The next 11th May promises to become historic for Orienteering. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, underlines the importance of the initiative and doesn't hesitate to say: “Your ambitious program will put orienteering on the map.”
In three weeks, we'll celebrate the first World Orienteering Day and the number of adherents to the initiative increases every hour. There are more than 800 preregistered locations yet and the number of countries where the day will be signed is close to sixty. The aim is simple: Overcoming the current record from WOC 2003 in Switzerland - when 207.979 young people at 1381 locations ran an orienteering course - and set the target to 250.000 young people.
In a message of congratulations and support to the initiative, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, is keen to see in the World Orienteering Day an opportunity to inculcate in young people around the world, the values of sport and healthy lifestyles. Bach goes further: “The activities that the International Orienteering Federation is organising on this occasion are well aligned with a key objective of Olympic Agenda 2020: engaging youth through sport. The strong focus on involving schools and teachers around World Orienteering Day is an innovative way to combine sport and education.”
Wishing “much success in your quest to establish a new record in participant numbers on World Orienteering Day”, Thomas Bach couldn't be more optimistic: “It is thanks to such efforts and using the power of sport to bring people together that orienteering will have a bright future.” Thomas Bach's last words assure the importance of working together looking forward the same goal: “To promote the practice of sport and make it available to everyone, everywhere.”
The letter can be read at http://orienteering.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IOC-letter-07-04-2016.pdf.