges.
  • To practice it, you just need... a compass and a lot of determination.
  • The major difficulty is... your legs can carry you but your mind might not be able to catch up.
  • Essential in my bag is... my lucky necklace and all my other orienteering equipment.
  • An extraordinary moment of joy was... finding that one control you have been trying to find for the last 10 minutes - don’t deny it, we’ve all done it!
  • I'm a big fan of... Thierry Gueorgiou I have met him before and his autograph is on my wall but my nationally I am a fan of Yvette Baker.
  • My major goal in the future is... to become the World Champion!

and my school

  • My school is... a lively place.
  • I see my teachers as... interesting.
  • My colleagues say that I am... loud.
  • To combine study with sport is... difficult, a balance has to be found.
  • I look into the world like... it’s my oyster.
  • The biggest social problem is... discrimination.
  • The personality I admire the most is... my dad.
  • In the desert island, I just needed... Joe Woodley and Will Rigg.



[Photo: World Schools Championship Orienteering, http://www.isfori2013.pt/]

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Porto City Race 2013: In Oporto's heart



The Invicta received the Porto City Race's second edition. Showing a different city to the eyes of many - even the locals! - the race had in Andreia Silva and Joaquim Sousa the big winners.


With the second edition of the Porto City Race, orienteering spread once more its charm and beauty by the streets of the Invicta. Point of departure and arrival of the participants, the Crystal Palace proved to be the most beautiful of the Arenas, lining up gradually by an enthusiastic population, anxious to discover a different Porto. And different because its closed streets, narrow alleyways, staircases that prance and seem to have no end, and in the most unexpected moment, offering a romantic view of a small atrium houses engaged with each other, little "shrines" in a street corner or the river shining down there.

The organization, signed by the Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, called to the Invicta five hundred participants from twelve countries, numbers truly interesting taking into account the “youth” of the event. The fantastic work of promotion, allied to the “Porto World Heritage” brand, have been pluses for the special effect and the link between tourism and sport ended up working perfectly. The number of participants in the Tourist Course surpassed the athletes of the 28 competition classes, with people of all ages to meet some of the most precious jewels of the Historic Center, with maps and compasses in hand.

Joaquim Sousa and Andreia Silva, from Clube de Orientação do Centro, were the big winners of this second edition, after to have achieved the same result last year. Despite his age, Joaquim Sousa has prevailed with a sensational record of 58:16 against 58:34 of Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja). In the Women Elite class, Andreia Silva reached a tasty victory iwith 1:07:50, beating Paula Nóbrega (Ori-Marão) by the significant margin of eight minutes.

Full results and more information at http://www.gd4caminhos.com/en/portocityrace2013





[Photos by Susana Luzir and Orievents]



[Sponsorized by Orievents and Criobaby]


Joaquim Margarido

Monday, May 13, 2013

Me and my School - Angelika Maciejewska: "I run; therefore I am!"


Me and my school” intend to be a regular feature in the Portuguese Orienteering Blog. Drawsko Pomorskie, in northwestern Poland, is the starting point of our first visit, guided by Angelika Maciejewska, double gold medallist in France, at EYOC 2012, and the winner of the Long Distance race in the last World School Orienteering Championships ISF, in Algarve.


Who is Angelika Maciejewska?

Angelika Maciejewska (A. M.) - My name is Angelika Maciejewska. I was born on 16th January 1996 in Wałcz. I have two great sisters, dear parents... and (I cannot forget), at home, when I'm studying, with me is my cat. And in the garden jumps a nice rabbit. :) I live in Drawsko Pomorskie but my club, UKS Traper, is located in Złocieniec, a small town near Drawsko Pomorskie. I spent my childhood in Złocieniec. I'm interested in science and fashion. I try to do many things... I'm always laughing, so I'll have a lot of great stories to tell to my grandkids about my life. :) Often after races I read biology, which is my favourite subject at school. :) Sometimes, me and my friends imagine and invent many different designs for clothes. That's a lot of fun! I don't have a favourite music group or singer. The main thing is this: if the song has a nice rhythm, then I like it. So... I like Pop and, sometimes, Rap. Right now, my favourite song is “Cisza”, which was created by Kamil Bednarek. My favourite movie is “PS: I love you” and “Jutro pójdziemy do kina”. Like almost every girl, I enjoy romantic comedies. :) Generally I like different movies. Some of my favourite movies are also war movies or connected with History... I just don’t like Science Fiction. I think that it's unrealistic and simply boring. I like all food, but I love vegetables and fish. Black olives, rice and lots of salads are welcome to my plate. :) ... and sweets? Yummy! I can eat a big bar of chocolate with my best friends. I always say that “I will be sweet and never fat”. :)


Would you like to present your school?

