1. The first international event of the season in Portugal is approaching. Counting with two WRE competitions, the Lisbon International Orienteering Meeting will start on the 29th January with a Model Event in Bairro Alto, in the heart of Lisbon. On the morning of 30th January it will follow the most waited moment of the event with a challenging urban Sprint in Alfama, counting for the IOF Sprint Orienteering World Ranking. On the afternoon, the second stage will take the participants to Oeiras, this time for a Middle Distance course in the recently completed Poets' Park. On Sunday 31st January, it will take place the Long Distance course in Sesimbra, counting for the IOF Orienteering World Ranking. All stages will also count for the Portuguese Vitalis Cup 2016. The number of athletes entered until now is a little up two hundred and half, from twenty different nations, and it's increasing. All news and updates concerning the event to see at http://liom.cpoc.pt/.
2. In the turn of the year, the picturesque town of Kaapsche Hoop, in South Africa, hosted the 3rd edition of the BIG 5 Orienteering Week. Organised by the BIG 5 Orienteering NPC, the event included a course counting for the IOF Orienteering World Ranking, which was the first WRE in 2016. Over 200 competitors from 14 different countries entered for the event and most of the podium positions were taken by overseas orienteers with a few notable mentions for South African athletes. With 3973.6 points, the British Hector Haines (Interlopers) was the winner overall in M21E class, with Nick Barrable (OK Ravinen – Nacka) and Janne Salmi (Turun Suunistajat) being second and third, respectively. In W21E class, the Swiss Sabine Hauswirth took the victory overall with 4000.0 points, followed by her compatriot Vroni König-Salmi (Turun Suunistajat) and Michele Botha (Rand Orienteering Club), from South Africa. As for the WRE course, which ended the BIG 5 Orienteering Week's program – a Sprint on a new map of the Ngodwana Village mapped by Dave Peel -, the Norwegian Øystein Kvaal Østerbø (IFK Lidingö SOK) and Sabine Hauswirth took comfortable wins over, with the British Henry McNulty (LOST) and the Swedish Lena Eliasson (Domnarvets GoIF) being second. Further information and complete results at http://www.bigfive-o.co.za/.
3. “Sport New Zealand’s Connecting Coaches has already been all I expected it to be and more. Hearing from Steve Hansen, John Key, Ralph Pim and Michael Henderson on this first day has helped refocus a number of my own perspectives on implementing successful coaching systems and through the ever-present theme of values-based leadership this will help develop myself not only as a coach but as an individual too.” The words are from Gene Beveridge, sharing with us some points of view in a good article which can be found HERE. The article follows the Convention hosted by Sport New Zealand in Auckland, from 4th to 6th December, with the main purpose of seeking to lift the capability of coaching right across New Zealand’s sport system. With around 600 diverse coaches collaborating on what it means to coach the New Zealand way, the Convention tried to give answers to main questions like “what are Kiwi coaches good at?”, “what do Kiwi athletes best respond to?” or “how to lift the coaching individually and collectively?”. Powerpoint presentations, videos and other resources to find at http://connectingcoaches.org.nz/.