Wednesday, May 04, 2016

World Orienteering Day: Seven days to go!

The first ever World Orienteering Day will be held on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. All schools, all O-clubs and all countries all over the world are encouraged to participate in the initiative and the number of preregistered locations is of 1512 so far. From Norway, Colômbia or Hong Kong, to Cameroun, New Caledonia or Greeland, the World Orienteering Day is already an overwhelming success!

The 11th May is fast approaching and the enthusiasm increases. By organising this ambitious project, the IOF hopes to increase the visibility and accessibility of orienteering, increase the number of participants both in the schools’ activities as well and in the clubs’ activities in all countries of National Federations, get more new countries to take part in orienteering and help teachers to implement orienteering in a fun and educational way by providing schools with materials such as maps, orienteering exercises and equipment.

In connection with the World Orienteering Day 2016, the IOF has a vision to set a new Guinness World Record. The current record is from the WOC 2003 in Switzerland, when 207,979 young people at 1381 locations ran an orienteering course. On Wednesday May 11th, 2016, the IOF hopes to see lots of young people participating in the World Orienteering Day, in order to beat the old record together. Having so far 1512 preregistered locations from 63 countries, the challenging target is 250,000 people participating in orienteering events simultaneously all over the world, which promises to be an exciting and inspiring experience.

Nine locations in Portugal

The World Orienteering Day will be marked by the world governing body opening their new headquarters in Karlstad in Sweden. Among the dignitaries due to attend the opening are Brian Porteous, President of the IOF, and Denmark’s Ida Bobach, winner of two gold medals at the last year’s World Championships in Inverness. Porteous will lead a special seminar at the Värmlands Museum entitled “Orienteering Today”, while Boach will talk about “The everyday life of an elite Orienteer”.

In Portugal, nine locations have entered so far to celebrate the World Orienteering Day. Águeda, Braga, Leiria, Marinha Grande, Ourém, Porto, S. Brás de Alportel, Sesimbra and Funchal, in Madeira Island, are ready to join the World on this unique occasion. Porto, the second biggest city in the country, is preparing the Opening of the S. Roque's Park Permanent Orienteering Course, in the oriental part of the city. This will be the third Permanent Orienteering Course in the city, after City Park and Covêlo's Park. The initiative belongs to the Municipality of Porto, with the technical support of Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos. During the whole day, people will have the opportunity of testing the Permanent Course and, at the same time, there will be an Adapted Orienteering Course, very suitable for people who are differently abled and children aged from 4 to 6. The Municipality is inviting all kindergarten children to participate in the initiative and some hundreds of children are expected in S. Roque Park.

For further information, please visit the WOD's webpage at

[Photo: Ulf Palm /]

Joaquim Margarido

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