Tom Hollowell, Secretary General/CEO, International Orienteering Federation (IOF)
European MTB Orienteering Championships and other event news.
The IOF announces further event news as the effects of the Corona virus
(Covid-19) pandemic continues to cause modifications in the IOF schedule.
The MTB Orienteering World Cup event which is scheduled to be held in Finland September 9 – 13, will become the European MTB Orienteering Championships 2020. The event will also include the European Junior MTB Orienteering Championships in addition to the already scheduled World Masters MTB Orienteering Championships. The final decision about holding the event will be made at the end of June and we hope that movement and travel restrictions will allow this and the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2020 in Portugal to proceed as planned. As part of this decision the IOF also announces that the MTB Orienteering World Cup will formally be cancelled, i.e. the MTB Orienteering season will consist of the 2 championships events.
The European Trail Orienteering Championships 2020 which was re-scheduled for July 14 – 18 will be postponed further, until the proposed dates May 12 – 16, 2021. The dates are set to be finally confirmed at the IOF Council meeting scheduled for June 12, 2020.
The IOF also confirms that the 30th Ordinary General Assembly of the IOF will be held as a virtual meeting on July 10, 2020. A pre-General Assembly seminar will be held on July 8, 2020.
In these difficult times for major orienteering events, orienteering organisers and orienteers globally have found creative ways of training and competing. Whether it be small local events in countries and locations where this is allowed, local recreational orienteering activities with fixed or virtual controls, or mapping their own homes and backyards, orienteering is a sport that can provide safe activities for staying active and enhancing people’s health while respecting lockdowns and social distancing.
We are also seeing an increasing number of online competitive events using existing and new e-sports platforms for orienteering. The internet is global, so when we cannot meet in person, we can meet in these online competitions. The IOF would like to encourage the global orienteering to organise and participate in these events and have therefore decided to open the IOF Calendar Eventor for organisers to market and participants to find competitive opportunities.
World Orienteering Day, although not held as a large participation activity in respect of the national Covid-19 restrictions in place, has also seen the creativity of the global orienteering community and a lot of positive activities have been noted.