A. M. - My city isn’t large and my school as well. I go to ZSP in Drawsko Pomorskie. I’m in biological-chemical class. I have 5 boys and 23 girls in my class. My teacher is Mrs. Sylwia Tomaszewska. She is a Chemistry teacher. Unfortunately, orienteering isn't a popular discipline in the academic life but all teachers and friends assist me in my career. Most of students believe that it isn’t a sport... They say: orienteering is just for fun! They don’t know how extreme this sport is, I think. One day, a lady said: “Orienteering is a sport for intelligent people.” :) I really like this definition.


How did you meet Orienteering?

A. M. - I started to train orienteering in 2005. When I ran the relay Youngsters Polish Championships (this was my first relay in category W10), I found only two controls (and there were eight controls). It was terrible! Then my first teacher said: ”You're weak and you should change of sport. You'll never be a good runner”. But, luckily, my coach Aleksander Burzyński didn’t agree to it. I started to train very hard... So, my adventure in orienteering has begun. All thanks to my best trainer around the world, Aleksander Burzyński! :)


Is it important in your development as an orienteer, the relation between you and your school?

A. M. - My school secures very good conditions to training. When I am on the sports camp or in a competition, the school's headmaster is very lenient with me. This is great because I have the chance to combine orienteering and studies. My classmates were the ones who helped me to recover from my arrears. I never forget that I am primarily a student and learning is important too. :)


When did you decided to take Orienteering seriously?

A. M. - I decided to take orienteering seriously when I had a lot of problems in my life. Then I wanted to prove to other people that I can be successful. Orienteering gives me the strength... How Haruki Murakami wrote: "I run; therefore I am”.


Looking at your curriculum, we can see, at least, four gold medals in international competitions, two at the ISF World School Sport Orienteering Championships (Primiero and Algarve) and another two in France, during the last EYOC. Can you tell me what these titles meant to you?

A. M. - These titles meant that I am following a good route. These medals confirm my sentence that "my coach is the best on the world". I'm optimistic and positive looking on the past... And, of course, I believe in the same for the future.


Talking about the last one, in Portugal, I would like to know your opinion about the competition.

A. M. - In general, the competition was very good for me. The organization was solid. The sun, high temperature and high hills - I love to run in these conditions. I think the maps were really great in a technical way. It is true that, after the Long Distance race, I spent four hours taking the spikes of my legs! But it was worth it :) My accommodation was in a great place because I could get to the sea in a few minutes. Thank you for the great time!


About the future, what do you expect to be?

A. M. - I think that orienteering is always half of my life. Health is very important in the life of every athlete. After EYOC I had a lot of injuries. Fortunately, I got back to training. Now I train and I'm happy with every step... at last I love it! If my health is good, I look forward to a very positive future as a professional orienteer. So, my main goal is to combine sport with education and the future with family.


Would you leave a message for those who always wanted to know about Orienteering, but are afraid to ask?

A. M. - Honestly? Since the last year, I'm not afraid to run in the forest. Yes, it's true that this is an extreme sport, but the memories and impressions after the races are amazing. Orienteering is more fun and everyone should try this!



