Friday, January 16, 2015

WMTBOC'16: Bairrada region prepares to host the Championships

The preparation for the World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2016 continue in excellent pace. Amongst the first assessments, both technical and logistics, and a webpage fully working, an important step has just been overcome with the signing of the Partnership Protocol between the Municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada and the Portuguese Orienteering Federation.

The Main Hall of the City of Mealhada was the venue for the signing of the Partnership Protocol between the Municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada and the Portuguese Orienteering Federation. The agreement intend to expedite, in its various aspects, the organization of the Elite World Championships (WMTBOC'16), Junior World Championships (JWMTBOC'16), Youth European Championship and also a round of the World Cup, all in the discipline of Mountain Bike Orienteering, appointed to Bairrada region, in the last week of July 2016.

In addition to the mayors of Cantanhede and Mealhada, respectively João Moura and Rui Marqueiro (Gil Nadais, Mayor of Águeda, signed the Protocol on another occasion), attended the ceremony the President of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation and Event Director, Augusto Almeida, and also Carlos Ferreira, President of Clube de Aventura da Bairrada and Vice Director of the Event and Jorge Simões, Technical Director of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation. Among the terms of the partnership agreement, a special word to the bet of the municipalities in spreading the sport in the region and promote the Bairrada region worldwide, giving visibility to the recognized potential of technical quality for the practice of Mountain Bike Orienteering.

Another huge task on the horizon”

Talking about this important moment for the municipalities and also for the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, Augusto Almeida was keen to highlight that “the Portuguese Orienteering Federation continues to invest in the organization of major international events because it is a way to increase the visibility of the sport and simultaneously to promote the country and in particular the regions where these arise”, although noting that “we can only make these bets because we have dozens of volunteers we can rely on and there are municipalities available to work in partnership”. As for the particular case of Bairrada, the President of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation welcomes the fact that it was possible “to join the municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada and go forward with the organization of the World Championships in high quality terrains and simultaneously promote a region that has a lot to offer to those who want to enjoy nature, culture and gastronomy”. And the last words: “Another huge task on the horizon. But who is not for it, doesn't get it!”

In the meanwhile, the Bulletin 1 is already available [HERE]. There, we can see that the Preliminary Program extends from the 23rd to the 31st July 2016, with the dispute of world titles in Sprint, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Relay. In addition to the competitive classes, participation constraints and embargoed areas, the document includes a schedule of competitions in Portugal, which will be certainly important training opportunities regarding the Championships. Among the proposals, a special reference to the VIII Ori-BTT Rota da Bairrada, event scoring for the Portuguese MTB Orienteering League 2015, that the Clube de Aventura da Bairrada organizes next 28th and 29th March, at Mealhada. And also, of course, the big event of the year, the European Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2015 and simultaneously the World Masters Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2015, to be held in Idanha-a-Nova, from the 7th to the 13th June.

Joaquim Margarido

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