On Wednesday May 24th 2017, the second World Orienteering Day took place all over the world. It has proved an even greater success than last year, with over 288 000 participants all around the world taking part in an orienteering event. This is new record, with 35 000 more participants than last year.
In the end, 288 007 participants at 2265 locations in 79 countries have been part of something bigger, World Orienteering Day. Turkey is showing a fantastic result and has increased the number of participants with more than 75% compared to last year. As a final result, Turkey registered 86 436 WOD participants. Amazing!
From Antarctica to Greenland, from Singapore to Cameroun, from Ecuador to Kosovo, from Indonesia to Cyprus, hundreds of thousands of youngsters participated in World Orienteering Day. Following the idea “Be part of something bigger-Colour the World”, people all over the world took part in locally organised orienteering events, and celebrated the biggest world-wide orienteering event ever. World Orienteering Day is a very important tool to attract young people to the sport of orienteering, and it has been a success even in many countries where orienteering is not so well-known.
Hard work paid off
-Trying to repeat and surpass a successful first event is always daunting, as was the prospect of World Orienteering Day 2017. A lot of hard work has gone into building on last year’s achievement, and I am very happy to see that it has paid off. World Orienteering Day would not be possible without the initiative and dedication that can be found in the orienteering community, so I want to say a great thank you to everyone who organised a WOD event, as well as to our generous sponsors who helped make the event possible for many of us. I hope you all had a great day of celebration of our sport and congratulations on beating the World Record together! says Leho Haldna, the President of International Orienteering Federation (IOF).
There are many great examples from a lot of countries with increasing participants compared to last year. Amongst them were Serbia and the young IOF member Egypt, who did fantastic work with WOD this year and increased their number of participants by 103% and 43% respectively. This is a remarkable improvement! The largest WOD event was implemented at Hunan University in the city of Changsha in China with 3160 participants and the smallest one was carried out in an apartment in USA. This is orienteering; you can do it everywhere and anytime!
Reaching new territories
We also have to welcome new countries and territories as Cambodia, Lebanon, Philippines, Kosovo, Isle of Man, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Luxembourg and Antarctica. Without World Orienteering Day it has been quite difficult to get all these countries involved in orienteering.
- The global reach of the World Orienteering Day project made it clear already last year that it is an important way to spread orienteering, especially to young people. This is particularly important as it is in line with the key objective of the IOC Olympic Agenda 2020: engaging youth through sport. It has been inspiring to follow the many events on the WOD website and to see the wide spread of events. I am already looking forward to next year’s event, Leho Haldna concludes.
[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-06-14]