Fredo Tranchand and partner Saara Norrgrann have been Orienteering ACT’s scholarship coaches for the past five months and Fredo recently provided an interview for the French orienteering magazine CO mag (Le magazine de la Course d’Orientation) about his volunteering experience here in Canberra.
Fredo has provided a short translation of the questions and his answers.
Why and how did you end up in Canberra?
I explained that since my good friend Théo (Fleurent) came back from the same experience in Canberra, I dreamed on going there myself. And now was a good opportunity after working 4.5 years in Finland, and while Saara was just finishing her studies.
What did I expect and if I had contacts?
The program has been working very well already for a few years. There is good information on the scholar website and I heard a lot of good things from Théo.
What is the volunteering about and how long does it take?
It is for about six months (from the end of the last World-Cup season to the start of the new Scandinavian season). I have been teaching orienteering in schools, participating in events organisation as welcoming young new commers (Map-Mates), SC-ORE, coaching and offering training for everyone from beginners to elite-runners aiming for the World-Championships…
What does this volunteering give you?
It is a great opportunity for us to experience living in such a beautiful environment as Canberra and Australia with very nice people, and do what we like for the development of our sport.
How is orienteering in Australia and how is the terrain?
Canberra is very active with over 100 orienteering events per year. There is a great diversity of terrain throughout Australia including some very technical areas (spur-gully, granite or sandstones boulders, gold-mining, sand-dune). However, much of the bush is relatively thick and the distances and traveling times to get to interesting maps can be very long (especially from the big cities).
Finally, what about future projects in Australia, would you encourage others to do the same as you and what are your own plans.
There are a lot of projects going on in Canberra and all over Australia. The experience is fantastic, so I would definitely encourage others to come. My future is rather open. Firstly, I will be fully focusing on the season until WOC.