Angelika Maciejewska in brief

Me…

  • The best definition of Orienteering is... Your thought must be as fast as your legs!
  • To practice it you just need... a great coach (my coach, for example :), great ambition and the will to fight
  • The major difficulty is... concentration
  • Essential in my bag is... compass, SI Card and orienteering shoes (instead of lipstick, I prefer to wear a compass in my handbag because I never know when there will be an occasion for running :)
  • An extraordinary moment of joy was... my first medal in life (for small competitions in Poland)
  • I'm a big fan of... Thierry Gueorgiou (I was hoping to see him on the EYOC in France, but he wasn’t there) and Justyna Kowalczyk (like her, I love plushies-donkeys... because they are stubborn. I use this attribute in pursuit of the goal:)
  • My major goal in the future is... a gold medal at the World Orienteering Championship (a lot of work is waiting for me :)

and my school

  • I see my teachers as... friends who help me in different situations
  • My colleagues say that I am... helpful and creative
  • To combine study with sport is... hmmm…quite hard. Sometimes I sleep four hours a day, but in some cases it's worth it :)
  • I look to the world... through rose-coloured spectacles. I'm very optimistic
  • The biggest social problem... maybe the lack of acceptance among students (?) Fortunately I don’t see this problem in my class
  • The personality I admire the most is... my coach Aleksander Burzyński ! :)
  • In the desert island, I just needed... my (the best) coach... a piece of paper and a pen to draw a map of the island :)




Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, May 09, 2013

World Orienteering Championships 2014: Italy gets dressed




Italy’s Veneto and Trentino regions host 2014 WOC and WTOC. First World Orienteering Championships ever hosted in the country. A Sprint Relay event to make its debut in the city of Trento. The ‘5 Days of Italy’ event already scheduled.


Orienteering as a sport discipline was born in the Scandinavian Peninsula over a century ago. Its popularity has been growing at a rapid pace in the past years and in summer 2014 the first ever World Orienteering and Trail Orienteering Championships will take place in Italy.

From July 5 to 13, Trentino and Veneto regions in the north-eastern side of the country will be welcoming thousands of orienteering athletes, lovers and fans who will certainly enjoy landscapes through the Folgaria, Lavarone, Luserna and Asiago plateaus, plus the cities of Venice and Trento.
Sprint, Middle Distance, Long Distance, Relay and the new Sprint Relay are the five race events scheduled for the Italian championships, and the last one will be making its first official appearance as part of the discipline. Trento city centre, its narrow streets and ancient squares will be housing an exciting sprint relay event with teams of four athletes (2 male and 2 female) competing inside a relatively small area so as spectators and media can better follow and understand what is happening.
Trail Orienteering (TrailO) events are also scheduled along with the above mentioned races and some new titles of world champions will be awarded. TrailO can be enjoyed by all, including those with disabilities, and in this case the element of speed and the physical part are completely eliminated. Orienteering skills, terrain interpretation and map reading become way harder than usual and the key to success.

The 2014 WOC-WTOC will kick off on July 5 and the city of Venice will stage the Sprint event, part on the beautiful little island of Burano – famous for its lacemaking – and part through the canals, picturesque bridges and side streets in historical Venice. The Opening Ceremony will take place on July 6 in the town of Asiago and on the same day the ‘5 Days of Italy’ will start off. This event is open to amateurs, of any age group, who will have the opportunity to race on the same terrains where world’s best athletes will be fighting for medals.

As said, Trento will host the Sprint Relay event on Monday July 7, while the WTOC TempO qualification race will get on track in Alberè di Tenna, a little village not far from the city. The TempO final event is scheduled on the following day (rest day for the WOC athletes). The Long Distance race will take place in Lavarone (Trentino region) on July 9 together with the WTOC Day 1 events in close-by Luserna. All the athletes will move to the Asiago plateau (Veneto region) on July 11 for the Middle Distance race and WTOC Day 2. The village of Campomulo will host the eventual Relay event on Saturday July 12, while the WOC and WTOC closing ceremony will take place in Lavarone on Sunday.

On Thursday July 10, the IOF General Assembly will take place in Lavarone.

The Trentino and Veneto areas represent the heart of Orienteering disciplines in Italy. The National Orienteering Federation (FISO) is based in Trento and the first ever orienteering competition took place in Trentino region in 1974. Today, FISO counts over 10.000 active members.

In the past years, big orienteering events took place in this area, such as the World Masters Orienteering Championships 2004 in Asiago or the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2009 in Primiero.

Info and update, plus embargoed areas and general rules are available on www.woc2014.info and www.wtoc2014.info.


[Source: Press Office Newspower – mariofacchini@newspower.it]

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Portuguese National Championships 2013: The first titles of the season




Figueira da Foz hosted this weekend two lively races, one of Long Distance and another of Sprint, presenting the first Foot-O National Champions of the season. In the highest place of the podium three debutants in these wanderings of the gold medals: Manuel Horta, João Mega Figueiredo and Vera Alvarez. Only Maria Sá "relapsed", winning her fourth Long Distance title.


