|Duncan Morrison interviews JWOC middle distance gold medalist and
STB 2012 co-organiser Matt Ogden about his thoughts on the Stage 5 race
New Zealand is now the place to be for orienteering (especially next January) – the recent success of Matt Ogden at JWOC in Slovakia shows that we have a lot to offer the world!
Many international athletes have already committed to coming to New Zealand for the Oceania/World Cup races and we encourage them to plan their journey to include Sprint the Bay as well! As you can hopefully see from the video above, Sprint the Bay is a great experience for everyone involved (not just the elite runners!). Make sure you ‘like’ the Sprint the Bay Facebook Page to keep up to date with all the goings on and to discuss the event and your travel plans with friends and fellow orienteers 🙂
New Zealand is an orienteering paradise, with amazing and diverse terrains throughout the entire country, plus great weather that allows orienteering throughout the full 12 months of the year. With the middle of the NZ summer coinciding with the middle of the European winter, it’s a surprise we don’t get more orienteers visiting for competitions and the great training opportunities we have to offer – the distance factor obviously plays a great role in this as NZ is relatively isolated and not the cheapest country to fly to – which is why a lot of orienteers choose to travel to other ‘cheaper’ destinations. For a lot of you money may be an issue, but try to think of it by answering the following questions:
- Are you an orienteer?
- Do you have the desire to visit NZ at some point in your life?
- Do you realise that NZ orienteers make the journey to Europe for orienteering every year, most often paying 100% of the costs themselves?
- Do you realise that the last time a World Cup event was held in New Zealand was in 1994, so the next time you may get a chance to watch or compete in such a high profile event in New Zealand you will be old or dead?
If you answered yes to either of the first 2 questions, and were at all shocked by the last 2, then you are definitely a candidate for the NZ 2012/2013 orienteering summer – so start making plans!
Unbeknownst to most is that NZ can be very cheap to enjoy once you finally get here! As far as transport goes it’s possible to buy a car for your journey (often much much cheaper than hiring a car, and with the possibility to sell it again at the end of your trip). Having your own vehicle gives you a lot of freedom to explore the whole country, you can find fully functional cars with warrants of fitness and registration on websites such as trademe for as little as 800€ (but be careful about it!). Accommodation and food are also very cheap compared to most European countries (unless you expect to stay in a 5 star hotel all the time!). The NZ orienteering community is rather small, but this means that most people know each other, and most are friendly and willing to help out foreign orienteers who make the effort to come to NZ. It’s often possible to find free accommodation with NZ orienteering families simply by asking around on our orienteering forum Maptalk.
(Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below, or to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org)