The University of Valencia was, for two days, the “house” of Trail Orienteering. Gathering more than two hundred and fifty participants, the TrailO Clinics promoted by the Chair Divina Pastora of Adapted Sports were a significant step towards the full recognition of this discipline in Spain.
Proceeding with the extraordinary work to provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities and thus helping to their social integration, the CDPDAUV – Catedra Divina Pastora de Deporte Adaptado de la Universidad de Valencia hold, in the last 19th and 20th December, its first journeys dedicated to Trail Orienteering. Joaquim Margarido, member of the Trail Orienteering Technical Commission of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation and Toño Hernandez, responsible for this discipline at the Spanish Orienteering Federation, the lecturers, knew how to captivate the attention of two hundred and fifty participants distributed by two different clinics.
The morning of the first day was fully dedicated to the youngsters. Four concerned Polytechnic Institutes said “yes”, with two hundred students, teachers, specialists in nature and outdoor activities or simply interested in training, “drinking” the most basic principles to later show their value at the Viveros Park, facing a course with 16 controls designed by Ana Belén and Jose Antonio Tamarit. The afternoon of the first day and the day after were devoted to the same subject, but approached by others and different prisms. The heterogeneous group of thirty learners proved to be fully interested in something new and truly different, recognizing on it competitive merit and inclusive value. Full interaction at the theoretical blocks and enthusiastic participation in the practical component - with the unavoidable “complaints” in between - were ingredients of two days of important learning, resulting in a rewarding experience. Praise the CDPDAUV efforts, promoting the event, broadcasting it live through its website and now preparing to summarize it in a video with promotional and educational purposes.
At the end, the elements of the Portuguese and Spanish federations, Joaquim Magarido and Toño Hernández, coincided in their very positive assessment, particularly with regard to how to manage to maintain the level of interest and attention at high levels, which proved to be greatly rewarding and motivating. Joaquim Margarido showed up enthusiastic about the way the course was held in the morning of the first day, “with so many committed young people and with what will be the highest participation in a course of this nature at the Iberian Peninsula”, he said. The future seems smiling, as Margarido, to whom “the interest of the participants and their illusion are the best guarantee that many good results will come in the medium and long term”.
Body and soul on the Clinics, Niclas Gil Nieminen, from the organization, showed up “very pleased with the high number of participants, but also with the knowledge acquired and that will serve as a working basis for all those who were present. They are the big movers in the passage of knowledge to their students”, he says. Furthermore, the acquired learning will allow to carry forward an ambitious project that will have, in the medium term, a moment of great importance. Niclas explains: “The next step has to do with the use of the acquired resources in the direction we set up, as early as next month, a local race that will be useful as a practical exercise, allowing the team to achieve automatisms to the highest event, on 25th and 26th April. There we'll organize [along with Titaguas Municipality, SD Correcaminos and the University of Valencia] the 1st European Universities Trophy and in which we intend to introduce the Trail Orienteering. If we succeed, I am sure that we'll allocate in 2017, the organization - along with the 1st European University Orienteering Championships of the European University Trail Orienteering Championships.”
“Trainers of trainers”
The last words are from Miguel Angel Torregrosa, from the CDPDAUV, to whom the Clinics were “very positive”. That responsible notes that “the participation and commitment stayed on a high level and, in the case of an activity also directed to trainers of trainers, I believe that the experiences will tend to multiply, both as regarding the teaching activities as in terms of animation activities.” To Torregrosa, “the acquired knowledge, applied in multiple contexts, will contribute to fostering the dissemination of this discipline.”
With 1200 students with disabilities, the University of Valencia is a reference in Spain. Hence these Clinics had also this particular aspect in mind. To Torregrosa, “it is firstly necessary that we had qualified and technically skilled people in order to plan activities of inclusive character. From there, we will have a greater capacity to tackle this collective of people with disabilities, but also those who haven't disabilities at all. That is, all students of the University will, from now on, benefit of this offer, as with other physical and recreational activity programs that we are developing now.” And the last words: “From 12 years until now, the University has always bet on Orienteering. It is a sport that takes place in the natural environment, the natural environment has the potential to turn enjoyable the free time and it is a sport with future. With the completion of these days, we took an important step in the development of our project, being sure that, within four years, we will have a more inclusive participation in our activities.”
More information about the Clinics at http://www.catedradivinapastora.es/
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