With the echoes of the biggest Orienteering party, named Tiomila, heard all over the world, it was with great enthusiasm that close than 500 athletes headed to Figueira da Foz, on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, for the National Championships of Long Distance and Sprint 2013. At the command of the operations, the Orienteering Section of Ginásio Clube Figueirense offered to all the participants two new maps, one of forest at Leirosa and another one inside the typical fishing village of Buarcos, both "smelling" the sea and the sun, in two wonderful days to practice the sport.

The first day was devoted to the Long Distance race, in which Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) got the victory. The athlete took 1:30:37 to complete the 16.5 km of his course, leaving the immediate positions to Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) and Paulo Franco (COC) with over 1:50 and 2:58, respectively. The women's race was won by Maria Sá (GD4C) with a time of 1:05:28 against 1:08:58 of Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) and 1:10:19 of Catarina Ruivo (COC), ranked third. Let's say that the women's race was less 7.4 km (!) than the male, with Maria Sá accusing the Organization of “discrimination.”

It was a title that I wasn't expecting, especially for being the Long Distance how far my least favourite distance. Despite not having great errors, losing two minutes overall, the pace was not very strong and I was really surprised with the final victory”, would refer Manuel Horta regarding her national title. Also Maria Sá showed herself surprised by the success achieved: "Technically it was a very simple race, not missed more than thirty seconds, but I thought that my opponent did not make big mistakes, and being physically stronger than I, would end up winning. It was really a surprise and I think the fact that I compete without any pressure was a big advantage.”


It's forbidden to make mistakes!

As for the National Sprint Championship in 2013, the courses showed weak technical challenges due to the lack of options, but where a hesitation, a little mistake - even the smallest ones - meant precious seconds away of the title. Consistent and safe races - yet not devoid of errors - were the recipe of João Mega Figueiredo (CN Alvito) and Vera Alvarez (CPOC) to beat the concurrency. In the male sector, Mega Figueiredo took 16 minutes to complete his course, beating Miguel Silva (CPOC) and Pedro Nogueira (ADFA) by 25 and 43 seconds, respectively. The fight in the women's was tighter - the first five ranked ended separated by 46 seconds -, with Vera Alvarez registering on arrival 14:21, against 14:37 of Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) and 14:51 of Andreia Silva (COC).

Regarding his course, João Mega Figueiredo said that "the confidence to reach the podium was great because this is the distance that I feel a little more at ease. I started very strong and tried to maintain a very high pace until the end, which allowed me to achieve the title of national champion sprint despite not having done a race free of minor errors and hesitations.” For the new female National Champion of Sprint “this was a title that I aspired to, since the Sprint is one of my international goals, the distance at which I better prepare.” The secret of the victory, according to Vera Alvarez, was at “no big mistakes and make a consistent race. Not always did the best option, but as I was physically strong, I could prevail.”


Results

Long Distance National Championship 2013

Men Elite class
1 Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 1:30:37
2nd Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) 1:32:27
3rd Paul Franco (COC) 1:33:35
4th João Figueiredo Mega (CN Alvito) 1:35:24
5th Pedro Nogueira (ADFA) 1:35:31

Women Elite class
1 Maria Sá (GD4C) 1:05:28
2nd Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) 1:08:58
3rd Catarina Ruivo (COC) 1:10:19
4th Patricia Casalinho (COC) 1:12:04
5 Vera Alvarez (CPOC) 1:13:02


Sprint National Championship 2013

Men Elite class
1st Mega João Figueiredo (CN Alvito) 16:00
2nd Miguel Silva (CPOC) 16:25
3rd Pedro Nogueira (ADFA) 16:43
4th Hélder Marcolino (GD4C) 16:49
5th Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 17:01

Women Elite class
1 Vera Alvarez (CPOC) 14:21
2nd Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) 14:37
3rd Andreia Silva (COC) 14:51
4th Maria Sá (GD4C) 14:56
5th Patricia Casalinho (COC) 15:07

More information at http://cn2013.ginasiori.pt/.

Joaquim Margarido