Welcome to Winter!
It is certainly strange to be producing a newsletter in the current health, social and economic climate; normally there is so much news and acknowledgements of events at this time of the year. But then, 2020 has been a ‘different’ year right from the outset, it seems.
Therefore, it is perhaps more important than ever, to reflect on what has been happening over the past couple of months, particularly as we are now beginning to look forward to competition and events being not too far away again.
Events Cancelled and Postponed… and New Opportunities Enjoyed!
The list of important events that have disappeared from our calendar is lengthy – and their loss has been disappointing for us all, of course. No Easter Three-days; no QBIII; no JWOC, no ASOC, no National Championships this year; and, of course, no local events for us to develop our skills in the company of friends – at whatever level of orienteering we enjoy.
The new opportunities, however, have been really interesting, and include:
- MapRun courses, on existing and new maps
- Permanent courses
- Creative armchair activities – just check the OACT website
- Blue Lightning training sessions
- World Orienteering Day /Week – virtual events
- …and so many parks and reserves for us all to run, walk and ride in.
‘Getting O-ing Going Again’
Yes, we are slowly returning to normal! A revised program for the rest of the year is being prepared, and we are hoping to have events running from mid-July. You will have been pleased, I am sure, to see the following news in last week’s OACT e-bulletin:
The recommencement of orienteering competitions in the ACT is currently planned* to kick-off with a MTBO event on Sunday 12th July at Majura Pines. That will be followed by ACT League event #1 on Sunday 19th July at Isaac Ridge. Although dates are yet to be finalised, the Wednesday midday events will also start up in July.
You should have received an email from Matt Stocks, one of our OACT Council reps, and the roster coordinator. Bushflyers are scheduled to run the following events:
- Metro #1, Saturday 25th July, Weston Park
- Metro #3, Saturday 8th August, The Pinnacle
And later? Each of the states is working through its ‘Return to Play Plan in a COVID-Safe Environment’. This looks a little different in each state, of course, but there are plenty of creative opportunities being developed. For example, the weekends in late September/early October left vacant by the cancellation of the National Orienteering (AOC) and National Schools Orienteering Championships (ASOC), may well have new events rescheduled, possibly in Victoria, and possibly including an event aimed at school students only. We will attempt to keep you informed as and when we find out about these, of course.
- Thank you to Greg Terrill, who has taken on the role of Bushflyers rep on the OACT Council, along with Matt Stocks.
- As I write, on the first day of winter, it is cold and miserable outside – rather different from the lovely weather over the past two days. I went out to do the Mt Rogers MapRun Mayhem, a three-hour Rogaine yesterday, with fellow orienteers; that was such a lot of fun to do – and of course, we saw quite a few orienteers, including Bushflyers, out enjoying this creative opportunity. The course is open until the end of next weekend (Monday 8th June) – why not take a couple of friends and have some fun yourselves? Check out the ACT Rogaining website.
- Do you subscribe to the OACT weekly e-bulletin? What about the Orienteering Australia monthly e-bulletin? (Find the latest here).
I encourage you to subscribe to each of these bulletins, to enable you to keep up-to-date at both a local and a national level. They have so many links to interesting and inspiring articles, news items, YouTube videos, health and fitness advice…
- I have only just found this news item on the OACT website – I hope that you have already had a look at Paul de Jongh’s entertaining read about his orienteering experiences in China in January.
- I have just received my June edition of ‘The Australian Orienteer’; as I’ve not been able to get out orienteering over the last two months, I have particularly enjoyed reading about events from the past few months here in the ACT and Australia, as well as from abroad.
- The OACT website also has a list of alternative activities for us as we remain relatively housebound. I have enjoyed some of the puzzles coming from the Scottish Orienteering Council. Check out the Orienteering At Home news item.
- As part of their ‘Return to Play’ policy, OACT is encouraging members to use the contactless SIAC SI-sticks. I refer you to an item in the latest weekly bulletin:
Contactless Punching to be Implemented at Upcoming Events
OACT is preparing for a resumption of orienteering events, subject to ACT Government approvals for community sport. A range of COVID-19 preventive measures will need to apply. One risk mitigation strategy to be introduced is to provide contactless punching, commonly known as SI Air, at most events. Information on SIAC is available here.
An order has been placed for more SIAC sticks and these should be available for sale in 2-3 weeks. If you would like to reserve your purchase of a SIAC stick please contact the OACT Office ().
Did you know… Bushflyers has a Facebook page. “Like” our page and keep up to date with what’s happening in our club.
In these uncertain times, it is encouraging to think that we can now begin to look forward to some orienteering opportunities (foot and MTBO) from the middle of the year.
Keep safe, keep well; keep moving; and keep apart!
For Bushflyers Orienteering – where no-one gets left on the bench!